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Down on Main

Join us on July 13th in Fairpark for Heath Green and the Makeshifters and Papa Mali! 


You would think that with all of the attention being paid to the resurgence of Alabama soul music that someone like Heath Green would surely be on the radar of every A&R guy out of Nashville by now, yet for someone who has been quietly plying his trade for well over 15 years, Mr. Green has somehow managed to avoid the spotlight due to a lifetime of patience, hard luck, and working man’s caution. As a longtime fixture on the Birmingham music scene through groups like Mudpie, Fishergreen, and the Back Row Baptists, Green has carved out a reputation as one of the finest songwriters and performers around, combining gritty storytelling born out of the dirt and red clay of his home state with an electric delivery that’s on par with the best soul men of the modern era. Having toiled countless hours at dive bars and late-night haunts that have served as the real-time backdrop for his ongoing musical canvas, Green’s penchant for “tell it like it is” songwriting has made him a favorite among local scenesters in the Magic City music community, weaving tried and true tales of desperation, redemption, and devil-may-care attitude into a cohesive whole worthy of Delta blues relics twice his age.

But that’s really only half of the story. Having grown up on a steady diet of Stones, Faces, Humble Pie, and a lifetime of wanting to capture the live fire of artists like Ike & Tina Turner and the Joe Cocker/Leon Russell nexus, Heath’s uncanny ability to channel the best of his musical heroes is truly a sight to behold. From sidelong stage shimmies and full blast soul screams, to exorcising rock n’ roll demons with plaintive pleas for mercy and salt-of-the-earth salvation, there are few modes of musical catharsis his sonic world leaves untouched.

Having finally found a working unit of like-minded musicians to bring his songs to life in the form of the Makeshifters— consisting of his longtime musical partner Jason Lucia (13 ghosts, Dead String Brothers) on drums and half of Alabama indie rock savants Through the Sparks manning a blistering string section, with fretboard firebrand Jody Nelson on guitar pyrotechnics and Greg Slamen on bass— Heath may finally be on the cusp of the wider audience he has long deserved. Showcasing a unique blend of Swampers-tinged R&B and churning Zeppelin/Sabbath riffage— all tied together by Green’s smoky and guttural leave-it-on-the-stage delivery— the Makeshifters have created the perfect palette for one of the South’s most under-recognized frontmen to take his craft to the next level. Effortlessly navigating between the emotional and sonic extremes of songs like the mournful “Ain’t It A Shame” and the raucous take-no-prisoners guitar blitz of “Livin’ On The Good Side,” there are few bands below the Mason-Dixon line with enough brass to conquer the terrain these four gentlemen lay asunder any given night of the week.

From searing blues boogie and heartbreaking balladry, to maximum rock n’ roll with a side of fatback bounce, they’ve got it all and then some with enough to spare for the rest of us. And now it’s time for the rest of the country to choogle along with them and bear witness to the lightning in a bottle that is Heath Green & The Makeshifters.


Papa Mali (born Malcolm Helm Welbourne in Vicksburg, Mississippi, May 6, 1957) is a New Orleans based American singer-songwriter, guitarist and producer.

He has been a touring musician and recording artist for decades. Yet, he is probably best known as the front man for 7 Walkers, a band formed in 2009 that includes three musical icons: Grateful Dead founding member and drummer Bill Kreutzmann, The Meters’ founding bassist, George Porter Jr. and lyricist Robert Hunter, who penned most of the Grateful Dead’s classic catalog (along with the late Jerry Garcia) and now co-writes much of 7 Walkers material with Welbourne. Multi-instrumentalist, vocalist and Willie Nelson collaborator, Matt Hubbard completes the lineup. Their self-titled debut was released to critical acclaim in November of 2010. For the all latest 7 Walkers news and tour dates click here:

Papa Mali is also known for his own live performances and recorded output, most notably his two albums for Fog City Records (2000’s Thunder Chicken and 2007’s Do Your Thing), both produced by Dan Prothero and the latter featuring some of New Orleans’ most legendary musicians.

His work as a producer includes 7 Walkers (Response, 2010), The Phenomenal Ruthie Foster (Blue Corn, 2007) and records by Lavelle White, Omar and the Howlers, Wendy Colonna, The Greyhounds and others.

When not on tour with 7 Walkers, Papa Mali can usually be found at home in New Orleans, where he regularly performs with his own band, Double Uptown Shotgun – often at his favorite neighborhood watering hole, The Maple Leaf Bar or at nearby Tipitina’s.


Earlier Event: July 13
Farmers' Depot
Later Event: July 15
Farmers' Depot