As has been spoken about many times recently the veteran Blues rocker Walter Trout is waiting for a liver transplant and has been unable to tour this year. To offset his medical bills and recovery a collection was taken via a pledge site to raise $125,000 – it was fully subscribed in a few days. Additionally a series of benefit shows have been set up for the great man and the show at London’s Shepherd Bush featured a host of musicians who have either worked with him or been mentored by him during the course of nearly 50 years in the business – the gig ran over 4 hours and probably could have run a few hours more if not for the local curfew, such is the esteem he is held in.

The evening was split into two halves with John O’Leary’s Flamingos as the ‘House Band’ for the night and we were treated to some stunning music from the likes of Ian Parker, Danny Bryant, Laurence Jones (all of whom got their start from Walter) as well as Stephen Dale Petit, Bernie Marsden, Roger Chapman and Marcus Malone. Mitch Laddie played a couple of numbers by Walter and Del Bronham’s Stray were joined by Stevie Smith on harmonica and the lovely Cherry Lee Mews on backing vocals.

One of the highlights of the evening was seeing Laurence Jones jamming with Otis Grand – the look of awe on the young man’s face was a picture. The other was seeing Jon Trout, Walter’s 20 year old son, playing a song to his dad in front of a packed house and equally packed stage – the kid has some great chops!

One thing that occurred to me during the evening was the sheer variety of music on offer – it is all ostensibly Blues but Walter has been involved with so many artists of so many different hues of Blues over the years that the 4 hours went by in a flash.

Pete Feenstra should be very proud of the show he organised – at fairly short notice – and Shepherds Bush Empire – for years a favourite of Walter Trout – should have some new pictures to adorn the walls from a packed stage of genuine musicians.

A great night, now we just need Walter to get well soon and come back to play for us.