Kevin Welch

Dust Devil (Dead Reckoning)

Texas Platters

Largely low-key musically over the past decade since moving to Texas and releasing 2010's A Patch of Blue Sky, Kevin Welch doubled down this year with 2-CD retrospective The Dead Reckoning Years and now a platter of new tunes. The career folkie, Southern California native, Oklahoma son, and Nashville expat, 63, retains a rough, distinctive beauty in an accompanying career of songcraft, the lived-in grit to his vocals delivering a beautifully mellow sound and perspective. Peers like Rodney Crowell and John Hiatt echo in his songs, which have influenced rising stars like fellow Okie John Fullbright. Opener "Blue Lonesome," a biting, biblical ballad; the low-growled and defiant "A Flower"; and the dark, jazzy lope of the evocative "High Heeled Shoes" pool together the best of the Southwest. Narratives such as "The Girl in the Seashell," "Dandelion Girl," and the martial kick of "Brother John" strike true to Welch's keen sense of character and ability to capture a full life in a few bars. He's immaculate through to the closing title track, demonstrating a restless power and vulnerability in the weary drawl of his chorus: "All I ever wanted was to sit along some hallowed ground/ I'm an old dust devil, waiting on the wind to die down."

***.5

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More Kevin Welch
Off the Record
Off the Record
Music News

Austin Powell, Nov. 26, 2010

Texas Platters
Kevin Welch
A Patch of Blue Sky (Record Review)

Jim Caligiuri, June 25, 2010

More Music Reviews
Texas Platters
Gurf Morlix
Impossible Blue (Record Review)

Doug Freeman, March 22, 2019

Texas Platters
Hayes Carll
What It Is (Record Review)

Doug Freeman, March 22, 2019

More by Doug Freeman
Texas Platters
Warm Sugar
Warm Sugar (Record Review)

March 22, 2019

SXSW Music Review: From the Hills With Love
SXSW Music Review: From the Hills With Love
Israel Nash’s answer to Luck Reunion and Revival Experience

March 18, 2019

KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Kevin Welch

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Updates for SXSW 2019

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle