Juke-joint sound seeps into Breck | SummitDaily.com

Juke-joint sound seeps into Breck

BRECKENRIDGE – Seeped in the wetlands of Louisiana, Malcolm Welbourne’s ripe with his own swampy soul and funky juke-joint sound. Welbourne, aka Papa Mali, grew up in a lower- to middle-class neighborhood in northern Louisiana where he hung out in cotton fields and the bayou. Though rockabilly and country sounds of northern Louisiana influenced him, the funk, soul, rhythm-and-blues and jazz rampant in southern Louisiana wrapped around his soul and didn’t let go. He spent summers with his grandparents in New Orleans and began playing guitar when he was 4. By the time he was 8, he was singing the blues. “If you want to get symbolic about it, growing up (in Louisiana) shaped my view by giving me an appreciation of nature,” Welbourne said. “I’m able to handle myself in slightly dangerous situations. I had to wade through poisonous snakes to get to my playground. And the world’s not that much different. There are all kinds of snakes in the grass.” Welbourne’s poetic symbolism emerges more and more in his music. His first album, “Thunder Chicken,” honored his Louisiana roots by covering musicians like Dr. John. His next album demonstrated how his roots contributed to a new sound. “I’ve been very influenced by dreams,” Welbourne said. “I believe not necessarily that dreams are prophetic, but there are symbols in dreams that represent what’s really going on. “There are all kinds of undercurrents that you can’t be aware of that affect life in positive ways. It also makes for poetic lyrics. The best songs are left to the interpretation of the listener.” Papa Mali plays Tuesday night at Sherpa & Yeti’s in Breckenridge. The cover charge is $5.

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