Thursday, May 20, 2010

Shreveport-raised guitarist-singer Papa Mali leads the band 7 Walkers with Grateful Dead drummer Bill Kreutzmann

"Shreveport's own Mal Welbourne, aka Papa Mali, is currently leading the newest, hottest jam band on the planet, a group called 7 Walkers," says music maven Bruce Flett. "Bill Kreutzman on drums (Grateful Dead), George Porter Jr on bass (Meters, Neville Bros). They are Sold Out everywhere, coast to coast. What a rhythm section. Papa Mali is the da' main man!"

Papa Mali, raised as Malcolm Welbourne in Shreveport during the 60's, is today hailed as "a musical shaman." On his recent solo album Do Your Thing (Fog City) Welbourne gives credit for some of his background to the late Shreveport bluesman John Campbell.

Papa Mali was one of the founders of the Shreveport-born reggae band the Killer Bees. As a solo performer he has often returned to Shreveport to play the Mudbug Fest. Otherwise he treks across the world playing festivals and slips home to Austin for all-night raves.

While being raised in Shreveport, Mali had a lot of New Orleans in his life. The Meters and the Wild Tchoupitoulas touched him as a young listener. Afterwards, "Along with Jimi Hendrix, Leo Nocentelli was my hero."

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