Saturday, August 8 was a special night for the Motor City blues faithful at Callahan’s Music Hall in Auburn Hills, MI.
Twice each year, Walter Trout plays for the blues loving Detroiters. This year however, Walter has been unable to tour due to a life threatening liver disease. Circumstances were dire for Walter, but thankfully, a donor appeared just in time to save his life. The road to full recovery is long and it will be some time before the Detroit blues fans are able to experience this blues legend in person once more.
Danny Bryant, from Cambridge, England, has been the student and protégé of Walter for close to two decades. Since Danny was in his teens, Walter has guided him in his music career. This year Danny is fronting Walter’s band so they can keep touring while Walter is in recovery. This event was made even more special by the presence of Walter’s eldest son, Jon Trout. Jon visited the audience before the show to hand out flyers at talk about the importance of organ donation.
Danny opened the evening with Walter’s The Blues Came Calling followed by Reason I’m Gone the third in the set was Danny’s own Take Me Higher, demonstrating that he is more than a performer, he is a capable songwriter as well.
Danny brought Jon on the stage to perform his own Blues for Dad and showed the audience that indeed, the apple does not fall far from the tree. Jon played with the band for two more songs, and Danny and the band finished out the evening with several songs of Walter’s, Danny’s, and even one by John Lee Hooker. Jon rejoined the band for the encore, which was Don Nix’s blues standard Going Down.
Danny and Jon are using the opportunity of this tour to raise awareness to the importance of organ donation. The event also included cards and pamphlets at the merchandise booth to help promote the importance of this life saving gift, readers can learn more from the Donate Life America site – donatelife.net/ as well as the Facebook page where success stories of transplants are given facebook.com/becomeanorgandonortoday.
Although Walter was not present, his band, led by his protégé and accompanied by his son brought an atmosphere of celebration of the life of a legendary blues man. Because of the gift of life, this legend is still with us, and Detroit will one day welcome his return.
Walter Trout Band with Danny Bryant and Jon Trout
Danny Bryant: Lead Guitar, Vocals
Jon Trout: Guitar, Vocals
Rick Knapp: Bass Guitar
Michael Leisure: Drums
Sammy Avila: Hammond Organ, Vocals