Monster Mike Welch - Just Like It Is (2007)
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Modern Electric Blues | Label: DixieFrog | # DFGCD 8634 | Time: 00:51:55

Monster Mike Welch, one of Boston's best-loved guitarists, presents «Just Like It Is», a very bluesy album including 11 Mike's songs out of 13, and certainely one of his finest to date. «Just Like It Is» was recorded the same way than the previous Mike's opus («Cryin' Hey!») with musicians Mike is very comfortable with (drums : Mark Teixeira - bass: Brad Hallen - keyboards: Anthony Geraci) and very quickly, in two days, like a live in studio without any overdubs.

'Monster' Mike Welch has been on the national blues scene since his early teens. This is the CD that many have been waiting for (though 2005's 'Cryin Hey' is equally outstanding). Mike's incredible guitar playing shines on this CD, and he has reached a point where his vocals are better than ever. He can sing songs now, hit notes, that he was not able to only a few years ago. Mike wrote 11 of the 13 songs, and his bandmates provide great support throughout this record. Anthony Geraci, Brad Hallen, and Mark Teixeira are all well-known and accomplished musicians in their own right and can be seen playing regularly, particularly throughout the New England region. Their playing on this CD is tight, fully supportive of Mike's guitar and vocals.

Mike shines on tunes like 'She Makes Time,' 'My Baby Loves Me,' and offers a somber reflection on making a living playing the blues on 'I'm Gonna Move to Another Country.' Another of my favorites is 'I'm Not a Stupid Man' though I would be hard pressed to find a weak song on the entire CD.

Mike has reached a level of maturity that allowed him to accomplish what he wants to on this, his 6th CD over the last 11 years or so...'Little Mikey' is truly a 'Monster' of the blues guitar, even better when you see him live (catch him with Sugar Ray Norcia and the Bluetones and just listen to/watch the chemistry - amazing)!

I have had the privelege of seeing Mike play many times, and this fine CD showcases his growth as guitar slinger, vocalist, and song writer. I would say that this is certainly one of the better blues releases of 2007, one not to be missed. A very solid effort by a musician who can only get even better - an almost frightening thought given his young age. Great job, Mike, and blues fans take notice - this is a keeper so don't overlook it.

Immediately brings Cream to mind, but with better vocals and more concern for live audiences, by which I mean for of the soul only blues can generate. Beautiful guitar tone and technique, too.

Listeners will be delighted with the dynamics that let Monster Mike tell stories intelligibly against the heaviest of bottom feeder bass and drums. Keyboards are another star, serving as a messenger between rhythm and lead lines and joining one or the other as needed.

Eleven of the 13 cuts here are originals, and that's hard to believe because, well, to look at Monster Mike's photo, it's hard to believe a 7-11 clerk would sell him beer without carding him. His compositions hold their own, not only against the evergreen Green/Adams "Love That Burns," but also against "I Got a Strange Feeling," penned by the original postwar blues monster, Willie Dixon.

Definitely one to hunt up and buy.


01. She Makes Time (02:44)
02. Please (04:42)
03. My Baby Loves Me (04:20)
04. Don't Expect Me to Cry (05:39)
05. Keep on Walking (04:00)
06. I'm Gonna Move to Another Country (04:44)
07. Sticky Whisket (03:38)
08. A Perfect World (04:04)
09. Now That You're Gone (04:04)
10. I'm Not a Stupid Man (02:37)
11. Love That Burns (05:12)
12. Move Along (02:37)
13. I Got a Strange Feeling (03:29)

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