Kevin Welch A Patch of Blue Sky
Kevin Welch made his name as a progressive country artist in the ‘90s, gradually evolving beyond the alt-country pigeonhole over the years, both on his own and as a member of Americana trio Kane Welch Kaplin. On his sixth solo album -- and his first since he started working with the aforementioned threesome -- you'd be hard-pressed to find traces of Welch's country background. Much of the album features sparse arrangements, focuses on Welch's own acoustic guitar patterns, and when the mournful "New Widow's Dream" comes rolling out amid a particularly spare setting, Welch's dusty voice is given plenty of room to communicate the subtleties of the song. "These days are filled with beauty and sadness" sings Welch on the achingly bittersweet "That's How It Feels," and that indeed feels like the overriding sentiment of A Patch of Blue Sky.