Sabougla VoicesBig Legal Mess
***It seems incredible that Leo Welch has until now remained unknown to the wider musical world. Born in 1932 in Sabougla, Mississippi, Welch has lived his entire life in the area. As a child, he took to an older cousin’s guitar quicker than the owner, and as the years passed Welch continued to entertain at picnics and parties in the area, his repertoire consisting of many of the blues and radio standards and favorites of the day. On several occasions, Welch came to the attention of professional musicians, but planned auditions or jam sessions never worked out.
One possible reason Welch flew under the radar for so long was his move into the church around 1975. But Welch never let the blues go. He has never seen any reason to: “I believe in the Lord, but the blues speaks to life, too. Blues has a feeling just like gospel; they just don’t have a book (a Bible).” Welch continues to sing with two local gospel groups in the Bruce, Mississippi area, The Spiritualaires of Bruce, Mississippi and Leo Welch and the Sabougla Voices. You can also catch Leo hosting The Black Gospel Express TV show every 1st and 5th Sunday on WO7BN-TV in Bruce.
And make no mistake; this is a gospel record. Crank it. - Kevin Nutt (WFMU)