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Kevin Welch

Beneath My Wheels – 1999 (Dead Reckoning)

Reviewed by Brian Baker

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CDs by Kevin Welch

Long before Kevin Welch was a recording artist, he was supplying Nashville with a steady diet of great material as a songwriter. Welch's recorded output has been steady since his self-titled debut in 1990. His work has consistently shown his depth as a skillful songwriter, with the best of his work occurring since he helped form Dead Reckoning with Mike Henderson, Kieran Kane, Tammy Rogers, Harry Stinson and Fats Kaplin in 1995.

Welch's latest - his first in four years - is very much in the vein of his Dead Reckoning debut, "Life Down Here on Earth," in that he works within a single context, but in varying styles. Although the whole thing could be loosely called country, Welch is a master of application and finds every opportunity to brilliantly weave in pockets of folk, rock, gospel, blues and soul.

From the raucous gospel blues opener "Everybody's Gotta Walk," to the gentle folk of "Fold Your Wings," to the throbbing blues of "Faith Comes Later," Welch has forged a set of songs that simultaneously define and defy traditional Nashville. Most amazing is the sonic consistency of the disc, recorded over a long stretch of time and in a number of locales with different sets of musicians. It all stands as potent proof of Kevin Welch's artistic vision that he can work across genres, time and contributors to create a seamless and satisfying album.