Walter Trout Entertains at the Cheese and Grain

Walter Trout Entertains at the Cheese and Grain

Walter Trout Entertains at the Cheese and Grain to a capacity crowd opening from Elles Bailey is superb perfect live music magic

With Elles Bailey opening a night of music magic

Walter Trout Entertains at the Cheese and Grain

On a warm Somerset evening, a sell-out 600 crowd have come to pay homage to no stranger to these parts, the wonderful Walter Trout. I was particularly interested to see the much-vaulted award-winning support act, Bristol native, Elles Bailey. I saw her several years ago at Skegness and had heard encouraging reports on her progress. Any doubts I had about her supporting such a legend were dismissed when she took to the stage, accompanied by her guitarist, Joe Wilkins. Confidence exuded from Elles, her silky voice reaching all the right notes at the right time as she ran through a set of all original material culled from her three albums, the more recent being “Shining In The Half Light“. ‘Stones’ got us underway, quickly followed by ‘Walk On Water’, ‘Help Somebody’, and perhaps my favourite ‘Medicine Man’ allowing Joe to do some brilliant slide. She closed with a song about her hometown ‘Sunshine City’ which she proudly said was an award winner on Planet Rock!

Fans of Elles are looking forward to 12 pm Saturday 2nd July and the launch of her weekly show on Planet Rock  

Walter Trout Entertains at the Cheese and Grain

At 9 o’clock on the dot, cometh the hour, cometh the man…….to rapturous applause Walter arrives on stage with his band consisting of Bob Fridzema on keys, the extrovert Johnny Griparic on bass, sporting a baseball cap and shades, and his drummer for fourteen years, Michael Leasure. Tour manager Andrew Elt jumped in here and there on rhythm guitar. Without further ado, we were straight into ‘I Can Tell’, the band so tight and smiling with the pleasure of being back on the road. Walter’s well-documented medical problems meant he had to learn to play the guitar again, read and speak, a long process patiently now reaping the rewards. In a long career including his time with Canned Heat, his five-year spell with John Mayall was, for him, the turning point. There followed countless solo albums, perhaps the most poignant being Battle Scars, from which ‘Almost Gone’ was taken….beautiful, preceded perfectly by ‘All Out Of Tears’ and ‘Got A Broken Heart’.
As is Walter’s wont, he has taken to inviting young upcoming blues musicians to join him on stage. Tonight was no exception as he invited Senna Weeks up. A student of Bristol BIMM, he’s a very accomplished blues/rock guitarist and the joy on his face as he shared solos with Walter on ‘It’ll Feel Better’ was a joy to behold.

Walter Trout Entertains at the Cheese and Grain

As it was Elles’s last night with Walter, he invited her and Joe Wilkins (this time on electric slide) to do a wonderful slow take on ‘Love Me Like A Man’……superb!¬† Floyd Lee’s ‘Red Sun’ from Survivor Blues closed the set, bringing to an end a wonderful nights’ entertainment……..well not quite……’Playing Hideaway’ from Battle Scars and the old favourite ‘Bullfrog Blues’ were the encores………..leaving us all happy, clearing the way for Paul McCartney to do his surprise warm-up set pre-Glastonbury, I know I got the best deal, there!

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