It was a transformative moment when two young brothers discovered their grandfather Malpass’ LPs collection. Drawn like a moth to a flame, the classic-filled treasure trove from the golden era of traditional country music gathered little dust in the Malpass household. Chris and Taylor studied the brother-harmony bluegrass duos of Jim & Jesse, the Louvin and Wilburn Brothers and bathed in the sounds of Hank Williams, Lefty Frizzell, Charlie Pride, Merle Haggard. It was musical Manna to the boys—there was nothing in the marketplace that fed The Malpass Brothers’ soul more than the music of this bygone era–and they would stay true to it.
Best known as modern-day troubadours who carry the torch for traditional country music, The Malpass Brothers began singing and playing together professionally at a very young age. Alongside their dad, Chris Malpass Sr., the siblings performed at churches all over the southeast, but they continued to hone their traditional sound by working alongside and amongst the legends.
While Taylor finished high school, Chris began honing his songwriting skills, and working with steel guitar legend, Don Helms—an original member of the Drifting Cowboys. A few years later, he found himself on Merle Haggard’s bus, singing and performing for Merle on his 000 Martin guitar. Taylor, in the meantime, played lead guitar in a local band, and upon graduation, flew out to Redding, CA to join his brother as the opening act for Merle Haggard for the next seven years.
In 2011, Haggard produced The Malpass Brothers’ debut album, Memory That Bad on Hag Records. The title track hit number 6 on the CMT Pure Country 12-Pack Countdown and remained in the charts for several weeks. In 2015, Bluegrass Hall of Fame inductee, Doyle Lawson picked up the gauntlet and produced their sophomore, self-titled album on Organic Records, and in 2017, The Malpass Brothers released a live album, Live at the Paramount, which captures the energy and excitement of their highly polished, traditional country music show.
However, their latest album, Lonely Street (released May 12, 2023), also produced by Lawson alongside Ben Isaacs (of the multi-Dove Award-winning/Grammy nominated group The Isaacs), may be their strongest project to date. Notably engineered by the late Grammy Award-winning Mark Capps under the oversight of Executive Producer and longstanding Malpass manager, Dan Mann, this 12-song album teems with brand new, traditional country music that sounds as if it were curated from a 50s/60s/70s smoke-filled, classic country jukebox. Chris Malpass wrote the majority of the songs, including co-writes by Dickey Lee, Shawn Camp, Conrad Fisher and Taylor Dunn. The album also includes cover nods like “Love Slips Away” by Merle Haggard and Jeannie Seely’s “We Don’t.”
“As if a rip in the space/time continuum appeared…and Chris and Taylor Malpass stumbled straight out of 1968, they actualize the most unvarnished version of country music one can consume from anyone under the age of 40.” —Trigger Coroneos, Saving Country Music
“May be just the kind of effort that saves country music from complete pop oblivion.” – SteelGuitarForum.com
“These guys don’t just sound retro. They are retro!” – Dan MacIntosh, Roothog Radio
The Malpass Brothers are anything but a “throwback” cover group. Instead, they are the “real deal.” Mentored and credentialed by the biggest legends of bluegrass and country music, the brother duo continues to deliver new, yet traditional music in modern times (complete with pearl-snap shirts, Manuel/Nudie suits, over-shaped cowboy hats, and pompadour coiffure, just to drive home the point). Their firm “traditionalism” has captured the attention of the industry and traditional country fans, leading to their worldwide notoriety.
The Malpass Brothers made their Grand Ole Opry debut in December of 2018 and have been asked to return to the hallowed circle well over a dozen times since. The brother duo has headlined international tours and festivals in Ireland, Switzerland, and in Scotland, and been featured on multiple national television shows including TBN’s “The Huckabee Show” and RFD’s “Country’s Family Reunion” and “Larry’s Country Diner”—and compilation of performances from the later was released earlier this year.
The Malpass Brothers currently perform over 150 dates per year to packed houses. For more information, or to locate a performance near you, please visit TheMalpassBrothers.com or follow them on Facebook and Instagram.