Thursday, January 15, 2004

Kevin Welch, February 14th, 2004

“…there’s gonna be two dates on your tombstone, all your friends will read ‘em, but all that’s gonna matter is the little line between ‘em…” – Life Down Here On Earth, Kevin Welch

Kevin Welch’s catalogue of music stretches well over two decades and reveals a brilliant performer and songwriter whose style and vision continue to help define great American roots music. Welch’s five critically acclaimed CDs blend folk, rock, blues and bluegrass with an earthy voice and poignant storytelling rich with romance and honesty.

Welch left his native Oklahoma when he was 17, traveling extensively before settling in Nashville in 1978. His musical talents found a home at Sony Tree, where he established himself as a staff writer, deftly penning songs for artists as diverse as Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, Roger Miller, Trisha Yearwood, Patty Loveless, Garth Brooks, the Judds, Del McCoury and Ricky Skaggs, among others.

Despite his success in writing for others, Kevin Welch’s compositions were best expressed in his own voice. In 1990, Welch recorded and released his self-titled debut, Kevin Welch, on Warner/Reprise. Western Beat followed in 1992 also on the label.

With two CDs under his belt, several years of first-hand experience in Nashville’s music industry, and a group of tight-knit and extremely gifted artists, Welch helped launch Dead Reckoning Records in 1995 along with Kieran Kane, Mike Henderson, Tammy Rogers and Harry Stinson.

The label was in the forefront of do-it-yourself record labels and cottage industries that have sprung up in the music business since and has no doubt inspired countless artists to forge their own way. As part of Dead Reckoning, Welch released Life Down Here On Earth in 1995 and the AAA radio favorite Beneath My Wheels in 1999. The label, operated by the artists, has released 21 well-received albums worldwide.

In 2002, Dead Reckoning Records joined forces with Compendia Music Group, a well-respected music group with released from a wide array of artists including Joan Osborne, Kansas, Gene Watson and Robert Palmer. The partnership will help maximize Dead Reckoning’s marketing, distribution and promotion.

Welch’s latest release Millionaire was recorded in Nashville and Denmark and released in 2002 on Dead Reckoning Records/Compendia Music Group. The CD features The Danes, a group of rockin’ multi-instrumentalists Welch discovered in Denmark. Millionaire also features the song “Glorious Bounty” that Welch was especially proud to record because it was co-written by his 21-year-old son, Dustin Welch.

Often referred to as an Americana Stalwart and Roots Music Troubadour, Welch’s stellar releases and unforgettable live performances have allowed him a loyal and dedicated fan base all over the world where he tours extensively. He is a longtime favorite nationally and internationally in the best listening rooms and premiere music festivals.

With each release Welch continues to dig deeper and push the envelope on American roots music. There is no doubt that Welch’s generous musical legacy and broad-minded independence and philosophies on combining music and business with integrity will continue to enrich the genre of roots music and inspire generations of artists.

T h e C r i t i c s S p e a k

“His songs are diamonds, finely etched character studies and hard-won personal insights that win over – and even inspire – just about everybody who hears them.”
- The Associated Press

“If Van Morrison has a Nashville equivalent, Kevin Welch is it.”

“A wonderful writer who splits his time between tall tales and matters of the heart, Welch dips into country, folk, rock and blues…”
-Arizona Republic

“And the Western beat goes on…making British folk sound home on the range. Kevin Welch jangles a warm romanticism…”
-San Diego Tribune

“Welch is emerging as a great American songwriter. Alternately rootsy, rocking, spiritual and contemplative, what Welch delivers is something akin to the spirit of Springsteen melded with Hiatt and an added dash of Southern flair.”
-Chicago Tribune

“Welch still writes rolling melancholy melodies, and his voice still has its sandy charms. His secret is that for all of his years on Music Row, he’s a soul singer at heart, and a fine one too.”
-No Depression

“…Welch is best known as a performer and writer, one whose skillful blending of country, folk and rock ‘n’ roll, coupled with lyrics both smart and heartfelt, continues to shape and define the music known as Americana.”
-Tulsa World


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