Get this crazy baby off my head!


Monster Mike Welch

Monster Mike Welch - Axe To Grind - 1997 - Tone-Cool

Mojo (UK) said that Mike Welch is "An ass-kicking, axe-picking bluesman with a wide range of mood and colour". That quote certainly describes "Axe To Grind". Some music "reviewers" have said that Mike is more preoccupied with copying the guitar style of artists like Albert Collins, SRV, Magic Sam, etc., rather than developing his own technique. However, there is no denying that this guy can really play, and despite comparisons with the aforementioned artists, this guy rocks, and there is some stupendous playing on "Axe To Grind". There has also been some minor criticisms of Mike Welch's vocals, which are not the strongest. But then, bluesmen were never noted for having great voices. Mike's guitar does the talking on this album. Duke Robillard called Mike "a phenomenal blues player.” “Rolling Stone said that Mike "…can rip the top of your head and cram your brains into your neck with his blues guitar work.” Buy Mike's "These Blues Are Mine" album and support great modern blues rock [All tracks @ 256 Kbps: File size = 96.3 Mb]


1 Did She Say - Lewis, Welch 3:31
2 Palm of Her Hand - Lewis, Welch 3:07
3 Axe to Grind - Lewis, Perriwinkle 4:59
4 The Elkmont Stomp - Lewis, Welch 2:36
5 Everytime You Lie - Lewis, Welch 3:11
6 Afraid of My Own Tears - Lewis, Welch 2:53
7 Take Your Best Shot - Welch 4:30
8 She Couldn't Know - Lewis, Welch 3:16
9 Time Stands Still - Lewis, Welch 3:14
10 That's My Sin - Lewis, Welch 4:33
11 My Emptiness - Welch 9:02
12 Cruise Control - Lewis, Welch 3:32


Monster Mike Welch - Lead Guitar, Vocals
George Leroy Lewis - Leslie Guitar, Rhythm Guitar
Jon Ross - Fender Bass, Upright Bass
Warren David Grant - Drums


Mike Welch is a Boston-area blues guitarist, vocalist, and songwriter who has released several albums on the Rounder Tone-Cool subsidiary. The fact that he's so good and so young is part of the reason why they called him "Monster." Welch got this name from actor/comedian/Blues Brother Dan Aykroyd, although the moniker was dropped following his second album. Welch's releases for Tone-Cool, which essentially launched his career as an international touring act, include a 1996 release, These Blues Are Mine, and his 1997 album Axe to Grind. He began his blues education with his father's record collection, and he picked up the guitar at age eight and tried to emulate the sounds he heard from recordings by Magic Sam, Earl Hooker and B.B. King. Welch also studied the rock & roll and blues-rock records of the Beatles and the Rolling Stones, but after hearing more of Albert King and other blues guitarists, he found his calling in life. When he was 11, his parents began driving him to blues jams around Boston. In the clubs, Welch learned from some of the greats of that scene, including Ronnie Earl and Luther "Guitar Jr." Johnson. Welch was invited to play at the opening of the first House of Blues club in Cambridge, Mass. in 1992. After co-owner Aykroyd heard him, his nickname changed from "Little Mikey" to "Monster Mike." A few months later, Welch began working with George Lewis, who ran the blues jams at House of Blues, to put together the Monster Mike Welch Band. Welch is accompanied on his records by Lewis on guitar, Jon Ross on bass and Warren Grant on drums. Welch's biting, stinging Albert King-style guitar playing has better-than-average backing from these three on his Tone-Cool releases. The crop of original songs he wrote on his first two albums for Tone-Cool demonstrate his prowess as a crafty blues songwriter. Whether he decides to go on to college or not, Welch has a bright future. All indications are that Welch, who got a flood of publicity because of his age, and was even quoted in People magazine -- "being an adolescent is more than enough blues for anyone to handle" -- should go on to a lengthy and varied career as a bluesman. He returned in 1998 with Catch Me. © Richard Skelly © 2012 Rovi Corporation. All Rights Reserved http://www.allmusic.com/artist/monster-mike-welch-p164290/biography


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. © http://www.monstermikewelch.com/Press.htm

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