I first saw Kevin Welch mentioned in a footnote in a book on Route 66...well, perhaps the bibliography. One of his early songs was called the Mother Road, about Route 66 of course. I don't think he does it live anymore. The only live version I could find on youtube was from 1990. Good LORD just look at that sweet beautiful boy. This would have been about when we first saw him in Chicago a time or two. Both times at Schuba's, one time he had Kieran playing with him as well. Maybe it was more than twice...it starts to blur together....
He sings The Mother Road at about 3:30
A few years after this we moved down here to Champaign...might have gone up to see him in Chicago from here a time or two...can't remember anymore. Then Ernie read about Dead Reckoning starting up, a record company owned by the musicians----Kevin, Kieran Kane, Mike Henderson, Harry Stinson, and Tammy Rogers. It was at a point when that was completely innovative and exciting...it was kind of golden times. They put out solo albums as well as some albums together....in doing so they put out some absolutely incredible music. They played here in town at Periscope and I got to cook dinner for them all. We didn't have kids so we were free to go see them in Chicago and Indy and Nashville. Different times.
In the long run they realized why they didn't want to run a record company and it petered out. Kevin and Kieran did a tour of Australia together and then joined up with Fats to tour and record as Kane Welch Kaplin. We had the boys and life got complicated between cancer and alzheimer's etc. It was five years ago this spring that we managed to get up to Fitzgerald's to see them. Man...they just brought us to life. That's how it felt....as though we just were glowing inside.
Driving back home on 57 on Sunday morning we talked and rambled. Later, when we found out Ernie's cancer had returned we were devastated of course. It had seemed unthinkable even though I worried about it. We decided we had to live in the moment. And honestly, our 20th anniversary was coming up and all I could think of at that point was that we might not have a 25th anniversary and so we needed to celebrate, and celebrate what made us feel so alive.
I tried contacting their booking person but she kept ignoring me. Don't forget though that I AM Leo's mother however and when my mind is made up..... So I eventually just emailed Kieran and Kevin directly and they said of course they'd do it. I don't think they really wanted to but they did. And they brought us enormous joy. Absolutely enormous joy....they made us feel fully alive and as though we could handle what was approaching...which was my sister's death, my mother's steep decline and Ernie's cancer.
They strengthened us. And here we are today, getting ready to celebrate our 25th anniversary with 30 some house concerts under our belt. In the mean time Kevin has relocated to Austin from Nashville, played a million shows, started giving songwriting workshops at his home in Austin, released a wonderful album called A Patch of Blue Sky, produced some great stuff and now is coming back to our house this Sunday afternoon.
We've been trying to get on his schedule for the last several years so when this opened up, even though it's just a week before Tom Mason, we had to say "yes, yes, yes!" It's a Sunday afternoon show which I think will be lovely. Despite some heartbreaking songs, Kevin has a rather sunny aura around him that will suit a Sunday afternoon just right. I'm thinking of making some chicken curry and some vegetable curry....we'll potluck at 2:00 for Sunday dinner and Kevin will play around 3:30. Please pay up ahead of time if possible, just PayPal your donation of $20 (all $ goes to Kevin) to us at thesandwichlife via gmail. Let me know if you have questions.
In the Dead Reckoning years:
as part of Kane Welch Kaplin:
from his most recent album: