Monster Mike Welch: Nothing But Time Review

Gulf Coast Records has welcomed blues guitar extraordinaire Monster Mike Welch into its ranks with the recently released Nothing But Time, his debut album under the label.  

The journey to the record was marked by Welch’s long battle with Covid, a struggle lasting over a year and a half. Overcoming these challenges, Welch, an acclaimed veteran of the American blues scene, found renewed inspiration and support from Kid Andersen and Mike Zito, propelling him to record the album. 

Nothing But Time doesn’t try to reinvent the blues wheel. Instead, it offers a comfortable embrace of classic blues underscored by subtle rock elements. While innovation in the realm of music is always welcome — Welch’s decision to anchor the album in familiar sonic landscapes holds its merits. At times, all you need is a comforting, familiar set of songs that transports you back to the golden era of blues music.  

With that said, the album’s production/mixing style is contrastingly clean and modern, which adds a fresh and contemporary polish to the record’s retro charm.  

The album kicks off with “Walking To You Baby,” a mid-paced groove that lets Welch’s skills shine from the very start. With the huge-sounding horns adding flair and spice, Welch’s vocals smoothly ride over the music while his guitar slices through with both precision and taste. 

Next, Welch takes on Robert Johnson’s “If I Had Possession Over Judgment Day” with a respectful yet personal touch, creating a rewarding, if rather safe, rendition, while the funky title track bursts with energy, featuring memorable horn arrangements, inspired vocals and more of Welch’s sharp leads. There’s also a spirited shuffle on offer with “Losing Every Battle”, an incisive and fun outing with loads of great rhythm work at play.  

The momentum is carried forward with the textbook 12-bar blues “Hard To Get Along With”, notable for its engaging vocals and another searing lead break, and “Jump For Joy”, an uptempo number that injects another layer of vivacity to the proceedings. Yet, it’s the rendition of Buddy Guy’s “Ten Years Ago” that emerges as the album’s finest moment. A scorching slow blues number, it marries Welch’s big soaring vocals with a fantastic lead work that is simply the best on the album.  

However, the album’s extended tracklist, comprising 14 pieces, occasionally results in slightly weaker tracks as well. Some listeners might find certain songs, namely “I Me Mine” “Offswitch Blues” and “Afraid Of My Own Tears,” having moments where they seem to lose a bit of steam, potentially causing them to waste some of their impact. With that said, these are relatively minor flaws in the grand scheme of the album’s strengths and don’t affect much the listening experience.  

In short, if you are a fan of classic blues in the vein of Albert King, Robert Jonhson, Buddy Guy and B.B. King, do not look any further for your treat.  Nothing But Time delivers a strong set drenched in vintage blues allure with a subtle modern twist. It is also a vehicle for Welch’s vocal and guitar chops, which are nothing short of exceptional.  

The Review: 8/10

Can’t Miss Tracks

– Walking To You Baby
– I’ve Got Nothing But Time
– Losing Every Battle
– Hard To Get Along With

The Big Hit

– Ten Years Ago

Buy the album: Amazon

Fidel Beserra

Fidel Beserra is a professional translator and an occasional writer. As one would expect, he's also an enthusiastic lover of everything music-related.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Bulk Email Sender