Monster Mike Welch & Mike Ledbetter
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Monster Mike Welch & Mike Ledbetter
With over 25 years under his belt, Boston-based blues guitarist Monster Mike Welch is handily considered a seasoned veteran of the international blues scene at just a mere 37 years old. Adorned with the nickname “Monster Mike” by actor/comedian Dan Aykroyd at the tender age of 13, Welch has since carved out a successful living as a highly accomplished and in-demand guitarist. To date, Welch has released six albums under his own name and in 2001, he joined the ranks of one of New England’s most beloved blues institutions, Sugar Ray and the Bluetones. In addition, Welch has performed and recorded with Duke Robillard, Nick Moss, Johnny Winter, Darrell Nulisch and more recently, the Knickerbocker All-Stars, which has featured among others, Jimmie Vaughan and the aforementioned Robillard. No stranger to the Delta Groove family, Welch also appears on recordings by the Mannish Boys and Sugaray Rayford, as well as playing a central role in the critically acclaimed album, Fifty Shades of Blue, by Anthony Geraci and the Boston Blues All Stars. Welch has received two consecutive Blues Music Award nominations by the Blues Foundation for Instrumentalist-Guitar beginning in 2016.
Chicago's own Mike Ledbetter has had nothing short of a rich and multi-dimensional musical journey thus far. Before making a home in West Side Chicago and Memphis style blues, Ledbetter set his feet in various genres ranging from soul, gospel, pop, jazz, and even spent the better part of a decade performing on Chicago opera stages. Spending eight years under the tutelage of his mentor, Nick Moss, Ledbetter recorded and toured the world with Moss as his lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist. In this short time, he has made more than a lasting impression and developed a legion of fans. He's also worked with and earned the respect of many of his heroes and influences (Anson Funderburgh, Barrelhouse Chuck, Billy Flynn, Curtis Salgado, Jimmy Johnson, Lazy Lester, Ronnie Earl) as a member of the new school of blues/soul musician whose style is cemented in its Golden Era.
On Sunday, June 12, 2016, Welch and Ledbetter took part in a special tribute to the legendary Otis Rush at the 33rd Annual Chicago Blues Festival. The chemistry between these two was so instantaneous and such a natural fit, that it became readily apparent that an album together must soon follow. "Right Place, Right Time" is the result of this inspired collaboration, born out of a mutual love and respect for the classic blues era of the ‘50s and ‘60s and artists such as Otis Rush, Magic Sam, Elmore James and B.B. King. Accompanying Welch and Ledbetter is an all-star cast featuring pianist/organist Anthony Geraci, bassist Ronnie James Weber and drummer Marty Richards, along with special guests Laura Chavez on guitar and saxophonists Doug James and Sax Gordon. For Monster Mike Welch and Mike Ledbetter this album is not just about being in the right place at the right time, but knowing what to do with it when you find yourselves there.
In 2018, Monster Mike Welch and Mike Ledbetter took home the honor for Traditional Blues Album after receiving a combined total of 7 Blues Music Award nominations including Album of the Year and Traditional Blues Album (for Right Place, Right Time), Band of the Year, B.B. King Entertainer of the Year (Ledbetter), Contemporary Blues Male Artist (Ledbetter), Instrumentalist-Guitar (Welch) and Instrumentalist-Vocals (Ledbetter). "Right Place, Right Time" also received additional recognition with nominations for the 2018 Living Blues Awards for Best Blues Album of 2017, the 2018 Blues Blast Music Awards for Blues Band of the Year and the 2017 Blues Blast Music Awards for Contemporary Blues Album.