New Orleans singer/guitarist Tommy Malone’s musical roots run deep, beginning with the formative ‘70s bands Dustwoofie, the Cartoons and the Continental Drifters; the last of which spawned a stripped-down band known as the Subdudes. With a single tambourine for percussion and a keyboardist who favored accordion, the Subdudes almost single-handedly bucked the ‘80s trend of mile-high production, proving that memorable songs, soulful delivery and true chemistry were all you really needed. The original quartet disbanded after 1997’s Live At Last album; Malone first joined the short-lived supergroup Tiny Town (with Pat McLaughlin, Ken Blevins and fellow Subdude Johnny Ray Allen), then made his solo debut with 2001’s Soul Heavy. But solo projects were put aside as a reshuffled Subdudes lineup appeared in 2004, producing another run of first-class albums before disbanding—for good, it seemed—in 2011.
He formed another short-lived band with his older brother Dave—whose own longrunning band, the Radiators had also just broken up—but wound up gravitating to the funky New Orleans club Chickie Wah Wah, where he played regular gigs to work out a new batch of solo songs. The first result was Natural Born Days, recorded with an all-star cast including keyboardist Jon Cleary, guitarist Shane Theriot, bassist David Hyde, drummer Doug Belote and singer Susan Cowsill. Reviewing that album, OffBeat magazine’s David Kunian notes, “It’s a crime that Tommy Malone isn’t better known around the world. He is a triple threat—beautiful singer, fine songwriter, and killer guitarist.” No Depression’s Alan Harrison confided that after listening to the album, “My pulse was racing far too fast for a man my age.”
Upcoming Shows for Tommy Malone at the Maple Leaf Bar
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