I first saw Leo Bud Welch in Clarkdale Mississippi one night playing in a juke joint called RED’s Place. The music met me at the door. It was a happy throbbing music, raw and earthy but easy for him to do and it was loud . I was shocked and excited at the sound of it .I asked the door man who in the hell is that ? He said thats Leo gimme five dollar cover charge.It was worth every cent. I had a great time listening to Mr.Welch.
At the King Biscuit festival that year this year my band, The ChickenBone Reunion band was scheduled to play the Lockwood Stackhouse stage that Saturday night. But earlier that day one of the festival organizers Miss Carla Robinson, asked me would I be willing to play in Mr.Leo Bud Welch place if he didn’t feel like playing that evening he was having some health issues . I was surprised that she would ask me that. She didn’t know how much respect I had for the man and style of work. So I told her sure I will if he don’t feel like it. She introduced me to his manager who took me to an RV.
Inside that RV there he was Mr. Leo he looked the same as he had looked in that club that night except this time we had on an oxygen mask he was talking about his guitar won't tune right he just could not get the sound from his guitar that he wanted. He wanted to play, but his guitar wouldn’t tune right, His manager handed him two different guitars and Mr Leo fiddle with them fiddling with the tuners finally I told him that I would be willing to do it for him, I told him I’ll go out there and play for you if you don’t feel like it or if the Guitar won’t tune right. He said. “ Well go ahead because its not gone tune right. I said but I want to play your guitar the one with your name on it.. He said, It won’t tune right . I told him I was from Alabama I know how to make it do , I’ll make it do what you do. He smiled and said go ahead.
When I got on stage and plug the guitar in understood what he was talking about. It had a different feel about it. Maybe it was the strings that made it feel odd or the intonation .It had a wicked feel to it. I tried to get comfortable with it during sound checkl wasn’t able to. Carla Robinson ( MsBiscuithead) offered me a kick drum and a high hat to make up my one-man show. So that’s what I did. I took Leo’s hot pink guitar with his name on it went out on that stage and the whole time I could feel the Blues coming from those instruments. I was honored to meet and play for Mr. Welch. Whatever it is that he brought to the music came out in his instrument, you could feel it in his guitar. God bless Mr. Welch family and many fans. I appreciate anything he stood for and represented. Thank GOD for his recordings , Leo’s kind of Blues will never die.