I hadn’t until a reader brought them to my attention. I’ll pay it forward by sharing them with you.
There are a couple brothers working at a transmission shop in Goldsboro, North Carolina, who enjoy classic country music. Not so surprising, that, except that they also sing classic country music. And sing it so well that they caught the ear of Merle Haggard, who began using them as openers at every opportunity before eventually releasing their album Memory That Bad on his own Hag Records in early 2011.
It’s not difficult to hear what about these brothers caught Haggard’s ear: they favor the same era of country that he helped define and, vocally, Chris Malpass is a ringer for Merle in his prime. On Memory That Bad, co-produced by Joe Manuel and Haggard fiddler Scott Joss, they repay the favor by tackling four of their benefactor’s songs (thankfully, none too familiar), adding one apiece from Fuzzy Owen, Mel Tillis, and producer Joss. Encouragingly for a young throwback act, the greatest number of songs spring from Chris Malpass’ own pen, and they compare favorably to the others. Taylor Malpass, who most often sings harmony, has a full, wailing voice that sounds much like Faron Young when it takes a lead.
Check out Memory That Bad on Amazon.