Walter Trout has heaped praise on John Mayall calling him "a musical genius" who is "under-appreciated."
Following his triumphant main stage performance at Planet Rockstock, Walter caught up with Paul Anthony backstage where he told us he had “a ball” on stage.
Reflecting on Walter’s distinguished career, which has included playing with Canned Heat, John Mayall's Bluesbreakers, his own bands and as a solo artist, Paul asked which artist has been the biggest thrill to perform with over the decades.
John Mayall © REX/Shutterstock
Not hesitating in his answer, Walter said: “To this day I am star struck by John Mayall. He’s like a father to me, I played with him for five years, I toured the world with him, I made three albums with him, he’s appeared on four of my albums. I’m still in awe of the guy, of his accomplishments, his genius; he’s a musical genius and he’s I think underappreciated.
“If anybody should be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame it’s him. Look who he started off – people always go Mick Taylor, Peter Green, Eric Clapton. (There’s) other guys they’re not even aware of, Simon Kirke and Andy Fraser from Free started with John Mayall.
“There’s just this amazing list of people that he has nurtured and taught and, y’know, I would say I’ve been at this for 50 years and the most fun I ever had at it was playing in his band.”
Walter also opened up about his upcoming 28th studio album ‘Survivor Blues’, released on Friday 25th January 2019 via Provogue/Mascot Label Group, which isn’t your run-of-the-mill covers record and instead features rare blues tracks.
“There are so many versions of the blues standards out there. The world does not need yet another version of ‘Got My Mojo Working’,” Walter explained.
“What I tried to do was find obscure tunes that have not been covered but that I think are great songs. The one we did tonight ‘Me, My Guitar & The Blues’ (by Chicago bluesman Jimmy Dawkins), when I heard that song I thought this is an iconic blues song, this is as good as any blues song that’s ever been written and nobody’s ever really heard it.
“I tried to find songs that are basically unknown but are worthy of being heard and my hope is that people will listen to my versions and then go back and check out the originals by the old guys.”
Walter also revealed that he never has a setlist planned when he walks on stage, adding: “The band they always say to me ‘what are we gonna play?’ And I go ‘y’know we’re gonna start playing and just follow me’. I’ve never gone on tour with a setlist ever.”
Don't forget, Walter plays Rockin’ The Blues at London’s O2 Forum Kentish Town on Tuesday 4th June 2019 alongside The Kris Barras Band and Jonny Lang. Tickets are on sale from Planet Rock Tickets now.