Blues songwriters know about hard times, whether it’s the wrong side of an empty bottle or the broke-down love affair.
But when it came time to write some new songs for his compilation “Unspoiled By Progress: 20 years of Hardcore Blues,” Walter Trout decided to get topical and came up with “They Call Us the Working Class” which, like country singer John Rich’s “Shutting Detroit Down,” pulls no punches in attacking the 2008 government bank and financial institution bailouts.
“It kind of got me, especially when the economy crashed back in September, when (President George W.) Bush just started giving billions of dollars to banks and Wall Street and didn’t even put any demands on those people — and they were giving themselves bonuses!” says Trout, 58, who played with Canned Heat and John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers in addition to his solo career. “That was taxpayer money, paid for by everyday working people like you have in Detroit who are suffering from the greed of these rich people.
“I just got (angry). It took me five minutes to write that song. When I play it at gigs, the everyday working people scream and yell and pump their arms up in the air, and the bankers and stockbrokers, you can see ’em standing there, looking a little bit ticked.”
That attitude hit Trout close to home, too, once the song came out.
“I had a friend who was a stock broker for a big company,” he says. “He sent me a nasty e-mail when he heard it, and I haven’t heard from him since. That’s just the way it is sometimes.”
Walter Trout & the Radicals perform on Wednesday (Aug. 19) at Callahan’s, 2105 South Blvd., Auburn Hills. Doors open at 8 p.m. Tickets are $20. Call (248) 858-9508 or visit www.atcallahans.com.
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