Better late than never. If that’s not the motto of 82-year-old bluesman Leo “Bud” Welch, it should be. The Mississippi native made his recording and songwriting debut last year with “Sabougla Voices,” an old-school gospel record that prompted tour dates across the United States and Europe.
“Up until ‘Sabougla Voices’ came out, I had only played spirituals in the church and in tents for about 50 years,” says Welch, whose sophomore album “I Don’t Prefer the Blues” is even better than its predecessor. “I’m doing things I never thought I’d do. I never thought I’d get to play outside of Mississippi or travel to other countries. Now I’m playing for all kinds of people and seeing the world.”
The latest slab is a tasty slice of garage blues that showcases Welch’s blistering guitar skills. Lid lifter “Poor Boy” (featuring Sharde Thomas) makes you sit up and take notice, and Welch further impresses with keepers “Girl in the Holler,” “Goin’ Down Slow,” “I Woke Up” and “Sweet Black Angel.” That he’s finding such success in his golden years is downright amazing.
“Right now if a great point in my life,” Welch admits. “I’m doing things I’ve never been able to do before and I feel good doing them at an age when a lot of people are dead.” Keep on keepin’ on, sir. (Jeffrey Sisk)