Online catalogue / Wolfgang Pfoser-Almer / Stefan Wolner :

Late Blossom Blues
Late Blossom Blues
AT / 2016
89 min.

Heavy gait, bent posture, shortness of breath - an old man, wrinkled and slow. But as soon as he hits the strings of his pink guitar and starts singing with the Blue Notes, unforeseen energies are revealed behind the meanwhile 85-year old and weathered facade of Leo "Bud" Welch - a verve inevitably transferred to his listeners. Welch lives life for and through music, the Blues and Gospel, the Lord and the Devil. At an early age he was already closely wedded to his instrument, but he only reached an audience and achieved success beyond his hometown at 82 - and with the help of his enthusiastic manager. His first two studio albums were released, followed by tours across America, concerts in Europe and his first airplane flight.

The achievement of Late Blossom Blues is twofold. On the one hand the film provides an empathetic, honest portrait of this long misunderstood, eccentric genius as he circulates between smoky clubs, doctors´ offices and church services. On the other hand, it interweaves his unique character with the musical world and tradition to which he belongs. Welcome to Mississippi and the South, where the roots of the Blues are to be found – cotton fields, rotting wooden houses, empty streets, a diner, a village, church, a funky Blues joint. The documentary journey passes through rural areas beyond big dazzling cities. But America is also to be found here, where the promise of happiness and above all the social disparities, the dark side of the land of the free, are reflected in the imagery, the music and narratives: a belated success story, a Gulf War veteran - blues existences shaped by poverty, quarrels and drudgery. The vitality, the will to survive and to be alive is all the more amazing, not just on the part of the musician, but also as integral to the whole scene: "Tradition is not the keeping of the ash but the passing on of the flame." (Thomas More) (Michelle Koch)

Translation: Eve Heller

When 81 year-old Leo "Bud" Welch from the Mississippi backwoods released his debut record in 2014, it took the Blues world by surprise: Where has this guy been the last 60 years? Why has nobody ever heard of him before?
When he started playing 10-15 shows every month all over North America and even in Europe and Africa, more questions arised: How is this possible for a guy his age? Who makes all this happen?
Answers are given in Late Blossom Blues, a feature-length documentary about Leo "Bud" Welch and his very late rise to fame. It´s the quintessential Blues story - a story about poverty and exploitation, about The Lord & The Devil, and of course a story about life that reminds us that it´s never too late to live your dream.
Late Blossom Blues follows Leo and his ex-soldier manager as they balance the tight rope between business and geriatrics, between jetlag and soundcheck. It also paints a heartwarming portrait of Leo´s small hometown Bruce, MS where Leo´s daily life is still untouched by his late global popularity.
Documenting the most exciting times in the life of one of the last real Bluesmen, Late Blossom Blues is a film of historic dimension for all music-lovers - a moving account of a hard-working man, who, despite all the adversaries, never wavered from his passion and waited more than 70 years to finally live his dream. (production note)

A film by:
- Wolfgang Pfoser-Almer
- Stefan Wolner

- Documentary

original language:
- german/english

Available Prints:
- DCP 2K


rental conditions

more on Austrian Independent Film & Video Database:
- Credits
- Festival placements
- Texte und Bilder
- Biographie: Wolfgang Pfoser-Almer
- Biographie: Stefan Wolner