Heard of the Malpass Brothers Yet?

Memory That Bad album coverI 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.

Below is the video for the title track, after which you will almost certainly need this Amazon link to sample the rest of the album. More information can be found at the Malpass Brothers website.

Check out Memory That Bad on Amazon.

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  1. says

    Very cool stuff, thanks for sharing! The guitar playing is top notch and I’ve got a bit of guitar envy there-6120 on a chair in the background…

  2. Doug says

    Been following these guys locally for years. Great to see others discovering their sound. Catch their live show if they come your way. We’re lucky to have them here in NC.

  3. says

    I’ve known Chris and Taylor for a dozen years now, and you’ll all be glad to know that their music is straight from the heart. It’s the music they love, and they know its roots and practitioners intimately. You can hear hints of everything when they play: from the Louvins to Hank Sr. to Merle to Johnny to Elvis to things that are brand new. Great guys and they deserve a great audience.

  4. Evelyn Carr says

    Would like a CD with one of Johnny Cash songs Luther did the Boogie Woogie.. They sing that
    as good as I have ever heard!


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