Malpass Family

Location: R.A. Fountain

The Malpass Family, eastern North Carolina’s most popular bluegrass band, returns to Fountain General Store on Friday for a show and concert featuring the vocals of brothers Christopher and Taylor.

Formed out of their home church, New Hope Methodist in Goldsboro, the Malpasses have been packing churches throughout the region for several years and their shows are regularly standing-room-only when they play Fountain. The brothers are joined in the band by their dad, Chris Malspass, on upright bass and Kinston’s Clyde Mattocks on banjo and Dobro.

Their fame has also begun to spread, especially with the recent pairing of Chris with country music legend Don Helms, whose steel guitar defined the Hank Williams sound. “Don has really taken to Chris, and it looks like they’re about to hit the next level,” said Fountain General proprietor Alex Albright. “They’ve finally gotten a good agent, who’s getting them into festivals and conventions, and they’ll be recording a new CD at Tom T. and Dixie Hall’s studios in March.”

The Malpass Family plays a mix of bluegrass, classic country, bluegrass gospel, and original songs performed in bluegrass style. “Chris as a singer is truly an artist, an original,” said Albright, “and Taylor’s turned into a fine mandolin picker, too.”

Turn Back the Years, the CD of Hank Williams covers that Chris Malpass recorded with Helms, has gotten national airplay, and the two have traveled throughout the country performing together. Pre-Helms, the Malpass Family released three earlier CDs, The Unbroken Shall Stand, All He’s Asking, and Live at Bethlehem Baptist Church

“These early CDs are the collectible ones,” said Albright. “You can look at the covers and watch the boys grow up as you hear their voices mature, and with Clyde producing for them, they’ve always managed to have top-notch studio musicians on hand. But once they’re signed to a label, the independent discs will become hard to find.” [Scroll down for links to hear samples from the boys’ voices from 2001, their earliest recording, and from 2006, their latest.]

Tags: bluegrass, bluegrass gospel, classic, Concert, country, tradtional bluegrass