Born in Long Beach, California on August 17th 1955 and traveled his little ass off till he was 7 until his family settled in Oklahoma.
Made it through high school at Midwest City High, and one semester of music school at Central State, Edmond, Oklahoma. He then joined a bluegrass band, dropped out of school and hit the road. Met John Hadley, real songwriter for Tree International, who also taught art at the University of Oklahoma (OU) in Norman. Hadley was immediately critical of his guitar playing, which made him try harder just to get even.
Traveled a honkytonk circuit for 5 years in a van and a truck named Phyllis in a band called New Rodeo and then another band called Blue Rose Café all the while starting thinking there might be another way to live...
Met Jennifer Patten, got married, moved to Nashville like Hadley said they should, started writing for Tree International. Wrote for 10 years, got some cuts, started earning a living. Had 3 kids, Dustin, Savannah, and Ada. Jennifer and Kevin split up but still stayed good friends. The 3 kids got to 'still have a Mom-and-a-Dad'.
Steve Earle made Guitar Town, and then Steve, Don Schlitz, Mark Germino and some other madmen suggested Kevin get a record deal. Paul Worley went over to Warner Bros. and got Kevin signed. Made 2 records, 'Kevin Welch' in 1990 and 'Western Beat' in 1992. Warner let Kevin do whatever he wanted. Then they let him out of the deal to be nice, and because they had already spent a fortune on him they were never ever ever gonna earn back.
Kieran Kane, Harry Stinson, Mike Henderson, Tammy Rogers, and Kevin drank so much vodka one night that they started their own label, Dead Reckoning Records. This was around 1994 or 95. They released 21 records over the next 7 years, toured individually and also together as a collective called A Night Of Reckoning (with Fats Kaplin and Allison Prestwood) through the U.S, U.K, Ireland, Europe, and Canada. They were really really good together, but then they all got tired and went home.... Except for Kevin. One evening while shaving in a broken mirror over the dishwasher's sink in the freezing kitchen of a pub somewhere very far from home, he suddenly realized he was humming the tune to 'There's No Business Like Show Business.' He still didn't stop.
Kevin and Kieran started traveling together with a 2-man show - 2 guitars, 2 voices and a bottle of Bushmills, or sometimes Jameson. They made a live record in Melbourne, Australia, called '11/12/13' and kept on with it because it was so much fun and actually pretty good, too. They went all over the place.
In the years 2000 and 2001, Kevin completed a record with his friends from Denmark, who everybody just calls The Danes. Kevin thinks it's real damn good.
Kevin, Kieran and Fats made a three-man record with no bass or drums, along with a companion record with their friend David Francey, the Scottish/Canadian ass-kicking poet and singer. Toured all over the place some more.
Kane Welch Kaplin made two more records, Lost John Dean, which bumped Bruce Springsteen out of number one, and Kane Welch Kaplin, which made it to number three but could not budge Steve Earle or Alison Krause/Robert Plant. Kane Welch Kaplin were nominated for Duo/Group of the year in 2007 and again in 2008. They had a peaceful feeling when they lost to the likes of Alison and Robert. What the hell.
Recorded his first Texas-based record with Texas-based players, for the label his friend Jimmy LaFave started, Music Road Records. Son Dustin and daughter Savannah joined the cast. Called it A Patch Of Blue Sky.
Toured and lived and wrote, through good days and bad, welcomed his beautiful grandson Charlie to the world, born in the little cabin across the way.
Married his Australian sweetheart Sarah, and her kids. Currently bouncing back and forth trying to be everywhere at once. Stay tuned for more, coming soon…..
Kevin now resides in a log cabin in some woods outside of Austin, Texas, is currently working on a retrospective album of the Dead Reckoning years, in addition to an album of new music.