Leo Bud Welch - The Angels In Heaven Done Signed My Name

Published Wednesday 26th February 2020
Leo Bud Welch - The Angels In Heaven Done Signed My Name
Leo Bud Welch - The Angels In Heaven Done Signed My Name

STYLE: Blues
RATING 7 7 7 7 7 7 7
OUR PRODUCT CODE: 179839-29471
LABEL: Easy Eye Sound

Reviewed by Lins Honeyman

Adding subsequent instrumentation to the unembellished recordings of deceased artists is nothing new - take Buddy Holly's apartment tapes in the early '60s and the more recent scrubbing up of some of Elvis Presley's gospel work for example - and this technique has now been applied to the work of the sadly departed Mississippi bluesman Leo 'Bud' Welch under the watchful eye of Grammy-winning producer and Black Keys main man Dan Auerbach. Auerbach has taken 10 previously unreleased and undeniably raw gospel cuts from a two-day Welch session at the producer's studio back in 2015 and has added new instrumentation to enable the material in question to become just about commercially viable whilst offering up something that sounds different to what has gone before. Welch's age-soaked voice and faltering guitar work remain intact but Auerbach and his group of musicians have gone for a blues sound most commonly associated with the late '60s with fuzz guitars, the occasional Moog and just a smidgen of psychedelia gracing their ward's humble recordings. This gives new life to familiar Welch tracks like "I Come To Praise His Name" and "Right On Time" - both found on the man's 2014 debut release 'Sabougla Voices' but under different titles - whilst gospel blues stalwarts like "Walk With Me Lord", "Jesus On The Mainline" and "Don't Let The Devil Ride" benefit from the same treatment despite the latter containing some jarring wrong chords in the keys department. Much like the pretty poor 'Live At The Iridium' and 'The Final Sessions' 2017 additions to the Welch back catalogue, there is a sense that the bottom of the barrel is being well and truly scraped here - especially on the bookending tracks "I Know I Been Changed" and "Sweet Home" which should really have been left gathering dust on the shelf - but hats off to Auerbach and crew for attempting to keep the legacy and output of Leo 'Bud' Welch alive with very little to go on.

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.

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