Mississippi hill country bluesman Leo “Bud” Welch had literally played for a lifetime, some 65 years, with little fanfare before dropping his first record.
Then, on Jan. 7, 2014, just weeks before turning 82, he released his debut album, “Sabougla Voices.” Within a week, the former timber man was on his first plane, embarking on a five-day tour that consisted of 11 shows.
Describing his late start in life as a professional musician, Welch told the Nashville Scene in early 2014, that he had once been asked to tryout for the late blues legend B.B. King. He was unable to make the audition.
“I tell people now if I’d have went on then, no telling where in the world I might be,” Welch said. “But the Lord knows best. And I think now is just my time.”
Available on Fat Possum Records, the gospel and blues album received critical acclaim. Also available on the independent Mississippi blues label, Welch’s sophomore album, “I Don’t Prefer No Blues,” was released in March.
“Blues is what I was born into,” the Sabougla, Miss., native told The Wall Street Journal earlier this year.
And again, the elder bluesman is embarking on another tour. During a two-week span in July, Welch will play a total of seven dates, starting in Tel Aviv before wrapping up in Gourdon, France. He then returns to North America, playing shows in Canada and Mississippi before traveling back to Europe in August, playing nine dates.
Welch will then play two shows at the Telluride Blues and Brews Festival, scheduled for Sept. 18-20. Considering his age, it might be a once in a lifetime opportunity for area residents.
Joining Welch on stage in Telluride are ZZ Top, Greg Allman, Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings, Taj Mahal, John Hiatt and Anders Osborne, to name a few.
WHEN: SEPTEMBER 18-20, 2015
WHERE: TELLURIDE, COLORADO
HOW MUCH: $65 – $185