By Sherrie Norris
If you’ve ever heard the Malpass Brothers, seen them on TV or have been fortunate enough to enjoy their live performances, then you know what to expect and can’t wait for more. If you have yet to discover the amazing sibling duo that is taking the country by storm with their classic country music act, then hopefully you have tickets for their upcoming concert at the Appalachian Theatre in Boone on Saturday, Nov. 6.
Having been earlier scheduled (but cancelled due to COVID) at the retro venue, which suits their stage persona “to a T,” the Malpass Brothers will be taking a second shot at their first-ever Boone appearance in just a few days. And those of us who know their music and love their style can hardly wait to see them take the stage in Boone’s recently revamped historic theatre.
Having been raised just a short drive away from the High Country in Goldsboro, Christopher and Taylor Malpass are keeping traditional country music alive, honoring many stars of yesteryear who rose to fame when country music was “the real deal.”
Their love for music started for the brothers as youngsters, said Christopher Malpass. “People ask how we ended up being so immersed in this particular type of music. As kids, we stayed with our grandparents during the day. There was always music on our grandmother’s stereo or our grandfather playing guitar and singing. Hank Williams and Charley Pride proved too hard to beat. And we had a great love for Merle Haggard. These legends sang songs that still speak to our hearts. And we are happy to see that they still speak to our audiences, as well.”
The Malpass Brothers started out young. Christopher earned his first talent show trophy at age 7, and Taylor was playing mandolin by the time he was 10.
They first played in a family band before going public as a duo. While working by day as mechanics, the brothers were eventually discovered by musicians who led them to the likes of iconic musician and their mentor, Merle Haggard, for whom they opened for a number of years.
They have since appeared on stages from Merlefest and Dollywood, to the Ryman Auditorium the Shetland Islands and beyond. Their current concert venues span the gamut, said booking agent, Stephen Barefoot— performing arts centers, colleges and universities, bluegrass and roots music festivals, music halls and celebrations highlighting Americana and vintage country music.
“Gifted musicians and songwriters, the brothers have shared billing with artists including Ray Price, Willie Nelson, Rhonda Vincent, Marty Stuart, Doc Watson and more.”
The title cut video from their ‘Memory That Bad’ album hit CMT Pure Country’s Top Ten.
“Their continued appearances on RFD-TV’s popular ‘Larry Country’s Diner’ and their performances on Nashville’s iconic Grand Ole Opry have broadened their recognition to far-reaching acclaim.”
At the same time, however, the Malpass Brothers remain the real deal, Barefoot added. “There is no pretense.”
Their music is steeped in the legacy of the Louvin Brothers, Johnny Cash, Marty Robbins, Hank Williams, Sr. and others, and regardless of where they are performing, their audiences can count on classic, real country, with humorous, off-the-cuff quips between the siblings.
Oh yeah, add in the poofed hair and fancy boots and maybe even an Elvis move or two — and you get the big picture.
“With sincerity, honesty and an utter ease on stage that belies their years, their smooth vocal blend and skillful musicianship layer infectiously into the deep respect they pay to legends who have paved the way. And the engaging concert becomes a magnetic time-traveling journey to when a calmer rhythm reigned supreme.”
This dynamic duo has been described as “authentic as stone-ground grits, country ham and red-eye gravy, hush puppies and chopped pork barbecue — and they’re every bit as good.”
Today, they promote the work and music of classic country artists they treasure, while creating new music and making their own mark in the lineage of a rich American cultural heritage.
“I think that The Malpass Brothers are particularly excited about doing this performance in Boone,” said Barefoot. “ Restored historic theatres rank very high on their list of most-preferred venues, and it’s exciting to see The Appalachian re-opening again and welcoming such a variety of genres into their programming. I’m sure Christopher and Taylor will be in their best duds, handmade boots — and high hair when they get to take the stage!”
Health and safety precautions, including a mask and proof of a recent negative test and/or vaccine (with ID) will be required during this concert and other upcoming events at The Appalachian Theatre of the High Country, located at 559 West King Street in Boone.
For tickets or more information, call (828) 865-3000 or visit www.apptheatre.org.