Webster Hall is an intimate room in which musical magic can, and often does, occur. On this night, we honored the musicianship of Walter Trout. Everyone in the hall was aware of Trout’s recent brush with mortality and was grateful to hear of his continuing recovery.
It was easy to see the reverence and respect that all the musicians involved, led by Danny Bryant fronting Trout’s own backing band, feel towards Trout. Bryant’s experience and ability came through from the very first notes he played, as Trout’s band (Rick Knapp on bass, Michael Leasure on drums and Sammy Avila on keyboard) played alongside him.
Bryant acknowledges Trout as being not just one of his chief musical influences, but also as a mentor. Bryant first jammed with Trout at the tender age of 17. The experience of playing with Trout helped shape Bryant’s musical life and this was evident in his playing.
Trout’s son Jon was brought out on stage to play a few songs dedicated to his dad. Afterward, we were treated to the brilliant guitar riffs and heartfelt singing of Popa Chubby, whose high-energy style brought the crowd to an even greater level of excitement.
When the night was over, everyone felt that we had honored Trout—and the blues as a whole.
– Stanley Abraham