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PAPA MALI BIO
Born Malcolm Helm Welbourne in Vicksburg, MS, Malcolm then moved to Clearwater, FL and on to Shreveport, LA at the age of 3. This was so his mother could be closer to her parents and family, who lived in New Orleans - Malcolm lived in Shreveport, on Bayou Pierre for 14 years and visited his family in New Orleans every chance he got, which was often. While spending time in New Orleans, Malcolm developed an early attachment to Crescent City funk, listening to artists such as the Wild Tchoupitoulas and
PAPA MALI IS BORN:
Several live music experiences including the likes of the Allman Brothers Band, Dr. John and hearing Jimi Hendrix recordings, inspired Malcolm to pick up the guitar. After being introduced to his teacher/mentor John Campbell (A Delta Blues legend), he embarked on a journey that included several projects and musical styles (Funk, Soul, Gospel, Blues, Reggae, Swamp Boogie, Rock and beyond). By the time he was 17, he was playing professionally and he has been devoted to music on many levels since. Malcolm then returned to Shreveport and formed the internationally renowned band, The Killer Bees.
It was during this time that he received his nickname “Papa Mali” from Burning Spear while on tour with the band.
NEW ORLEANS ROOTS AND LOUISIANA HERITAGE:
Anybody who belonged to Papa’s inner circle knew that swampy funk and delta blues had always been his passion and his inspiration for a life in music. “It was a natural move for me to write the songs that would become Thunder Chicken (Fog City, 2000), a critically-acclaimed return to the music of my native Louisiana. It was as if I had never left... and it felt good to be home!” Although Papa Mali is a solo artist, (also touring in duo, trio and full band settings) he is also a critically-acclaimed producer working with Lavelle White, Ruthie Foster, and Omar and the Howlers. If you’re ever lucky enough to sample some of his culinary delights, you will see that the bayou runs thick in his veins and still influences every aspect of his life.
LATEST IN A LONG JOURNEY:
Papa Mali’s long awaited second album, slated for release in Fall of 2006 on Fog City Records, will feature Big Chief Monk Boudreaux of the Golden Eagles, Henry Butler, Kirk Joseph, Victoria Williams and Chuck Prophet.
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