domingo, 24 de abril de 2011

Monster Mike Welch - Cryin' Hey!


MONSTER MIKE WELCH
CRYIN' HEY!







Mike Welch is a Boston-area blues guitarist, vocalist, and songwriter who has released several albums on the Rounder Tone-Cool subsidiary. The fact that he's so good and so young is part of the reason why they called him "Monster." Welch got this name from actor/comedian/Blues Brother Dan Aykroyd, although the moniker was dropped following his second album.
Welch's releases for Tone-Cool, which essentially launched his career as an international touring act, include a 1996 release, These Blues Are Mine, and his 1997 album Axe to Grind.
He began his blues education with his father's record collection, and he picked up the guitar at age eight and tried to emulate the sounds he heard from recordings by Magic Sam, Earl Hooker and B.B. King. Welch also studied the rock & roll and blues-rock records of the Beatles and the Rolling Stones, but after hearing more of Albert King and other blues guitarists, he found his calling in life.
When he was 11, his parents began driving him to blues jams around Boston. In the clubs, Welch learned from some of the greats of that scene, including Ronnie Earl and Luther "Guitar Jr." Johnson. Welch was invited to play at the opening of the first House of Blues club in Cambridge, Mass. in 1992. After co-owner Aykroyd heard him, his nickname changed from "Little Mikey" to "Monster Mike."
A few months later, Welch began working with George Lewis, who ran the blues jams at House of Blues, to put together the Monster Mike Welch Band. Welch is accompanied on his records by Lewis on guitar, Jon Ross on bass and Warren Grant on drums. Welch's biting, stinging Albert King-style guitar playing has better-than-average backing from these three on his Tone-Cool releases.
The crop of original songs he wrote on his first two albums for Tone-Cool demonstrate his prowess as a crafty blues songwriter. Whether he decides to go on to college or not, Welch has a bright future. All indications are that Welch, who got a flood of publicity because of his age, and was even quoted in People magazine -- "being an adolescent is more than enough blues for anyone to handle" -- should go on to a lengthy and varied career as a bluesman. He returned in 1998 with Catch Me.
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Featuring an all-star cast including Nick Moss (Nick Moss and the Flip Tops, The Legendary Blues Band, Jimmy Rogers) on second guitar, Anthony Geraci (Ronnie Earl, Sugar Ray and the Bluetones) on piano, Michael “Mudcat” Ward (Hubert Sumlin, Sugar Ray and the Bluetones, Big Walter Horton) on upright and electric bass, and Warren Grant (The Monster Mike Welch Band, The Lydia Warren Band) on drums, Cryin’ Hey! represents the finest singing, playing and songwriting of Monster Mike Welch’s career.


Monster Mike Welch Talks About His New CD

Cryin’ Hey! Monster Mike Welch Plays The Blues
Cryin’ Hey! is the CD I’ve wanted to make since I was thirteen years old. I’ve made a lot of different kinds of CDs in my short career, but I’ve never had a chance to make a record like this. When Philippe Langlois at DixieFrog approached me with the idea of a straight blues record in 2004, I felt like I had been offered a chance to come home, and I immediately started writing material and assembling my dream blues band.
The songs were much easier to write than I had initially feared. Over the years, my writing had become more obscure, complex, and rock-oriented, partly because my tastes had changed and partly because I was very insecure about my ability as a young white boy to tell the kind of direct, heartfelt stories that the great blues singers and writers told so effortlessly. The opportunity to make a blues record forced me to look at my life differently, and I realized that as a 26 year-old man trying to make the best life possible with a wife, new baby, and money problems, I had stories to tell. Within a couple of weeks, I had most of the CD written, and I’d already tested the new songs on gigs. The directness of the songs also meant that they were much easier for me to sing than anything I’d written before, and if I were to single out the thing I’m most proud of on Cryin’ Hey!, it would be the growth in my vocals.
The band members were also easy to choose. Anthony Geraci, Mudcat Ward, and Warren Grant are musicians and friends that I’ve worked with in different situations for ten years or more, and were obvious choices. Nick Moss is among the very best blues guitarists I’ve ever heard, and someone I’d always wanted a chance to work with. Nick lives in Chicago, but he just happened to have a couple of days off during his Northeast tour on the exact two days we were scheduled to record in the Boston area, so he was added to the list. Nick is a real-deal Chicago bluesman whose playing reminds me of Earl Hooker and Jimmy Rogers, Warren’s specialty is the Houston shuffle in the vein of Sonny Freeman on the great B.B. King and Duke Records sides, and Mudcat, Ant, and I are part of the New England tradition, which has elements of both the Chicago and Texas approaches with its own flavor. All of us bear our regional stamps, but none of us are limited to any one approach, so I was blessed with a band behind me that could tackle any kind of blues I threw at it.
With songs and musicians I was comfortable with, the recording was the best session I’ve ever been involved with. We recorded the music completely live in the studio in about six hours, with no overdubs necessary. I was inspired to play more guitar than I have on any record since 1996’s These Blues Are Mine, which feels good. Listening back to it, I hear everything I’ve learned from my blues guitar heroes, especially early Buddy Guy, B.B. King, Hubert Sumlin, Otis Rush, Magic Sam, Freddy King, Gatemouth Brown, Robert Lockwood, and Muddy Waters. Cryin’ Hey! gave me a chance to pay tribute to them and all of the other great blues singers and musicians, and to try to make the listener feel the way those people made me feel with their music.

Tracks
1-All the Love in the World
2-Cryin' Hey!
3-A Thrill to Be Alive
4-Joaquin Riley
5-My Father's Son
6-They Call Me Monster Mike
7-Everybody
8-One of Those Days
9-This High, High Cost of Leaving
10-Searching for an Angel
1-1Give Me Tim






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