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|Photo credit: Dieter Rosenbaum|
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Michelle Malone delivers the fierce spirit that gets you through the darkest stretches of night, pulling you up out of bed into dawn’s first pulsing glow. Seated at a vivid green kitchen table, black coffee steaming in your mug, Malone plays for you on a beat up acoustic guitar, her voice ringing clear and rich over the mellowed strings. You know you’ve come home and you know this time, you never want to leave.
"raucous and jubilant - somewhere between Lucinda Williams and Shelby Lynne comes Malone alternating between soulful ballads and rowdy, riffy blasters." - ROLLING STONE
The songs on Malone’s 11th studio album, Day 2, were written at her own green kitchen table, coffee mug in hand, every morning for nearly a year. She even wrote them on an old Alvarez acoustic guitar that never gets played out on gigs, that never even leaves the house. The intimacy of this writing ritual provided the setting for Malone to venture into a songwriter’s most vulnerable territory, the shadowy recesses of envy, regrets, and straight up admissions of failure. Now here’s Malone’s hat trick, in realizing “it’s too damn bad I can’t be anyone but myself,” she redeems every false move, every false start, every horrible, no good very bad day. Even better, she makes it sound like the best wild night out you’ve ever had and then pushes it further, breaking right on through into Day 2.
“When there’s nothing left to hold on to, got to break down to break through,” she croons in “Day 2,” the album’s title track. This album is the soundtrack of a woman’s heart finally cracking open, open so wide that any light hidden by the sutures of past heartbreaks finally shines through and illuminates the present. Grammy Nominee Shawn Mullins, producer of Day 2 and long time friend of Malone, struck the perfect balance of grit and gossamer, making the record sound simultaneously raucous and ethereal.
Shawn took note of Malone’s connection to Day 2’s material right away saying, “One of the first things I noticed about Michelle in the studio, is how deep she goes into ‘the zone,’ as some folks call it...Most good guitar players, even, find it uncomfortable and sometimes take a while before they find their groove, so to speak. But with Michelle, you just sit back, open your ears, and hold on!”
Malone’s fluency of expression and her finely honed musicianship are something of a family legacy. Her mother, Karyn Malone, was a professional singer in Atlanta and when she went on tour in the summers, Malone and her brother would come along for the ride. Malone remembers splashing in the pool and drinking Shirley Temples bar side while her mother killed it in the lounge, singing the hits, night after night. Malone’s own mother numbers among her most compelling musical influences right along Bonnie Raitt, Linda Rondstadt, Mavis Staples and Billie Holiday.
Malone started early, singing in her hometown church at age four and soon after that, started sneaking into her brother’s closet to borrow his contraband guitar. After much blood shed and sibling battles waged, Michelle Malone finally got her own guitar and she hasn’t been without one since. Her mastery of the guitar, her trademark voice, and her songwriting craft have won her critical acclaim and numerous awards over the years including: best album (Atlanta magazine), 2 time best acoustic guitarist (Creative Loafing, IAC), and 5 time female vocalist of the year (Creative Loafing), Best Blues Guitarist (IAC.com).
Malone has played every state in the Union and toured all over the world but for the past few years she’s called a tiny town in rural Alabama home. Living in a place reminiscent of Andy Griffith’s Mayberry, where neighbors literally showed up on her doorstep with freshly baked pies, Malone spent her down time from touring on her porch swing watching the world go by. This quiet place and slowed down pace allowed her the breathing room to write her most exposed and compelling songs to date.
Day 2 is an eclectic roots record with its feet firmly planted in the blues and Southern Americana traditions, and its head in the lyrical sphere of luminaries like Patti Smith, Nashville era Bob Dylan, and Lucinda Williams. Day 2 was crafted with the guidance of producer Shawn Mullins and the support of an exceptional crew of musicians including: co-producer, engineer, and drummer, Gerry Hansen (Shawn Mullins, Chuck Leavell, Randall Bramblett), pianist, Chuck Leavell (The Rolling Stones, The Allman Brothers, John Mayer), keyboardist, Randall Bramblett (Gregg Allman, Steve Winwood, Widespread Panic), bassist, Tom Ryan (Shawn Mullins, Randall Bramblett), bassist, Phil Skipper (Tinsley Ellis, Drag The River, Delta Moon), and on B3 Marty Kearns (Shawn Mullins, Delta Moon). Day 2 will be released regionally on October 5th to coincide with local CD Release barnburners, toga parties, and top-notch luaus.
After Ellen.com May 2013 (link)
The Red & Black April 2013 (link)
Access Atlanta April 2013 (link)
Atlanta Music Guide April 2013 (link)
Go Upstate March 2013 (link)
AL.com February 2013 (link)
Georgia Music Mag February 2013 (link)
Atlanta Music Guide October 2012 (link)
Rustzine October 2012 (link)
Guitar World September 2012 (link)
AL.com (Bon Iver cites Michelle) September 2012 (link)
Guitar World September 2011 (link)
The Daily Times July 2011 (link)
Knoxville News March 2011 (link)
Twangville best of 2009 December 2009 (jpg image)
About.com November 2009 (link)
Citizen Times November 2009 (link)
Curve Magazine November 2009 (DPF)
Rock and Theology October 2009 (link)
Hippo Press October 2009 (PDF)
Examiner.com October 2009 (link)
PopMatters July 2009 (PDF)
Metromix Atlanta June 2009 (PDF)
Twangville March/April 2009 (PDF)
Atlanta Journal Constitution April 2009 (PDF)
Atlanta Music Guide April 2009 (PDF)
Blurt April 2009 (PDF)
Daily News (McKeesport PA) April 2009 (PDF)
Omaha Blues Society April 2009 (PDF)
Pacific Street Blues April 2009 (PDF)
Performing Songwriter March 2009 (PDF)
Philadelphia Gay News 7 April 2009 (PDF)
Providence Journal 9 April 2009 (PDF)
Advocate.com April 2009 (PDF)
Indy Week April 2009 (PDF)
Paste 3 April 2009 (PDF)
Billboard April 2009 (PDF)
DLN 6 April 2009 (PDF)
Edge April 2009 (PDF)
Metromix Greenville April 2009 (PDF)
NoDepression.com April 2009 (Video interview)
Sovo 27 March 2009 (PDF)
"From the bluesy growling on Chicken Lickin Boogie to the sweet crooning of Shine, Michelle Malone shows remarkable range on her new record. And Wasted On You is a breakout hit waiting to happen."
- Michael Dunaway, Paste Magazine
"Equal parts badass guitar slinger and sweet songstress, Michelle Malone artfully balances her penchant for ripping it through the roof with masterful lyrical introspection and vocals that range from sublime to raucous. Day 2 is the kind of album you can listen to over and over again…and I did!"
- Laura Whitmire, Guitar World
"When Michelle first called me about producing her new record, I didn't even have to think about it. For more than twenty years she's been one of my favorite singer/songwriters and guitar players. And one of my favorite people. I would be honored!"
- Shawn Mullin
“Malone’s blazing blend of slide and amped up country twang is equal parts ZZ Top and Willie Nelson, and her band fits on a huge stage at a European blues festival just as well as they do at a rundown honky tonk in Texas.”
- Guitar World
Michelle Malone¹s gritty, bluesy guitar playing, introspective and thoughtful lyrics and soulful vocals make her a superstar in every sense of the word.
- Mike Breen, Cincinnati City Beat
"Debris, Malone’s slide-guitar-punctuated collection of reckless youth, stalkers and one-night stands is raw Americana, a fist-in-the-face retort to the Stones’ Some Girls, 30 years on."
- The Hippo Press
"Debris" is simply an excellent piece of work.
- Metromix Atlanta
"'Debris' is an instant classic."
"this is an excellent rock n’ roll record in the finest sense! Malone has a sharp Southern rock flavor akin to the Black Crowes and Tom Petty. She plays a lyrically rich guitar style under the influence of Keith Richards; Her songwriting shows great texture and depth. Michelle Malone’s “overnight success” could easily become the surprise gig for the summer of ’09. yea, it's THAT good."
- Omaha Blues Society
"A proper American cocktail that'’s best drunk straight up."
Whether moanin' at midnight and howlin' at the delta moon, or serving up a steamy blend of Tom Pettyesque twang-pop and Creedence Clearwater choogle, Malone's the sexiest, most swaggering-est gal rocker on the goddam planet right now.
- Blurt Magazine
"'Debris' from her sharply etched 10th album of the same name. Think Bonnie Raitt bedding down with Keith Richards. OK, maybe you shouldn't."
"Michelle Malone's badass pipes and guitar shine on new album."
- Metromix Greenville
"The first four songs on Moanin' Michelle Malone's new CD, Debris, are the four best blues songs you'll hear this year. It is, quite possibly, the best four-song combination ever put together in a blues album. If someone teaches a Modern Blues 101 class, that person should start with these four songs."
- Atlanta Music Guide
"Slinging a slide guitar that roars, Michelle Malone is a crackling live wire [with the] ability to crank out ballsy blues-rock barnburners and smooth, soulful roots pop with equal panache and passion."
- Indy Weekly
"Debris is like sing-along, foot-tapping, booty-shaking therapy."
- Southern Voice
"Michelle Malone is among the flashiest, most impressive slide guitar soloists working in contemporary blues, often fortifying her vocals with slashing lines, inventive twists and surprising backing."
- Nashville City Paper
"Malone bursts forth like she's got something to prove. She's mastered all the tools of the trade: hook-laden songwriting, a no-nonsense voice with powerful range, tough and tender guitar, and a memorable presentation. She's destined for greatness. A refreshing surprise of an album."
- Eric Thom, Blues Revue Magazine
"Malone's riveting wail and sizzling slide guitar blend sass and defiance with an authoritative presence exuding a spunk all her own."
- Performing Songwriter
"The kind of singer and songwriter who can jolt things into overdrive."
- New York Times
"Why Michelle Malone hasnt knocked the likes of Sheryl Crow and Bonnie Raitt off of their roots-rock and blues pedestals blows the mind. Malone's authentic interpretation of good old Southern rock and hard-edge blues should have her rubbing shoulders with the Allman Brothers and Buddy Guys of the world. Sugarfoot and Stompin' Ground, are rousing and relentless toe-tapping beauties deserving of a boatload of attention."
- The Village Voice
"Sugarfoot is as raw, magnificent, dirty and low down as anything you'll ever want to hear in blues music - our blues-breaker CD for the week"
- Dan "Elwood" Akroyd, House of Blues Radio Hour
"Raucous and sinewy guitar leads - sensual, raspy vocals - Malone has become a master at mixing blues and Americana"
- Guitar Player
"4 out of 5 Bunnies... on this loose and blues-stoked new album, the rough-and-tumble Malone embraces her inner Keith Richards while churning up those Southern roots with the vigor of Lucinda Williams."
- Playboy Magazine
"A troubadour with grit and enough accessibility to warrant widespread acceptance."
- Billboard Magazine
"An exceptional voice capable of smoking langour and howling catharsis."
- The Washington Post
"Sugarfoot'll take you down to the crossroads and send you back dazed, disheveled and half-naked."