Papa Mali

Papa Mali

 Austin, Texas, USA

Papa Mali’s unique sound creates a fresh resurrection of the swampy and bluesy sounds of Papa Mali’s youth. Growing up in Louisiana and living in Austin for the past 20 years, Papa Mali’s music has become an amalgamation of two of the most musically diverse hot spots in the country.


Bandleader MALCOLM WELBOURNE's personification "PAPA MALI" is a salute to his home territory of north Louisiana. Malcolm was born in Mississippi and raised in Shreveport, where absorbing the blues along Bayou Pierre was just as much a matter of course as chasing the mosquito fogging truck with friends -- and equally intoxicating. He spent his summers with grandparents in New Orleans digging that city's rhythm (and blues) and after hearing the Wild Tchoupitoulas and the Meters on the streets of New Orleans at age eleven, he developed an early and ongoing attachment to Crescent City funk. It was Burning Spear's band that gave Malcolm the nickname "Papa Mali" years ago while touring with Spear and the Killer Bees.

With two critically aclaimed CD's, Thunder Chicken and Do Your Thing (both produced by Dan Prothero and released on San Francisco boutique label, Fog City Records - the same team that introduced the world to Galactic, Mofro and Greyboy Allstars keyboard wiz, Robert Walters) Papa Mali has been gaining a lot of steam. Last year he toured with such musical legends as B.B. King and Widespread Panic. He has also been featured in Guitar Player Magazine, Blues Revue and recently got a 6 page feature article in Hittin' The Note Magazine

Although Papa Mali is essentially a solo artist, slide guitarist, singer/songwriter and acclaimed producer , he is usually seen in the company of some of the funkiest and greasiest musicians on the planet. Recent collaborations include Cyril Neville (Neville Bros) , Big Chief Monk Boudereaux of the Golden Eagles, Anders Osborne, Omar Dykes(of Howlers fame), Jesse Mae Hemphill, Lavelle White, Ruthie Foster, Kevin Russell(Gourds) and too many more to name.


Thunder Chicken (Fog City Records, 2004)
Do Your Thing (Fog City Records, 2006)