Kevin Welch and Monte Montgomery 

Singer-songwriters Kevin Welch and Monte Montgomery have been making records for two decades and living the troubadour life even longer. Welch's flair lies in canny writing, with a song catalog that stretches back to the '80s, when he spent his days in a Nashville publishing house writing for Don Williams, Patty Loveless and Reba McEntire. He released six solo albums, plus three more with the rhythm-section-less songwriter trio Kane Welch Kaplan. Welch is on tour supporting his first solo disc in eight years, A Patch of Blue Sky. It turns his parched baritone toward poignant country-folk, addressing self-doubt and acceptance. Montgomery's gift is his extraordinary guitar playing, though he's also a fine songwriter. He's known for using the dynamics of sweet, delicate acoustic leads against thick-bodied crunch to power his electric blues and folk songs, with compression and dashes of effects wringing a rich sound from his instrument.

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