Many artists lay claim to having the best, most dedicated fans in the world but none can quite match the fans of Blues guitarist Walter Trout.
In 2013, Trout took seriously ill while on tour in Germany but somehow managed to complete the last couple of shows before being admitted to hospital with chronic liver failure which required an urgent transplant. Faced with astronomical medical bills his fans rallied to his caused raising the money needed for this life saving treatment. After a long haul of recuperation which required him to learn how to walk and indeed play the guitar again, Trout returned triumphantly to the stage at the Royal Albert Hall for an emotional show almost two years after almost losing his fight for life.
While many may have taken such a health scare as a reason to retire Trout had no such thoughts as he embarked on an extensive tour last year that has barely stopped for breath.
Returning to the North during the second leg of his current tour saw him at the intimate Whitley Bay Playhouse, a perfect venue for a fired up Trout and he wasted no time getting into his stride with I Can Tell.
His latest album Battle Scars tells his story from the despair and anguish of his illness to his recovery and return to the stage. It`s lyrically moving and musically explosive reflecting a passion and appreciation of life of someone who has been given a second chance and has grabbed it with both hands. Almost Gone, a smouldering Haunted By The Night and Please take Me Home all told his tale.
With his formative years spent on the road with Canned Heat and John Mayall`s Bluesbreakers not to mention playing with Blues legend John Lee Hooker and Joe Tex, Trout has plied his trade with the best of them and it certainly showed. From the fire and brimstone of Serve Me Right To Suffer to the gentle soothing tribute to BB King, Say Goodbye To The Blues and the extended jam of The Blues Came Calling complete with guitar duel with his son Jon, Trout captured the very essence of the Blues. Not only was his guitar playing stellar but his powerful, gravel edged voice was steeped in the glorious tradition of the Blues.
For almost two hours, 66 year old Trout played with the energy of a man half his age and gave a master class of Blues guitar built on almost half a century in the business. With a set list that changes from night to night no one was quite sure what was coming but what was certain, no one went home disappointed and certainly not when he closed with a storming tribute to Chuck Berry.
We thought we had lost him but thanks to his loyal fans and their touching generosity he`s back, better than ever.