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Michelle Malone


Country of origin:

U.S.

Type of music generally:

Folk/rock, rock

Status:

Most recent release, Stronger Than You Think (2015)

See also:

Michelle Malone's site

Formerly with Drag the River (see the 1990 album Relentless) and Band de Soleil (see the 1994 album Redemption Dream)

Comparisons:

Sheryl Crow, Melissa Etheridge, Kristen Hall, early Pat Benatar

Covers/own material:

Own, occasional covers

General comments:

Michelle Malone has been a big part of the Atlanta folk/rock scene for over 10 years. During that time she's been on a range of different labels, from indie labels to Arista to Indigo Girl Amy Ray's Daemon label. Over the years, Michelle's gone from rock to folk to rock again—she really can sing the hell out of both genres. She's great in concert, if you like acoustic and/or electric rock and roll and a voice that can belt you all the way through the back wall. A talented artist who probably never quite got all the recognition she deserved... (Sherlyn.Koo)

Michelle Malone's albums are accessible, as they consist of more traditionally structured songs. Malone reminds me somewhat of Sheryl Crow. She has a rock voice, and is a wonderful songwriter. (mundopax@ingress.com)

i bought a promotional disc with five songs recorded live in atlanta in 1990 or thereabouts. i'm not very familiar with michelle malone; i guess she had a few solo albums out before fronting band du soleil. these tracks are pretty revved-up rockers and didn't impress me too much—melissa etheridge did this much better on her first record, though i would rather listen to michelle than alannah myles. bought this mostly out of curiosity and cos it was cheap. (woj@smoe.org)

Recommended first album:

Beneath the Devil Moon

Recordings include:

  • New Experience (1988)
  • Relentless (as Michelle Malone and Drag the River, 1990)
  • For You Not Them (1992)
  • Redemption Dream (as Band de Soleil, 1994)
  • Michelle Malone and Band De Soleil—Bird on Fire (1996)
  • Beneath the Devil Moon (1997)
  • Homegrown (1999)
  • Strange Bird Vol. 3 (live, 2000)
  • Hello Out There (2001)
  • Michelle Malone and the Low Down GA Revue—Stompin' Ground (2003)
  • Strange Bird Vol. 4 (live, 2004)
  • Solo in Portland (live, 2005)
  • 20/20: The Best of Michelle Malone 1986-2006 (compilation, 2006)
  • Sugarfoot (2006)
  • Debris (2009)
  • Day 2 (2012)
  • Acoustic Winter (2014)
  • Stronger Than You Think (2015)

New Experience

Release info:

1988—Aluminium Jane Records/Strange Bird Songs—SBS 001

Availability:

Available through www.michellemalone.com

Ecto priority:

Recommended for fans

Group members:

Michelle Malone

Guest artists:

Gerard McHugh
John Keane
Sandy Garfinkel
Ed Bradley
Kyle Pilgrim
Bill Berry

Produced by:

John Keane and Michelle Malone

Comments:

This is a fairly standard debut album which unfortunately doesn't really live up to Malone's potential. Standout tracks include the jazzy "All I Can Give You Is Me", the energetic "New Experience", and "Incident 8". A lot of these songs were re-recorded for later releases and remain concert favourites today. While "New Experience" isn't bad, it's not my favourite Malone album either. (Sherlyn.Koo)

Relentless

(as Michelle Malone and Drag the River)

Release info:

1990—Arista—ARCD-8630

Availability:

No longer in print; check second-hand stores

Ecto priority:

Worth picking up if you're a fan and you can find a copy

Group members:

Michelle Malone—vocals, guitar, harmonica
Jonny D—guitar
Billy Pitts—drums
Phil Zone—bass

Guest artists:

Dan Baird—guitar, vocals
Denise Berginson-Smith—violin
Kristen Hall—vocals
David Harris—vocals
Jack Holder—Hammond B-3
Joey Huffman—keyboards
Nan Maddox—cello
Karen Malone Folmar—vocals
Gerard McHugh—vocals
Paul Murphy—viola
Juan Ramirez—violin
Amy Ray (Indigo Girls)—vocals

Produced by:

Lenny Kaye

Comments:

Above-average rock 'n' roll—not bad for a major-label debut. It looks like Arista's marketing department was working overtime—there's long hair and cowboy hats everywhere on the cover. But the music's a lot better than you'd expect from looking at the packaging. Although the production is fairly standard country/rock, there are some nice unexpected touches here and there such as the Greek-sounding (to me anyway) instrumental "Chariot" and the more acoustic "Sure Thing" and "Counting Stars". As with New Experience, this album isn't bad, but isn't my favourite either. (Sherlyn.Koo)

For You Not Them

Release info:

1992—Strange Bird Songs—SBS 002

Availability:

Available through www.michellemalone.com

Ecto priority:

Recommended

Group members:

Michelle Malone—vocals, guitar, keyboards

Guest artists:

Christian Bush (Billy Pilgrim)—vocals
Will "Chet" Garret—vocals
Joey Huffman—keyboards
Andrew Hyra (Billy Pilgrim)—vocals
Matthew Kahler—percussion
Kevin Lawson—vocals
Don Macallister—bass, vocals
Travis Aaron McNabb—drums
Billy Pitts—drums
Mark Reynolds—vocals
Ryan Roxy—guitar
Bruce Smith—vocals, guitar
Gary Stier—vocals
Ashley Wilson—vocals
Phil Zone—bass

Produced by:

Don Macallister and Michelle Malone

Comments:

After parting ways with Arista and Drag the River, Malone sounds revitalised. In fact, this collection of songs sounds pretty much like what it is—a bunch of friends from the Atlanta music scene in a studio playing music together. It sounds like everybody's having fun, and although there's a loose "jam session" quality, the music itself is nice and tight. Malone's songwriting has definitely improved from the last two albums as well; it's obvious she's very happy to be out on her own (the album title dedicates the songs to the fans, not the labels). Standout tracks for me are "Á la Famille", "The Edge" and "Open Window". A highly enjoyable effort. (Sherlyn.Koo)

Redemption Dream

(as Band de Soleil)

Release info:

1994—Daemon Records/Hifi Records—19005-2

Availability:

Available through www.michellemalone.com

Ecto priority:

Recommended

Group members:

Michelle Malone—guitar, vocals
Mike Snowden—bass
Danny Bigay—drums

Guest artists:

Alfreda Gerald—vocals
Joey Huffman—piano, wurlitzer
Kevin Kinney-Miserite—guitar
Kevin Lawson—vocals
Carole Neven-Rabinowitz—cello
Jeff Sullivan—congas

Produced by:

George Pappas and Band de Soleil

Comments:

Malone's back in a band setting again, proving she can rock out with the best of them. This is a good, solid rock 'n' roll album, fairly dark in tone but with touches of optimism here and there. Standout tracks include "Sword", with its wailing background vocals; "Teen Lament", a toe-tapper which in concert turns into something more like a gospel singalong; and the moody "Hollow Day". If you can find a copy of the European release of this album it's especially worth picking up. The extra tracks include an excellent version of Neil Young's "Cortez the Killer", recorded live with the Indigo Girls in 1994. (Sherlyn.Koo)

Beneath the Devil Moon

Release info:

1997—Velvel Records, 740 Broadway, New York, NY 10003—VEL-79703

Availability:

Widely available

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended

Group members:

Michelle Malone—vocals, electric guitar, acoustic guitar, slide guitar

Guest artists:

Melvin Baldwin Jr—drums
Danny Bigay—drums
Christian Folmarr-e-bow
Alfred Gerald—vocals
David Ryan Harris—slide guitar, wayway guitar, electric guitar, mellotron, piano, vocals
Joey Huffman—wurlitzer
Paul Linden—wurlitzer, Hammond B-3
Amy Ray (Indigo Girls)—vocals
Ron Roper—Hammond B-3
Emily Saliers (Indigo Girls)—vocals
Luis Stefanell—percussion
Mike Snowden—bass
Chris Wilson—bass

Produced by:

Michelle Malone and David Ryan Harris

Comments:

This is the album that should have really put Malone's name on the map; unfortunately she got sick and had to cancel much of its support tour. Many of the songs here were recorded by Band de Soleil for Bird on Fire, promotional copies of which were circulated but which was never officially released. While Band de Soleil fans might have been disappointed by the band's breakup shortly after, there's certainly no let-down to be found with "Beneath the Devil Moon". Superb songwriting combines with Malone's best vocal performance ever—there's more attention to vocal craft rather than simply opting for the power delivery we all know she's capable of. The result is a mature and polished product, Malone's finest to date. (Sherlyn.Koo)

Home Grown

Release info:

1999—Strange Bird Songs Records—SBS-004

Availability:

Available through www.michellemalone.com

Ecto priority:

Recommended

Group members:

Michelle Malone—vocals, guitar, percussion, harmonica, dumbek

Guest artists:

Jimmy Byrd—guitar
Sigurdur Birkis—drums
Sheila Doyle (Mrs Fun)—violin
Bob Glub—-bass
Don Heffington—drums
Joey Huffman—piano, wurlitzer, Hammond B3
David LaBruyere—bass, Moog bass
Michael Lorant (Mrs Fun)—vocals, clarinet, accordion, piano, drums
John Mayer—electric guitar
Gerard McHugh—vocals, mandolin
Anne Richardson—chinese jaw harp, didjerido
Emily Saliers (Indigo Girls)—guitar, vocals
Harold Sellers—congas
Page Waldrup—pedal steel

Produced by:

Michelle Malone

Comments:

Back to basics again for Michelle Malone, who's proudly back on her own independent label. As the title would suggest, this record is a lot more organic and acoustic than the last. As with "For You Not Them", Malone sounds relaxed and happy to be making music for herself again. It also sounds like she's found some peace at last—the music feels like it's coming from a much happier and more positive place than it generally has in the past. This album didn't bowl me over with sheer power the way that Beneath the Devil Moon did, but it's a great collection of toe-tapping, enjoyable tunes from an artist who sounds like she's thriving. Standout tracks include the opener "Avalon", the melancholy "Learn to Cry" and the catchy "Havasu Falls". (Sherlyn.Koo)

Further info:

To subscribe to the Michelle Malone discussion list, send this command to majordomo@smoe.org: subscribe devil-moon [your email address] (with no brackets). Or replace "devil-moon" with "devil-moon-digest" for the digest version.


Thanks to Sherlyn Koo for work on this entry.

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Entry last updated 2016-06-05 15:01:36.
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