American blues guitarist, singer and composer Walter Trout became the influential guitarist for Canned Heat in 1981.
This led to an invitation to play in John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers where he shared the stage with fellow guitarist Coco Montoya. He left the Bluesbreakers in 1989 and formed the ‘Walter Trout Band.’ The group developed a successful following across Europe.
In 2013, Trout’s album — Luther’s Blues —was nominated for a Blues Music Award in the ‘Rock Blues Album of the Year’ category.
Contrast all that to the beginning of 2014, when Trout lay in a hospital bed without the strength to move or speak — unable to recognize his own children. He watched, as his body wasted away.
He lost 13 pints of blood and was in a coma for three days. But on Memorial Day, May 26, 2014, Trout had surgery, and the slow healing process started.
“At first I wasn’t strong enough to play a single note on the guitar…” He says.
“But as I regained my strength — the music came back to me. Now when I pick up the guitar, it is liberating, joyful, and limitless. I feel like I’m 17 again…”
One reason that Walter is still here with us is due to the overwhelming generosity of his fans and supporters, which included a YouCaring campaign (set up by Kirby Bryant, the wife of British blues guitarist and Trout protégée Danny Bryant.)
This — alongside various concert tributes — raised $245,000 toward his lifesaving health care.
We have been listening to the lead track from the album, the appropriately titled: ALMOST GONE:
This has howling harmonica, yelling guitar and gritted-teeth vocals that enhance the pain, pleasure and liberation of that difficult journey.
It was a harrowing experience… Of anxiety, pain and, finally, rescue. But it was also a time of love and giving.
So here’s the man. Thriving and playing wild. And here’s his sound. It’s electrifying