Music You Don't Know You Like Yet
This collaboration between New England-based guitarist “Monster” Mike Welch and Chicago-based vocalist/rhythm guitarist Mike Ledbetter finds the two musicians sharing a love for classic blues and treating fans to some first-rate musicianship. Joined by Anthony Geraci on keys, Ronnie James Weber on bass, Marty Richards on drums and occasionally by the guitar of Laura Chavez (late of Candye Kane’s band and now touring with Nikki Hill) and saxophones of Doug James and Sax Gordon, the duo has all the instrumental fire power it needs to power through the 12 cuts collected here as if they’ve been playing together for years. While Welch has several solo discs to his credit and is a long-time member of Sugar Ray and the Bluetones this disc features some of his best guitar work yet, likely because he gets to emerge out of the shadows of the band while at the same time not being burdened by the pressure of being the sole occupant of the spotlight. For example, his guitar work on the Willie Dixon classic," I Can’t Stop Baby", shows his mastery of everything from quick fills to hot-wired soloing while "I’m Gonna Move To Another Country" finds him delivering a full-frontal guitar assault before suddenly stopping on a dime and laying into a low down groove in support of Ledbetter’s turn at the microphone. For his part, Ledbetter, who notably spent several years as vocalist for Nick Moss, has one of those rare voices that sounds as good delivering a snarling growl as a stinging falsetto. He also has the gift of being able to sing clearly and on the beat regardless of whether the song is slow grinder or an upbeat jump blues. Put this little gem in your player and you will indeed be convinced that you are in the right place at the right time for some solid blues. SMITTY
review by Mark
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