Ernie Welch started playing banjo late at the age of 21 taking lessons from Joe Oser, Rual Yarbrough and Bela Fleck. His early musical influences were the Beatles, The Rolling Stones, and Led Zeppelin. His Bluegrass influences were the New Grass Revival, The Seldom Seen, The Country Gentleman, The Nashville Bluegrass Band, and Hot Rize. While continuing to play with the Smokehouse Band, Ernie released two singles: “Ramblin Man” and “Who Have You Got To Lose” both produced by Johnny Sandlin, the original producer of the Allman Brothers on his Duct Tape Label. These releases charted in Cashbox and Billboard magazines. With “Ramblin Man” Ernie reached the # 3 position in the country on Cashbox for an Independent Artist. On keeping a band together for 29 years, Ernie is quoted as saying “I’m not a manager but I have developed good negotiating skills”. Ernie handles some of the songwriting duties and wrote “Walking After Midnight Over You” for the “20 Years Of Feedback” CD.