Sundilla to Welcome Award-Winning Roots Musician

Atlanta-based musician Michelle Malone will perform in Auburn. PHOTO BY JOLIE LOREN / CONTRIBUTED TO THE OBSERVER



Atlanta’s Michelle Malone, a mainstay of American roots music for more than 30 years, will perform at Sundilla Concert Series on June 16.

According to Sundilla, showtime at Pebble Hill is 7:30 p.m., and like all Pebble Hill concerts, this one will be outdoors if the weather cooperates. Advance tickets are just $20 and can be found at Spicer’s Music, Ross House Coffee and online at Admission at the door will be $25. Free coffee, tea, water and food will be available, and the audience is welcome to bring their own favorite food or beverage.

Malone has built an award-winning career as a singer, songwriter and road warrior. Malone’s SBS Records, distributed by BFD Entertainment/The Orchard, just released “Fan Favorites, Vol. 1 Unplugged” on May 12, in which Malone revisits more than a dozen songs that have become staples of her nightly gigs.

The idea to record new versions of older songs arrived during the COVID-19 pandemic. Malone began performing stripped-down songs in her living room, live-streaming them to audiences across the country. Old fans tuned in. New fans were made. Along the way, she received numerous requests for the songs that inspired her and guitarist Doug Kees to go into the studio to record the stripped-down versions, which became “Fan Favorites, Vol. 1 Unplugged.”

The songs were, in essence, Malone’s greatest hits, and they sounded every bit as vital in her living room — where she strummed them alone, on acoustic guitar — as they did with a big, plugged-in band. “Fan Favorites, Vol. 1 Unplugged” celebrates Malone’s past while shining new light on her present. It’s not just a victory lap; it’s a rebirth, too.

Malone’s music is ingrained in the soundtrack of the American South, mixing the rebellious stomp of roadhouse rock ‘n’ roll with the raw grit of blues, the holy-rolling rasp of gospel, the slow-motion sweep of country-soul and the organic warmth of folk music.

Proudly based in Atlanta, Georgia, she spends much of her time on the move, regularly crisscrossing the country to play 200 shows annually. Recorded with guitarist Doug Kees, the new acoustic album trades the amplified dynamics of Malone’s studio work — a catalog that has been lauded by Rolling Stone for its “soulful ballads and rowdy, riffy blasters” — for a stripped-down sound that nods to Malone’s musical roots.


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