MONSTER MIKE WELCH (USA)
Monster Mike Welch is one of the East Coast’s best-loved blues guitarists and, at 36 years old, already a 25-year veteran of the international blues scene. As frontman, as the guitarist for New England blues legends Sugar Ray and the Bluetones, or as a respected sideman, Mike has toured North America and Europe, and made several acclaimed recordings. In 2016, he was nominated for a Blues Music Award in the category of Instrumentalist-Guitar.
As a precocious 11-year-old he was invited to join local blues jams, working alongside Ronnie Earl, Luther “Guitar Jr” Johnson, Matt Murphy and Johnny Copeland.
At 13, Mike Welch opened the bill at the Cambridge House of Blues, sharing a stage with Junior Wells, Joe Walsh and actor Dan Aykroyd. It was the latter who gave him his nickname, “Monster Mike.”
By the time he released his first CD three years later (These Blues Are Mine / Tone-Cool), he had already played with blues legends like Junior Wells, James Cotton, and Johnny Copeland, and won the 1995 Boston Music Award for Best Blues Act.
The rest of the 90’s found Mike touring North America and Europe, and featured in USA Today, People, Entertainment Tonight, CNN, and NPR.
In 2001, Mike joined his longtime heroes Sugar Ray & The Bluetones, establishing a deep creative partnership in the blues that continues to this day. Their 2013 recording Living Tear to Tear garnered seven Blues Music Award nominations, including Album of the Year and Blues Band of the Year. They are again nominated for Blues Band of the Year in 2016.
Mike’s varied career has seen him lauded as a teen virtuoso, valued as a supportive sideman, and respected as a maturing blues artist. Recent years have found Mike dividing his time between Sugar Ray & The Bluetones, guest stints (Duke Robillard, Nick Moss, Johnny Winter, Darrell Nulisch and more) and his own work in the international blues scene.
These Blues Are Mine (Tone-Cool/1996)
Axe to Grind (Tone Cool/1997)
Catch Me (Tone Cool/1998)
Cryin’ Hey! (Dixiefrog/2006)
Adding Insight To Injury (95 North/2003)
Just Like It Is (Dixiefrog/2007)
with Sugar Ray & The Bluetones:
Featuring Monster Mike Welch (Severn/2002)
My Life, My Friends, My Music (Severn/2007)
Living Tear to Tear (Severn/2013)
with the Duke Robillard Band:
Independently Blue (Stony Plain/Dixiefrog/2013)
“…can rip the top of your head and cram your brains into your neck with his blues guitar work.” ( Rolling Stone)
“Welch is becoming an all-around guitar master…” (Living Blues)
“Welch takes the music somewhere special when he plays.” (Down Beat)
“He’s a phenomenal blues player.” ( Duke Robillard)