Never too late for the blues: Leo “Bud” Welch

Pasatiempo - - RANDOM ACTS -

If a man plays gui­tar and there’s no record ex­ec­u­tive around to hear him, how long will it take for the man to put out his first al­bum? And if he plays both blues and gospel, see­ing no spir­i­tual con­flict be­tween the two, and sup­ports him­self for 35 years as a log­ger, what does it re­ally mean to say he’s been “dis­cov­ered” once that al­bum be­comes a re­al­ity? Peo­ple in his com­mu­nity were lis­ten­ing all along. Though this could be the plot of an in­spi­ra­tional movie, it’s the real-life story of Leo “Bud” Welch, born in Sabougla, Mis­sis­sippi, in 1932. Welch started play­ing gui­tar when he was twelve, and in Jan­uary 2014, just be­fore his eighty-sec­ond birth­day, he re­leased Sabougla Voices with Big Legal Mess Records. He has been tour­ing ever since. He’s the kind of blues­man who at­tracts a crowd, and his fan base grows with each per­for­mance. He plays at Sky­light (139 W. San Fran­cisco St., 505-982-0775) on Fri­day, Jan. 30, at 7:30 p.m. (doors open at 6 p.m.). Tick­ets for the 21- and- over show cost $17 and are avail­able at www.hold­myt­icket.com.

— J.L.

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