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LEO WELCH

SABOUGLA VOICES

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Big Legal Mess (BLM0287)

Praise His Name, You Can’t Hurry God, Me And My Lord, Take Care Of Me Lord, Mother Loves Her Children, Praying Time, Somebody Touched Me, A Long Journey, His Holy Name, The Lord Will Make A Way

It's good to have Fat Possum back in the Red Lick catalogue after a period away, and it is even better that the re-appearance co-incides with the release of this sensational CD on the label's Big Legal Mess imprint.

Leo Welch is 82 years old and the obvious question to ask is where has be been hiding all this time? Born and raised in Sabougla in the hill country of Mississippi, he has been singing and playing bars, jook joints, picnics and house parties for many years. Coming from such a rich lineage as Mississippi Fred McDowell, R.L. Burnside, Junior Kimbrough and many others, it seems peculiar to say the least that his opportunity to record has been delayed so long.

Well, thankfully, somebody  had the good sense to eventually book a studio and record these ten tracks of fiery, ragged and stomping blues and gospel for us all to now enjoy. Equally comfortable on acoustic and electric guitar, and both solo and with a band, Leo is on fire throughout, laying down his marker on the opener, Praise His Name, a gospel 'call and response' delight in the company of Martha Conley and Laverne Conley as The Sabougla Voices - a duo who merit a special commendation for their contributions throughout the album. Apart that is when its just Leo and his acoustic guitar, presenting a blues song, such as Mother Loves Her Children, as deep and affecting as you can hope and wish for.

Listen to this album and remind yourself that Leo is 82 years of age. His sheer vitality just may rub off on you!    

Review Date: April 2014

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