Malkum & Chris

Malkum & Chris

Yes, I Want to Go

Buckatoon

A lot of words apply to Malkum & Chris — “impressive facial hair,” say — but “original” isn’t one of them. And neither would they want it to be. Malkum & Chris, see, take great pride in their blues heritage, and their way of playing the blues in “the traditional way,” as it is. Ironically enough, of course, they’re probably filling a void with this, as not too many people actually do this any longer. So all praise to them. But is it any good?

If what you’re looking for is some straightforward, honestly played, down-home blues, then yes, you’ve found it. But again, if you’re looking for as much as just a slight trace of originality, look elsewhere. True enough, the two of them have written a couple of the tracks themselves, at the very least, but those are run-of-the-mill 12-bar blues variations, and sub-standard compared to the rest of the selections. As it should be. And they do seem to have both a great passion for and a knowledge of the blues, as not only have they picked hard-to-find gems from Ledbetter, Brownie McGhee, Sonny Terry, and others, tracks that certainly stand the test of time, but their jams are pretty feverish and dedicated a lot of the time. And they’re impressively full-sounding considering their basic set-up of guitar and harmonica — where Chris’ single guitar has to carry the whole weight a lot of the time. But there’s not much to keep up interest during the full album, and the loose spontaneity and joy that should’ve flowed over from this — as it undoubtedly did in the studio — don’t come across on tape too often. Malkum & Chris seem to be fervent performers with their hearts in the right place, but you’re probably better off experiencing them in a live setting.

Malkum & Chris: http://www.malkumandchris.com

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Recently on Ink 19...

  • The Reading Room
    The Reading Room

    Today’s episode features author Anna-Marie O’Brien talking about her book Adventures of a Metalhead Librarian: A Rock N’ Roll Memoir with Ink 19’s Rose Petralia.

  • Bush Tetras
    Bush Tetras

    Rhythm and Paranoia (Wharf Cat). Review by Scott Adams.

  • Tom Tom Club
    Tom Tom Club

    The Good The Bad and the Funky (Nacional). Review by Julius C. Lacking.

  • Barnes & Barnes
    Barnes & Barnes

    Pancake Dream (Demented Punk Records). Review by Carl F. Gauze.

  • Jeremiah Lockwood
    Jeremiah Lockwood

    A Great Miracle: Jeremiah Lockwood’s Guitar Soli Chanukah Album (Reboot). Review by Bob Pomeroy.

  • Metallica: The $24.95 Book
    Metallica: The $24.95 Book

    From an underground band that pioneered the thrash metal sound, to arguably the biggest rock act in the new millennium, Metallica has had a long and tumultuous history. Ben Apatoff scours a myriad of sources to catalog this history in his new book.

  • Araceli Lemos
    Araceli Lemos

    Shortly after AFI Fest 2021 wrapped, Generoso spoke at length with director, Araceli Lemos about her award-winning and potent feature debut, Holy Emy. Lemos’s film uses elements of body horror in her story about the exoticization of two Filipina sisters living in Greece and how that exploitation creates a distance between them.

  • Southern Accents 55
    Southern Accents 55

    A woofin’ good time with cuts from Hank Williams, Muddy Waters, Delta Moon and more from KMRD 96.9, Madrid, New Mexico!

  • Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead
    Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead

    Absurdism with a healthy dose of air conditioning.

  • Mixtape 172 :: My Old Bassist
    Mixtape 172 :: My Old Bassist

    Like pre-teens throwing every liquid into the kitchen blender and daring each other to drink the results, Woody and Jeremy fuse all manner of sounds legitimate and profane into some murky concoction that tastes surprisingly good.

From the Archives