Malkum & Chris

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Malkum & Chris play gritty, traditional blues with heart and sincerity evoking great down-home blues players like Brownie McGhee, Jimmy Reed, and T-Bone Walker. Harmonica player Malkum Gibson and…
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Malkum & Chris play gritty, traditional blues with heart and sincerity evoking great down-home blues players like Brownie McGhee, Jimmy Reed, and T-Bone Walker.

Harmonica player Malkum Gibson and acoustic guitarist Chris Kleeman met in Yellow Springs, OH, in the 1960s. Gibson's father had been a trumpet player and Gibson grew up developing a love of the Delta blues, and he and Kleeman were both raised on artists like Sonny Terry. The duo toured small towns playing covers of Blind Willie McTell, Charley Patton and their other heroes until, dissatisfied with the small scene, they went to New York City.

Imagine B.B. King's surprise when he found a couple of white teenagers from Ohio belting out the old Delta blues. But King was impressed and produced Malkum & Chris' 1970 debut Just the Blues. Serendipity and skill had led to an amazing first album, but the twosome spilt up and went their separate ways.

Gibson ran some night clubs in the 1970s to stay close to music and continued to play. He has said his best work was an unreleased album with Stronghold and has spent time with friends Rick and Sharon Good's dance and music troupe Rhythm in Shoes. In the meantime, Kleeman established a strong career in music playing on albums by acts like Brown Trout & the Lunkers, Anni Clark, George Gritzbach, and John Coster, and in shows with Taj Mahal and Chris Smither.

Yes I Want to Go
In 2001, over 30 years after their debut, Malkum & Chris reunited and released Walk On on Buckatoon Records. The album featured Kleeman's deft fingerpicking and slide guitar. Yes, I Want to Go followed on Buckatoon in 2002.