Veteran musician next up in singer-songwriter series at Roper

Kevin Welch is the next artist to come to Grand Junction in the continuation of a series of singer-songwriters playing in front of 100 to 200 of their biggest fans in a cozy and comfortable atmosphere at the Roper Music Ballroom in beautiful downtown Grand Junction.

This promises to be a special evening of music, conversation, camaraderie and friendship, with Kevin and his son, Dustin Welch, for a warm and friendly show. These intimate shows at the Roper ballroom are known for making that special connection between the artist and the audience, where it becomes hard to tell who has the most fun at the show.

They have all the feel of an informal show, where the artists are playing in front of friends and family. To that end, all profits from the shows go to the artists.

Kevin Welch is a 33-year veteran of the music business, having started out as a songwriter for a Nashville record label in 1978. After being persuaded by Steve Earle and other songwriters to make his own record, Welch released his self-titled debut recording in 1990, and that is when I started listening to his music.

Welch has been making records to critical acclaim ever since. In 1994, Welch and singer-songwriters Kieran Kane, Harry Stinson, Mike Henderson and Tammy Rogers formed Dead Reckoning Records so they could have an outlet for their songs that major labels didn’t seem to be interested in.

Together, they released more than 20 records, including an album under the name of the Dead Reckoners, titled “A Night of Reckoning.” The record features all five of the label’s artists recording tracks backed by, among others, one Fats Kaplan. I have owned that CD since the day that it was released and I still listen to it.

Kevin Welch has released six solo recordings since 1990 and all of them are outstanding. It would be hard to choose a favorite, but I listen to “Beneath My Wheels” and “Millionaire” the most. His latest recording, “A Patch of Blue Sky,” from 2010 has some of my favorite songs ever written by Welch.

In 2000, Welch released an incredible live CD titled “11-12-13” recorded in Melbourne, Australia, in late 1999 with his friend, an excellent singer-songwriter in his own right, Kieran Kane. They both have said that they were more popular at that time in Australia than they were in the United States and have played there several times since.

From 2004 -2007, Kevin Welch recorded three albums with Kieran Kane and Fats Kaplan. All three of those records received high praise from the critics, even though they did not sell in great numbers. The trio became a victim of the overall decline in record sales, like so many other deserving artists.

Touring is the way most artists earn a living now and Kane, Welch and Kaplan toured extensively for years, mostly at folk, bluegrass and roots music festivals, playing in Hotchkiss in 2007 and 2008 and in Palisade in 2009.

Kevin Welch now lives in Austin, Texas, and has most recently been touring with his son, Dustin. Tickets for the show are $30, and are available at Andy’s Liquor Mart at 922 N. First Street, and Triple Play Records at 530 Main St. in Grand Junction.

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Rock Cesario owns Triple Play Records, 530 Main St., and hosts “Acoustic Sunday” from 9 a.m. to noon Sunday on Drive 105.3 FM. Email him at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).


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