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Leo Welch

Sabougla Voices

Big Legal Mess Records

Have hope, all you unheard bluesmen -- let Leo Welch give you strength. At the age of 81, Welch has released his debut album, Sabougla Voices, and I tell ya what, it's a stunner. Welch worked on a logging crew in the Hill Country of Mississippi for 30 years, but never gave up the blues - or the lord. With songs such as "Praise His Name", "Praying Time" or "Me and My Lord", you have no doubt who is his ultimate "producer", but the sound is primal juke-joint blues. Leo Welch plays a rattling, cutting guitar, ala R.L. Burnside or T. Model Ford (two of the regions greats), but where Burnside gives you An Ass Pocket Full Of Whiskey, Welch suggests you get on your knees and pray. I mean, you gotta do some atonin' Sunday morning, am I right?

The sound is pure, from the heart blues of the sort we don't hear too much anymore, but you can tell Welch has it in his blood. Welch knows that gospel has the same roots as the blues -- common people telling their story in whatever fashion they are familiar. Thankfully for us Leo Welch chose the blues, and with Sabougla Voices he just might convert you. Testify Brother Leo!