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A Debut Album At 81 Years Old

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The new year is a time of new beginnings, new resolutions, new projects and new directions. So it's a perfectly appropriate time of year for Leo Welch, at the age of 81, to put out his very first album.

Welch has been playing gospel and blues around the tiny town of Bruce, Miss., for decades. He was a local standout unknown to the outside world — until he called up an Oxford-based record label, went in for an audition, and signed a record deal on the spot. The album is called Saboulga Voices, and Leo Welch spoke about it with NPR's Rachel Martin. Hear their conversation at the audio link.

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