Review: 7 Walkers

7 Walkers (Response)

Review: 7 Walkers

7 Walkers


An "open love letter" to Louisiana and New Orleans, 7 Walkers' debut is funky, spooky, jazzy. What began as a late-night jam session between local blues shaman Malcolm "Papa Mali" Welbourne and Grateful Dead drummer Bill Kreutzmann blossomed into a supergroup with Meters' bassist George Porter Jr. and Austin multi-instrumentalist Matt Hubbard. Add Dead lyricist Robert Hunter, and you've just been served a bewitching brew. Even Willie Nelson shows up to sing and play on "King Cotton Blues." Still, 7 Walkers is all voodoo, with stretches where Dr. John's trademark gris-gris is piled high, particularly when the mystical, tinkling "Chingo!" segues into the macabre blues "Louisiana Rain." Despite all the Grateful Dead connections or perhaps because of them, there's a looseness about the proceedings, although 7 Walkers never comes across as anything less than a working band. Kreutzmann's percussion is never prominent but always integral – one could even point to Hubbard as the linchpin. His keyboard work, harmonica, and trombone makes each tune distinct. The song that gives the band its name is perhaps the quartet's finest moment, a second-line groove sure to rattle some bones and a melody to raise spirits.


  • More of the Story

  • Swampadelic

    Grateful Dead + Papa Mali = 7 Walkers

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

More 7 Walkers
Old Settler's Live Shots
7 Walkers

Jim Caligiuri, April 23, 2010

More Music Reviews
Texas Platters
... And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead
X: The Godless Void and Other Stories (Record Review)

Alejandra Ramirez, Feb. 21, 2020

Texas Platters
Daniel Johnston
Chicago 2017 (Record Review)

Raoul Hernandez, Feb. 21, 2020

More by Jim Caligiuri
Carrie Elkin’s Life-and-Death Folk
Carrie Elkin’s Life-and-Death Folk
Her father's death and daughter's birth upped the stakes of the singer's finest work

April 14, 2017

SXSW Music Live: Richard Barone Presents Greenwich Village in the Sixties
SXSW Music Live: Richard Barone Presents Greenwich Village in the Sixties
Soft Boys, Youngbloods, Moby Grape, Brian Jones’ grandson, etc.

March 18, 2017


7 Walkers

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Behind the scenes at The Austin Chronicle

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle