Smokestack Lightnin' Home Page -- The Blues Profile Page

Monster Mike WelchMonster Mike Welch is one of the East Coast's best-loved Blues guitarists and, at 28 years old, already a fifteen-year veteran of the international Blues scene.

Mike burst onto the Blues scene at the age of thirteen, when he was publicly given the nickname "Monster Mike" by Blues Brother Dan Aykroyd at the opening of the first House of Blues club. VizzTone's Bob Margolin met Mike that night, and was impressed that Mike asked to be shown some of the deepest nuances of Muddy Waters' guitar playing. By the time he released his first CD three years later(These Blues Are Mine / Tone-Cool), he had aleady played with blues legends like Junior Wells, James Cotton, and Johnny Copeland, and won the 1995 Boston Music Award for Best Blues Act. The rest of the 90's found Mike touring North America and Europe, and featured in USA Today, People, Entertainment Tonight, CNN, and NPR.

Mike's varied career has seen him lauded as a teen virtuoso, valued as a supportive sideman, and respected as a maturing Blues artist. Recent years have found Mike dividing his time between guest stints (on CDs by Sugar Ray and the Bluetones, Nick Moss, Johnny Winter and more) and his own work in the European Blues scene. Just Like It Is finds Mike returning to the North American blues market stronger than ever, with his trademark biting guitar and clear, soulful voice delivering eleven new originals and two covers. Mike is joined on his new CD by Anthony Geraci on piano, Brad Hallen on bass, and Mark Teixeira on drums.