Monster Mike Welch
Mannish Boys Revue with guests Monster Mike Welch & Sugar Ray Norcia
Calgary International Blues Festival (2014)
One of Boston's best-loved guitarists, Monster Mike Welch has been a fixture on the international blues scene for over thirteen years. As leader of the Monster Mike Welch Band, Mike released four acclaimed CDs of mostly original material (These Blues are Mine, Axe to Grind, Catch Me , and Adding Insight To Injury ), and toured North America and Europe. As guitarist in Sugar Ray and the Bluetones, he was a major part of a new CD release (Sugar Ray and the Bluetones Featuring Monster Mike Welch) in March 2003 on Severn Records. Now, Monster Mike Welch presents Cryin’ Hey!, his first album of traditional blues, and his finest work to date.
Mike started playing guitar at the age of eight, inspired by everything from the Beatles to Robert Johnson. He dedicated himself to the blues by the age of eleven, and quickly progressed from a regular at local blues jams to a respected member of Boston's professional blues community. By the time he was fourteen, Mike had played with blues greats like Junior Wells, James Cotton, Hubert Sumlin, and Johnny Copeland, as well as stars like the Blues Brothers Band with Dan Aykroyd, who gave Mike his nickname, "Monster Mike."
In 1995, the Monster Mike Welch Band won the Boston Music Award for Outstanding Blues Act and started work on their first CD, These Blues are Mine. That CD established Mike as a rising blues star and paved the way for several successful international tours. In 1997, Mike released Axe to Grind, which solidified his place in the blues scene and firmly established Mike and George Lewis as one of blues' most prolific and original songwriting teams. During this time, Mike was featured in USA Today, People, Ohne Filter Extra, Entertainment Tonight, A Current Affair Extra, and countless local and music publications and television programs. After a year of touring to promote 1998's Catch Me, which added influences from British Invasion pop and Motown R&B to the band's rocking blues mix, Mike took a sabbatical from regular performing. The previously unheard-of introduction of free time into Mike's schedule led to his joining Sugar Ray and the Bluetones in 2001, revitalizing the band's deep blues with his distinctive guitar stylings, and touring the U.S., Canada, and Europe behind Sugar Ray Norcia's legendary voice and harmonica. 2003's Sugar Ray and the Bluetones Featuring Monster Mike Welch featured five Welch compositions as well as his stinging guitar, and hit #4 on the Living Blues charts for two months in a row.
Now, Mike prepares to release Cryin' Hey!, his first all-traditional blues outing. Featuring an all-star cast including Nick Moss (Nick Moss and the Flip Tops, The Legendary Blues Band, Jimmy Rogers) on second guitar, Anthony Geraci (Ronnie Earl, Sugar Ray and the Bluetones) on piano, Michael "Mudcat" Ward (Hubert Sumlin, Sugar Ray and the Bluetones, Big Walter Horton) on upright and electric bass, and Warren Grant (The Monster Mike Welch Band, The Lydia Warren Band) on drums, Cryin' Hey! represents the finest singing, playing and songwriting of Monster Mike Welch's career. Mike will be touring France, Switzerland, Benelux and Germany in the winter and spring of 2006.
Monster Mike Welch