Papa Mali (born Malcolm Helm Welbourne in Vicksburg, Mississippi, May 6,1957), has lived in Shreveport, Louisiana and is now based in New Orleans and an American singer-songwriter, guitarist and producer.
He has been a touring musician and recording artist for decades. Yet, he is probably best known as the front man for 7 Walkers, a band formed in 2009 that includes three musical icons: Grateful Dead founding member and drummer Bill Kreutzmann, The Meters’ founding bassist, George Porter Jr. and lyricist Robert Hunter, who penned most of the Grateful Dead’s classic catalog (along with the late Jerry Garcia) and now co-writes much of 7 Walkers material with Welbourne. Multi-instrumentalist, vocalist and Willie Nelson collaborator, Matt Hubbard completes the line up. Their self-titled debut was released to critical acclaim in November of 2010.
Papa Mali is also known for his own live performances and recorded output, most notably his two albums for Fog City Records (2000’s Thunder Chicken and 2007’s Do Your Thing), both produced by Dan Prothero and the latter featuring some of New Orleans’ most legendary musicians.
His work as a producer includes 7 Walkers (Response, 2010), The Phenomenal Ruthie Foster (Blue Corn, 2007) and records by Lavelle White, Omar and the Howlers, Wendy Colonna, The Greyhounds and others.
When not on tour with 7 Walkers, Papa Mali can usually be found at home in New Orleans, where he regularly performs with his own band, Double Uptown Shotgun – often at his favorite neighborhood watering hole, The Maple Leaf Bar or at nearby Tipitina’s.
Built upon the foundation of Papa Mali’s electric, acoustic and slide guitars, vibes, pedal steel and the irrepressible pockets of NOLA drum legend Johnny Vidacovich (Professor Longhair, Johnny Adams, James Booker, Mose Allison), the colorful 12 track tripscape features a mix of uniquely refashioned covers of lesser known gems by Al Green ( I’m a Ram, a Papa Mali concert favorite), Crosby (the folk-centered singalong title track) and Randy Newman ( Let s Burn Down The Cornfield ); wild re-interpretations of traditional pieces ( Lonesome Road, Spikedriver); and the provocative Go Down Water, a damning indictment of the Army Corps of Engineers (and failed levees) by contemporary Louisiana author Louis Maistros.
Music is Love produced by veteran roots producer John Chelew, a three time Grammy winner for his work with Blind Boys of Alabama who has also worked with Donovan, Charlie Musselwhite, Vic Chesnutt, Richard Thompson and John Hiatt.
Papa Mali will come to the 'American Cajun, Blues & Zydeco Festival' 2017 as a trio to perfom his Louisiana Blues.
“I am constantly amazed that I get to do what I do. I am astounded that my lifelong dream – to write and play music and travel the globe and make recordings that I can be proud of – has become a reality. There isn’t a day that goes by that I am not humbled and thankful and inspired to keep going.”
Musician. Author. Educator. Interpreter. That’s a lot of different hats for one person to wear; yet Yvette seems to be making it work.
Yvette Landry grew up in Breaux Bridge, Louisiana, not far from the levees of the Atchafalaya Basin, North America’s largest swampland. It was in and around that swamp where she learned to hunt, fish, ride horses, dance, understand French, and tell stories.
After earning a master’s degree in education and developing a successful teaching career, she began telling stories through song. The songs were a hit, and so was Yvette. Playing a variety of instruments in several Cajun bands, Yvette also fronts her own band, Yvette Landry Band.
Her debut award-winning album titled “Should Have Known” was released in 2010. Over the past several years, Yvette has traveled the world and played countless cultural festivals and venues – from the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival to the Bluebird Café in Nashville. She toured Russia and served as a Cultural Ambassador on behalf of the Library of Congress to perform at the Festival of Traditional American Music, and has graced the stage at both the Library of Congress and John F. Kennedy Center of Performing Arts in Washington, DC.
“Yvette Landry has the kind of voice that can get grown men into trouble.” (John Conquest - 3rd Coast Music)
By day, Yvette is an educator, teaching American Sign Language and Song Writing at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. Yvette is also a private homeschool teacher and she has also taught bass, guitar, accordion and vocals at camps such as Festival of American Fiddle Tunes, Voice Works @ Centrum, Ashoken Fiddle and Dance Camp, Cajun/Creole Week @ Augusta Heritage Center and Louisiana Folk Roots Camp.
By night, Yvette is a musician/singer/songwriter who continues to tour worldwide as a multi-instrumentalist in several bands including Yvette Landry Band, the Lafayette Rhythm Devils, Balfa Toujours and Les Ferrailles. She has performed with the Darrell Scott, Cindy Cashdollar, Jonathan Edwards, Danny Flowers, Geraldine Gay, Dirk Powell, Bill Kirchen, Red Stick Ramblers, Pine Leaf Boys, Steve Riley, Donna the Buffalo, and many more.
“Her honky-tonk has a foot in the city and one in the country, and neither her songs, her voice nor her band show a hint of strain in the straddle.”
(Alex Rawles – My Spilt Milk)
Elected as Governor to the Memphis Chapter of the Recording Academy, Board Member of Louisiana Folk Roots and acting Director of their summer Cajun & Creole Music Kids Camp, Yvette strives to bring cultures and traditions together.
Since her debut CD in 2010, Yvette has released three more CD’s, “No Man’s Land” with a host of friends lending a helping hand – Bill Kirchen, Cindy Cashdollar, and, Dirk Powell, just to name a few, and “Me & T-Coe’s Country” and “Oh What A Silent Night” with pedal steel ace, Richard Comeaux. Her first children’s book, “The Ghost Tree,” was nominated for “Louisiana’s Young Reader’s Choice Award.” Her new book, “Madame Grand Doigt,” will launch September 6, 2016. AND, in 2014, Yvette received a Grammy nomination from the Recording Academy for her work with Bonsoir Catin.
The Cajun Roosters are a five piece band with musicians from UK, Belgium, France and Germany, specialising in the music of SW Louisiana, deep in the South of the USA. Formed eight years ago by some of the most respected musicians of this genre they quickly established a reputation as the band most likely to bring this music to a wider public. They have produced five award winning CDs. They were picked up by Mark Lamarr and invited to be in session on his BBC show for Radio 2 “Gods jukebox”. Previous to this UK based accordion player and vocalist Chris Hall was invited to record with the likes of Kate Bush and Bill Wyman and also recorded and appeared on TV with ex Beatle and rock god Sir Paul McCartney. Mark Lamarr said on his show “there should be revival of this music” ………. If any band are placed to ignite this revival it’s the Cajun Roosters” Over the last few years they have headlined major festivals all over Europe whilst at the same time collaborating with US musicians on recordings and tours.
In 2012 the band was invited to a worldmusic festival to Indonesia.
Cajun Roosters CD 'Hell Yeah' was released as their sixth CD in october 2013. In August 2014 the band wins the CFMA Award in Louisiana for 'Best CD from a band not from Louisiana or East Texas'. The Cajun Grammies !