Artist Profile #1: Leo “Bud” Welch
Deep Blues Festival is pleased to announce Leo “Bud” Welch will be joining the roster this October!
Leo “Bud” Welch is has been playing guitar since he was a teenager in the mid 1940s, but he was into his 80s before his music reached an international audience. Hailing from Sabougla, Mississippi, “in the hills” east of the delta, Welch sharpened his skills by playing locally while earning his living in the logging and farming industries. If picking cotton and hauling a chainsaw up and down the hills and hollers of North Mississippi doesn’t give you the blues – nothing will. Throughout his adult life, he played in gospel groups: the Sabougla Voices and Skuna Valley Male Chorus.
Welch caught the attention of the world when Big Legal Mess records pushed him out into the spotlight with his first release, Sabougla Voices, at the ripe young age of 81. His follow-up record, I Don’t Prefer No Blues came out just a year later. The Big Legal Mess team was ecstatic to unearth this blues and gospel treasure and show it to the world. Their efforts to celebrate, document, and preserve blues music greats has not gone unappreciated by the music scene at large – Welch hit the international touring circuit like a freight train, touring all over North America and Europe to great acclaim.
A recently released documentary befittingly titled Late Blossom Blues tells his story beautifully. The viewer follows Leo as he his stages all over the world, from performing for thousands of people and taking photos with fans at huge blues and folk festivals, back to the modest but honest life of Mississippi living. Listening to Welch joke around with the filmmakers is a treat as we get to see the spark and air of mischief of a lifelong artist who has just hit his stride. At 83, Welch is in Austria and Switzerland one week, and back to play Red’s Lounge in Clarksdale, Mississippi – there aren’t too many folks his age who are up to the challenge. Bud Welch is just getting started though, and it is incredibly satisfying to watch decades of musical experience receive due accolades from the global music scene.
Be sure to catch Bud at this year’s Deep Blues Festival in Clarksdale, MS! October 12-15th, 2017 are the dates and the schedule as it becomes set will be at www.deepbluesfest.com. If you want to support the festival and help it get off the ground, you can be a benefactor! A $100 donation does come with perks apart from our deep appreciation. As a benefactor, you get first dibs on booking accommodation at the Shack Up Inn, and exclusive access to the Benefactors’ Ball during the Deep Blues Festival weekend. This is a party and a show we throw for you to show you our gratitude for continuing to make this festival happen!
Weekend tickets go on sale April 1, 2017 and will be $75. This allows entry to all the shows at the Shack Up Inn and the New Roxy theater. Stay tuned to our Facebook page and website for updates to lineup and schedule!