At the Waters Edge
Bill Welch, from Rochester, NY, is an original songwriter- a gifted musician with a soulful voice and an enormous heart. Over the last several years he has surrounded himself with experienced musicians who contribute diverse talents and collectively mold his music into a unique and evolving style. Categorizing the group is challenging, but common threads in Bill's lyrics are emphases on humility, compassion, and gratitude for the people in our lives. Bill feels that the opportunity to compose and sing these songs is a gift from God. The Bill Welch Band has six members: Bill Welch - lead vocals, keyboard, and guitar Gene Rogalski - electric guitar, backing vocals Fred Welch - drums Tony Padilla - latin percussion Mike Keefe - electric bass, backing vocals Bill Tiberio - saxophone, clarinet, and backing vocals On this debut CD, At the Water's Edge, the band is also blessed with the presence of additional musicians: The Spiritus Gospel Choir is on two tracks, and a Fairport, NY-based string section is on four tracks. Bill has been fortunate enough to be called upon to open concerts for Edwin McCain, Dave Koz, Patty Larkin, and the Subdudes. A recent highlight for the band involved a 1999 collaboration with Lou Gramm of Foreigner, in which thousands of dollars was raised for Dimitri House, a Rochester homeless shelter and food supplier for the poor. Charity performances are central to the band's mission. All six band members are sincerely committed to outreach, particularly in the inner city, and one of the goals of the group is share the music with everyone with a message of inclusion. The Bill Welch Band has somewhat of a 'two-pronged' mission. They've played in Rochester-area clubs and outdoor music festivals as well as in church-sponsored events, many of these performances as benefits for the poor. Some of the tunes are wrapped around spiritual themes and would be considered Contemporary Christian; others are heartfelt expressions of friendship, hope, love, and everyday living. The musical styles are blended influences of gospel, rock, jazz, folk, pop, latin, and R 'n B, and regardless of topic, the messages are positive. Instrumental improvisation and sensitive ensemble musicianship are hallmarks of the group's dynamic sound. There is a sincerity about Bill's writing and a spirited soulfulness in his singing that seems to move people. Personal connections to certain songs have been shared by many who have heard live shows or the CD. One seventh of any profit generated from the sales will be donated to charity, (kind of like a '7th' member). The Bill Welch Band is not interested in making lots of money- they're interested in getting the music out to people, making connections with a positive message, and playing out in public as much as possible.