This man is a songwriter—he wrote or co-wrote all of the 10 songs—who is comfortable enough with himself put in legitimate and meaningful references to Rasputin, Plato, Dante and Confucius among a host of others, and who can express his ideas in a song that surpasses the standard "I love her she loves me," or "I am so sad that she has left me, boo hoo" fare. His songs span the width and breath of the Americana landscape, stretching, meshing, melding and coalesce the forms until they all breakdown into porridge, that when you attempt to describe it might sound horrible, but tastes so good. Welch was a member of the Dead Reckoners, both a conglomerate group of songwriters and a performing group that was fluid in membership, Kevin, Kieran Kane, Mike Henderson, and more, that had trouble fitting into the commercialization of Nashville's country music. The music on this album is mostly acoustic with electric highlights and his backing band contains some of the best players of both Nashville and Austin; Glen Fukunaga - bass, Bukka Allen - piano and Wurlitzer B3, Fats Kaplan - pedal steel, among others. It is a band, and I include the backup singers with the band, that sure did fit together like a handmade saddle fits the butt it was made for and keeps the rider/singer steady and on course.
Welch is probably thrown in the Country bin but if that scares you off think bigger and break down some walls. I would group him more with maybe singer/songwriters; those that are going to make you think while you listen. He is not a man that cloaks his words and makes obscure references, but a writer who considers his words carefully. I have heard him with the Dead Reckoners, and run into some of his earlier songs performed by the likes of Waylon Jennings, Trisha Yearwood, and The Highwaymen. He has something meaningful to say, and he says it with song. A disc well worth looking for.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2010, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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