This year marks the 25th anniversary of the solo career of internationally renowned Blues/Rock guitarist Walter Trout. In celebration, it has been a busy year of Trout-related activity. But it is activity Trout is mostly watching from the sidelines. The guitar hero is probably more than happy to just be able to do that.
After years of substance abuse, Trout’s liver functions began to rapidly deteriorate over the past few years. Though his future was in serious doubt, thanks to an organ donor and a legion of fans worldwide that donated nearly $250,000 to help with medical expenses, Trout is still among us and optimistic he will be back playing music. But, as detailed by his wife Marie at waltertrout.com, his healing has been slow.
As Trout recuperates, his global fan base has had ample opportunity to celebrate his remarkable career, which began in the late ’60s and included stints with Canned Heat and John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers before he launched his solo career in 1989.
And it has also been a great year for new fans to discover the singer/guitarist’s life and work. Several of his albums have been/are being re-released throughout 2014 on high-quality vinyl, while this summer has seen the release of a new album, The Blues Came Callin’ (recorded in 2013 and 2014, as Trout’s health issues began to increase); a documentary film about his life; and a biographical book, Rescued from Reality: The Life and Times of Walter Trout, on which the musician collaborated with author Henry Yates.
As local fans can attest, Trout’s loyal following was boosted by his sizzling live shows. Though his illness has, obviously, kept him off of the road this year, a tour featuring The Walter Trout Band is offering the next best thing, while also raising awareness about the importance of becoming an organ donor.
Joining Trout’s touring band (keyboardist Sammy Avila, drummer Michael Leasure and bassist Rick Knapp) for the two-month North American trek are two musicians who are a testament to Trout’s influence — accomplished U.K. guitarist Danny Bryant (whose fan letter to Trout as an aspiring 15-year-old musician led to a lifelong mentorship) and Trout’s guitar-playing son, Jon. The band will play some of Bryant and the younger Trout’s material, but the set list will be heavy with Walter Trout classics.
Fittingly, information about various organ donor registration sites (including donatelife.net) will be available at each tour stop and Bryant will also talk up organ donation during the set.
THE WALTER TROUT BAND WITH DANNY BRYANT AND JON TROUT plays Legends Nightclub on Tuesday, Aug. 12. More info here.