Wolfgang Pfoser-Almer and Stefan Wolner
Bentonville, Oxford, Diagonale, Asbury Park, Crossing Europe, Doc’n’Roll
A portrait of a bluesman who didn’t emerge on the scene until his 80s.
Leo “Bud” Welch released his debut in 2014, at the age of 81, and became a sensation, playing shows all over the US, Europe, and Africa. Pfoser-Almer and Wolner explore the story behind this late-in-life musical career with this simple, if somewhat overlong, profile of the man and his life in small town Bruce MS. They follow Welch, his manager, Vencie Varnado, and other collaborators as the musician enjoys the realization of his dream of being a professional musician while maintaining a relatively normal life in Bruce and coping with the realities of his advanced age. Of particular note is Welch’s ability to successfully straddle the worlds of gospel and blues – the music of God and the Devil, respectively, as explored here. The good-natured Welch and his unlikely story have a certain appeal, but the doc remains most suited to music fans rather than the general viewer.