The Blues is in very good hands via this standout “connection”. Welch and Ledbetter have rocketed to the top of the current generation of Blues artists, insuring that The Blues is still alive and well! A “Real Deal” guitarist joins forces with one of the most gifted vocalists to come along in years, in a game changing, soul grabbing, musical tour de force!
Monster Mike Welch and Mike Ledbetter received a combined total of 7 nominations including Album of the Year and Traditional Blues Album (for Right Place, Right Time), Band of the Year, B.B. King Entertainer of the Year (Ledbetter), Contemporary Blues Male Artist (Ledbetter), Instrumentalist-Guitar (Welch) and Instrumentalist-Vocals (Ledbetter).
With over 25 years under his belt, Boston-based blues guitarist Monster Mike Welch is handily considered a seasoned veteran of the international blues scene at just a mere 37 years old. Adorned with the nickname “Monster Mike” by actor/comedian Dan Aykroyd at the tender age of 13, Welch has since carved out a successful living as a highly accomplished and in-demand guitarist. To date, Welch has released six albums under his own name and in 2001, he joined the ranks of one of New England’s most beloved blues institutions, Sugar Ray and the Bluetones. In addition, Welch has performed and recorded with Duke Robillard, Nick Moss, Johnny Winter, Darrell Nulisch and more recently, the Knickerbocker All-Stars, which has featured among others, Jimmie Vaughan and the aforementioned Robillard. No stranger to the Delta Groove family, Welch also appears on recordings by the Mannish Boys and Sugaray Rayford, as well as playing a central role in the critically acclaimed album, “Fifty Shades of Blue,” by Anthony Geraci and the Boston Blues All Stars. Welch has received two consecutive Blues Music Award nominations by the Blues Foundation for Instrumentalist-Guitar beginning in 2016.
Chicago’s own Mike Ledbetter has had nothing short of a rich and multi-dimensional musical journey thus far. Before making a home in West Side Chicago and Memphis style blues, Ledbetter set his feet in various genres ranging from soul, gospel, pop, jazz, and even spent the better part of a decade performing on Chicago opera stages. Spending eight years under the tutelage of his mentor, Nick Moss, Ledbetter recorded and toured the world with Moss as his lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist. In this short time, he has made more than a lasting impression and developed a legion of fans. He’s also worked with and earned the respect of many of his heroes and influences (Anson Funderburgh, Barrelhouse Chuck, Billy Flynn, Curtis Salgado, Jimmy Johnson, Lazy Lester, Ronnie Earl) as a member of the new school of blues/soul musician whose style is cemented in its Golden Era.
On Sunday, June 12, 2016, Welch and Ledbetter took part in a special tribute to the legendary Otis Rush at the 33rd Annual Chicago Blues Festival. The chemistry between these two was so instantaneous and such a natural fit, that it became readily apparent that an album together must soon follow. “Right Place, Right Time” is the result of this inspired collaboration, born out of a mutual love and respect for the classic blues era of the ‘50s and ‘60s and artists such as Otis Rush, Magic Sam, Elmore James and B.B. King. Accompanying Welch and Ledbetter is an all-star cast featuring pianist/organist Anthony Geraci, bassist Ronnie James Weber and drummer Marty Richards, along with special guests Laura Chavez on guitar and saxophonists Doug James and Sax Gordon. For Monster Mike Welch and Mike Ledbetter this album is not just about being in the right place at the right time, but knowing what to do with it when you find yourselves there.
“A 2017 Blues Blast Awards nominee for Contemporary Album, ‘Right Place, Right Time’ doesn’t miss a beat as it establishes the Welch-Ledbetter partnership at the pinnacle of the blues world today.” – Marty Gunther / Blues Blast Magazine
“Mike’s Welch and Ledbetter are both devotees of the great Otis Rush and Chicago’s West Side soul so it is no surprise that they complement each other to perfection on this superb set that celebrates the talent and creativity of both these artists and their appreciation and command of the music of the man and the genre.” – Mick Rainsford / Blues in Britain
“I think I just found my new favorite singer of all time. It was bound to happen. I listen to a LOT of music. Mike Ledbetter – where have you been all my life?” – Sue Menhart / Sound Waves Magazine
“This is a truly magnificent set, throw in guest appearances by top-rated sax players Sax Gordon and Doug James, and excellent intros, outros, solos and fills from the late Candye Kane’s guitarist Laura Chavez, and the set is unreservedly recommended. A joy from start to finish…” – Blues Matters
“Welch and Ledbetter, through a mix of covers and originals, definitely capture that West Side Soul feeling of Rush, Magic Sam, and so many of the Chicago greats… From beginning to end, this is a scorcher…” – Jim Hynes / Elmore Magazine
“On a disc that is all highlights, their finely honed talents fit together perfectly, creating an emotional impact that never wavers as you move from vocals to guitar and back… There is no reason to fear for the future of blues music – safe in the hands and voice of consummate artists like Welch and Ledbetter.” – Mark Thompson / Blues Music Magazine
“This is the best album I’ve heard in a long time. The two Mikes work off each other as if they have been playing together for decades. They are truly special and this album is equally truly special. They respect the traditions of the blues and take the genre to new and brighter highs. This is something that needs to be in everyone’s CD cabinet like many of the classic and seminal blues recordings over the decades.” – Steve Jones / Chicago Blues Guide