Leo Welch – Sabougla Voices
It turns out that there are still howling, primal blues talents left to be discovered, and Mississippi native Leo Welch is one. After cold-calling Fat Possum’s Big Legal Mess label, he auditioned over the phone and reawakened the label’s interest in releasing blues records. Welch played guitar, harmonica and fiddle from a young age, but his opportunities to build a career in music were sacrificed to more mundane work. Now, at age 81, he’s brought together his church-bred gospel foundation with a love for the blues and produced music that recalls the electrifying call-and-response of preacher chants. Welch provides the rhythmic oratory, the guitar adds a soloist’s sting, and the piano, percussion and occasional backing singers provide the chorus. The spirit is lively and the testimony strong.