Perry Welsh, a singer and harmonica player, was born and raised in Cedar Rapids and first traveled to San Francisco in 1967. He came back to Iowa and then went back out to the Bay Area in ’69, where he hooked up with Elvin Bishop, performing with him for 5 years. He recorded on Elvin’s first two albums, Feel It and Rock My Soul, along with fellow Iowa Blues Hall of Fame inductee, Stephen Miller.
He also worked with The Pointer Sisters and with his own band, Perry & the Pumpers, backing up traveling Blues legends like Big Joe Turner and Albert Collins.
He returned to Iowa and joined a reformed Linn County Band in 1974 for two years, along with Stephen Miller, Johnny “Ace” Acerno (who currently plays with Cathy Lemons in San Francisco), and Ron DeWitte, who is also a member of the Iowa Blues Hall of Fame.
He has since settled in the Nashville, Tennessee area, where his band, Perry Welsh & the Mighty Johnsons recorded the album, She’s Got That Stuff. They also recorded a track for a live compilation from the Bourbon Street Blues & Boogie Bar there, and had a track on the compilation, A Fifth of Good Whiskey Blues – Blues From Tennessee, Vol. 5. The band was also nominated for a Nammy for Best Band in Nashville.