"Tommy Malone pulls off a tough trick: coming up with an original take on blue-eyed soul." Boston Herald
"Fortunately, Malone is launching a solo career using a new record "Soul Heavy," that's brimming with his trademark Dixie flavored rock." Chicago Tribune
"All in all, it's an impressive showcase for a talent that's been nurtured by a 20-plus-year career... This is a fine example of how musical influences can combine to form a distinctive whole." Amazon.com Editorial Review
"While there may be no more Subdudes, Soul Heavy proves that Tommy Malone is still a major dude on his own." CDNOW
"Soul Heavy...sounds like Steely Dan and Dave Matthews recorded an album at Dr. Johns house." Santa Monica Mirror
"...Tommy Malone helped kick off the rootsy jam band phenomenon with his stinging blues/rock guitar and soulful vocals." Billboard.com
New Orleans singer/songwriter/guitarist Tommy Malone has one of the most distinctive voices and guitar styles in American music -- a stirring combination of aching soul, down-home country and gritty blues. Perhaps best known as the lead singer for the beloved now-defunct band the subdudes, Tommy Malone's musical vision is now entering its third decade.
Malone was born in New Orleans on September 16, 1957 (sharing the same birthday with B.B. King). As a teenager, his love for music was shaped by three distinct influences. He discovered the '60s British rock 'n' roll invasion, listening to the Rolling Stones, the Beatles, Cream, Jeff Beck and Led Zeppelin. He also heard his parents' records -- blue-collar classics by Hank Williams, Johnny Cash and Johnny Horton. And when the Malone family went out to eat, the local jukeboxes were filled with the sounds of soul giants like Otis Redding and Sam and Dave.
After jamming with his older brother Dave (presently one of the longtime leaders of the Radiators), the 17-year-old Malone began playing professionally in a long string of diverse bands. That list includes his high school band Elroy (with future subdude Steve Amedee); the country-rock band Dust Woofie; an electrified jug band with Kurt Kasson and the Wheeler sisters ; Road Apple, a pre-Radiators band that included Dave Malone and New Orleans bluesman Spencer Bohren; the Cartoons, featuring future subdudes Steve Amedee and Johnny Allen, also the late great New Orleans singer Becky Kury; Little Queenie and the Percolators; and the Continental Drifters.
While the Percolators once were on the verge of breaking , it was an informal jam session with fellow Continental Drifter John Magnie that would thrust Malone into the center spotlight. One night at Tipitina's, the two musicians played with bassist Johnny Allen and percussionist Steve Amedee, and the subdudes were born.
The subdude's soulful acoustic-based sound -- featuring Malone on lead vocals and guitar -- soon attracted the attention of Atlantic Records, who signed the band in 1989. Their debut album was an immediate hit, featuring Malone/Allen collaborations, 'Light in Your Eyes' and 'Help is on the Way'.
The subdudes would go on to record three more successful and critically acclaimed studio albums (Lucky, Annunciation and Primitive Streak) and a live CD (Live at Last). The band worked with legendary producers Don Gehman (John Cougar Mellencamp), Glyn Johns (the Who) and Rob Fraboni (the Band), and were constantly praised by a wide range of their peers including Eric Clapton, Bonnie Raitt, Bruce Hornsby and Shawn Colvin.
They appeared multiple times on the David Letterman show, the Tonight Show with Jay Leno and Late Night with Conan O'Brien. Practically every major newspaper and magazine including the New York Times to Rolling Stone lauded the band, and their tours took them everywhere from London's Royal Albert Hall to the Newport Folk Festival.
The subdudes disbanded in 1996, and Malone and the subdudes' Allen joined forces with singer/songwriter Pat McLaughlin and drummer Kenneth Blevins to form the roots-rock supergroup Tiny Town. With McLaughlin and Malone sharing vocal and guitar duties, Tiny Town boasted a harder electric sound than the subdudes, and the band released an eponymous album produced by the Eagles' Bernie Leadon in 1998. A tour with Keb'Mo' and Little Feat followed.
Between gigs, Malone also found the time to play in the side project Monkey Ranch (an all-star New Orleans rock/funk band featuring members of the Neville Brothers and Radiators), and occasionally joined forces with his brother Dave for the Malone Rangers, a good-time acoustic country and western duo.
But after 20 years, Tommy Malone is ready to go it alone. His new CD titled "Soul Heavy" is Malone's debut as a solo artist, featuring 10 new Malone-penned songs. Featuring Ray Ganucheau on Bass and Vocals ; Nicole Falzone on Drums , Percussion and Vocals and Jimmy Hormel On Horns and Co- Production credit.
"Dallas Morning News" , April 15, 2001
Soul Heavy (Louisiana Red Hot Records)
New Orleans native Tommy Malone hasn't enjoyed a terribly high profile since his band, the subdudes, called it quits in 1996, but his gifts haven't diminished during his time away from the spotlight. Soul Heavy, his solo debut, reveals him once again as a winningly reluctant guitar hero, playing electric and acoustic with passion and vigor but a minimum of flash. His distinctive voice, a sweet-yet- penetrating baritone, could make bland teen pop fodder sound like outpourings from the Church of Al Green.
Mr. Malone's own material is anything but bland. "Somebody Got Caught," for instance, in which a fisherman's line snags the body of an unfaithful lover, is like a James Lee Burke novel compressed into a five-minute track. Soul Heavy was recorded mostly in Northern California, but like the subdudes' five albums, it's steeped in New Orleans atmosphere and musical styles. The funky, horn-inflected "Virginia Street" is a slice of summer on Mr. Malone's block, the heat reflected in both the steamy grooves and the lyrics' slightly fevered jumble of sensory images. Most striking is the beautiful acoustic-soul song "Fat Tuesday." A kind of antidote to the Jimmy Buffett school of songwriting, it gazes past postcard pictures of New Orleans to the ambiguities of life - and death - in Mr. Malone's hometown. Parry Gettelman