Capping a fascinating, freewheeling multi-decade musical journey that’s found him performing, recording and innovating with everything from reggae/dub and gospel to Louisiana blues/roots and “swampadelic” rock with members of the Grateful Dead and The Meters, Papa Mali – affectionately borrowing an hypnotic mantra and song title from David Crosby – declares Music Is Love on his 429 Records debut. For the multi-faceted Shreveport raised, New Orleans based singer, songwriter and guitarist, his third solo album (following the critically acclaimed Thunder Chicken and Do Your Thing) is a joyfully eclectic stroll through the influential, sometimes conflicting but always inspiring musical neighborhoods of his youth.
Growing up in Shreveport and hanging regularly with extended family in his now adopted hometown of New Orleans, Papa Mali soaked in the infectious grooves of Dr. John and Crescent City R&B icons such as The Meters, Lee Dorsey, Fats Domino and Johnny Adams. But no late 60’s-early 70s musical childhood would be complete without the impassioned West Coast psychedelic power of The Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, Crosby, Stills & Nash, Joni Mitchell Jimi Hendrix - legends whose sounds infused the young musician (born Malcolm Welbourne in Vicksburg Mississippi) and inspired his own ever deepening artistry. With a soulful social consciousness that speaks clearly in the modern era, Music Is Love marks the first time that Papa Mali has so artfully bridged that seemingly irreconcilable gap between his core indigenous stripped down, swampy Southern soul, blues and traditional gospel soundand his lifelong longing for the folksy and edgy West Coast transcendence.
Papa Mali's website: papamalimusic.com