Singer-songwriter and Texas Music Hall-of-Famer Kevin Welch will perform a series of concerts in the Grand Valley this week, along with two fellow musicians - son Dustin Welch and Tony Rosario of Palisade. They'll perform seven shows - featuring Americana, country, blues, and rhythm and blues - at a variety of venues starting Friday, Aug. 3.On top of their regular performances, a benefit concert to raise funds for a music nonprofit, "SoldierSongs and Voices," will take place Saturday, August 11, at Palisade Brewing Company. Tickets are $20. The evening will begin with a reception and a barbecue dinner at 5 p.m., followed by an opening act at 6 p.m. with Miss Emily. Rosario's band - The Hillbilly Healers, Stray Grass, local musician Bud Frisinger and Iraqi war veteran Jared Midgley and his son Davin will also perform.Midgley sought out SoldierSongs for guitar lessons because he wanted to play music with his son, Rosario said."They're now playing together," Rosario added. "Davin himself is worth the price of admission. He's a 9-year-old guitar whiz."
The Welches are between gigs in Telluride and Montana, so they decided to hang out with Rosario for a couple weeks and perform in Palisade and Grand Junction."It's kind of like hanging out in the living room with one of the best songwriters on the planet," Rosario said of Kevin Welch.Rosario also said he "about flipped" when the Welches first called him to join in their performances."Kevin is renowned and a legendary songwriter," Rosario said. "Kevin and Dustin are fabulous." Kevin Welch, along with Kieran Kane and Fat Kaplin, was nominated for a Grammy award for Duo/Group of the year in both 2007 and 2008. Rosario first became familiar with Kevin Welch years ago when they both lived and worked in Nashville. He re-connected with Welch and met his son Dustin, also a musician, when the father-son duo performed in Grand Junction a year ago.It turns out that Dustin Welch and Rosario have more in common than music. While in Colorado last year, Welch contacted Rosario after learning about SoldierSongs - a nonprofit foundation Rosario formed to provide free music lessons and instruments to military veterans.In Texas, Dustin founded a similar organization - Voices of a Grateful Nation - where volunteers not only give free music lessons, but teach song-writing as well. The two groups have since merged their two organizations into one - "SoldierSongs and Voices." "Music has such an impact on these folks (veterans)," Rosario said. "We're losing more soldiers to suicide than combat. We lose one soldier to suicide every day. It's unconscionable. Music has a profound impact on those with traumatic brain injuries."