Monster Mike Welch

Nothing But Time
Monster Mike Welch

George Harrison’s “I Me Mine” in the middle of a blues album may seem left-field, but Mike Welch’s tone-to-spare guitar and impassioned vocal make you wonder why nobody did it before. It sits alongside a version of Robert Johnson’s “If I Had Possession Over Judgement Day” that compares favorably to Clapton’s version. To say that Welch has range is an understatement.

He revisits Johnson on “Kind Hearted Woman Blues,” done intimately with Welch on acoustic, while “Offswitch Blues” rocks an Elmore James groove and “Jump For Joy” puts the jump (and joy) in jump-blues. The instrumental “Afraid Of My Own Tears Parts 1 & 2” dips into ’60s soul, with legendary Jerry Jemmott onboard as the perfect bassist.
As has come to be expected, Kid Andersen’s production, engineering, and Greaseland Studios are first-rate. Welch penned 10 of the 14 songs, and though his picking may bring to mind greats from the Kings to Magic Sam and Peter Green, the distinctively wide vibrato and spontaneity are his stamps.

When actor/blues aficionado Dan Aykroyd gave him the “Monster” tag 30 years ago, it was a gimmicky juxtaposition for a 13-year-old. Now, it’s a fitting description of Welch’s artistry.

This article originally appeared in VG’s September 2023 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.

No posts to display