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    Malone, Kenny

    Percussionist from Denver, Colorado, who began experimenting with the snare drum at five years of age and gravitated to the marimba at the age of nine.  At fifteen years of age, he was a member of two very different groups, the D’Oyly Carte Opera Company orchestra and a sixteen-member accordion ensemble.  He enlisted in the United States Navy and was a member of the naval band until he switched to the Armed Forces School of Music, where he served as Head of the Percussion Department. 


    In 1970, he relocated to Nashville, Tennessee, where his career as a session musician really took off.  One of the first albums on which he appeared was Charlie McCoy’s Harpin’ the Blues.  He also did an album with Don Williams (the first of many) and kept the beat on “Drift Away” by Dobie Gray. 


    In 1972, he joined the country rock outfit, Barefoot Jerry, and with them recorded a pair of albums, a self-titled affair and 1974’s Watchin’ TV.  Other albums from the same year:  Buffy Sainte Marie; J.J. Cale’s Okie; Randy Lee’s Soakin’ with Tears; and, Charlie McCoy’s Nashville Hit Man. 


    In 1976, he could be heard on J.J. Cale’s Troubadour, Ronnie Milsap’s 20-20 Vision, and Connie Smith’s I Don’t Wanna Talk it over Anymore.  The following year, he befriended Buddy Emmons and Buddy Spicher on Buddies, assisted Amy Grant on her eponymous effort, added his name to John Hartford’s All in the Name of Love, and celebrated Seasons with The Renaissance. 


    In 1978, he reunited with Buddy Emmons on Lenny Breau’s Minors Aloud, helped breathe some life into Jack Clement’s All I Want to Do in Life, played on The Michael Johnson Album, helped out on David Meece’s Everybody Needs a Little Help, and helped start A Tradition with The Renaissance.  He rejoined Michael Johnson on Dialogue and The Renaissance on Together in 1979. 


    In 1980, he drummed on The Earl Scruggs Revue’s Country Comfort and Michael Johnson’s You Can Call Me Blue, and was nominated for a Best Drums award by the Academy of Country Music.  Other ‘80s albums on which he performed:  Bela Fleck with the New Grass Revival:  Deviation; Commonwealth by New Grass Revival; Praise You, Lord… by Buddy Greene; Somewhere Between by J.D. Crowe and the New South; and, Swingin’ on a Seven-String by Lenny Breau. 


    He also helped found Tone Patrol, a group that released a pair of albums and cultivated a following as the singular modern jazz ensemble in a town dominated by country music.  Another group with which he recorded was The Sawmill Creek Band, and he appeared on their At Home CD in 1990.  Some highlights from the ‘90s:  Billy Yates; Departure by Michael Johnson; Dialogue:  The Michael Johnson Album; J.D. Crowe and the New South; Minstrel of the Lord by Buddy Greene; Tales from the Acoustic Planet by Bela Fleck; Then & Now by Michael Johnson; and, the various-artists collection, Thin Air. 


    He opened the new millennium on The Mercury Years by Johnny Cash, Sad Songs and Waltzes by Keith Whitley, and Guess Things Happen That Way by Cowboy Jack Clement.  In 2005, he performed on The Embassy Sessions by Karla Anderson, Fair & Square by John Prine, Live in NC with Darrell Scott and Danny Thompson, and Stolen Moments by Alison Brown. 


    These were followed by The Best of Pickin’ on Eric Clapton:  The Ultimate Bluegrass Tribute, The Hawaiian Tribute to Bob Marley:  Keep it Burning, Standard Songs for Average People by John Prine and Mac Wiseman, Wager by Malcolm Holcombe, and When at Last by Russ Barenberg.  He reunited with Malcolm on For the Mission Baby and Gamblin’ House and Alison Brown on The Company You Keep, and kept company with the Davidson Brothers on Born to Play, Sarah Jarosz on Song up in Her Head, and Claire Lynch on Whatcha Gonna Do, on which he is credited with percussion. 


    In 2010, he appeared on Jill Sobule’s self-titled album and joined an all-star cast including Alison Krauss, Emmylou Harris, Patty Loveless, Kathy Mattea and Dave Matthews at the Ryman Auditorium for a program entitled Music Saves Mountains.  If music saves mountains, Kenny has saved his fair share.  The recordings above are but a snapshot of a discography that, if amassed in one place, would create one big mountain of work.


    Hargus “Pig” Robbins recordings

    Chunky People (Jim Vest/David Chamberlain)



    1. http://www.hand-drumming.com/
    2. http://www.hand-drumming.com/bio.html
    3. http://don-williams-fan.tripod.com/discography1.htm
    4. http://musiciansolympus.blogspot.com/2010/01/kennybuttrey-drums.html
    5. http://classicwebs.com/barefoot.htm
    6. http://www.jjcale.com/music.html
    7. http://www.lpdiscography.com/m/Milsap/milsap_twenty.htm
    8. http://www.tdpri.com/forum/telecaster-discussion-forum/109789-who-tele-picker-playing-tv-my-girlfriend.html
    9. http://www.asminor.info/nemsbook/b/lennybreau.htm
    10. http://www.marcogiunco.com/dischi/000673.htm
    11. http://www.livinglegendsmusic.com/discography.php?personID=139&groupID=
    12. http://www.bluedesert.dk/michaeljohnson.html
    13. http://www.renaissancegospel.com/renaissance_gospel_015.htm
    14. http://www.earlscruggs.com/edcd552.html
    15. http://www.metrolyrics.com/1980-academy-of-country-music-awards.html
    16. http://home.comcast.net/~wendell.norman/sam3.pdf
    17. http://www.artofliferecords.com/swinginonasevenstring.html
    18. http://www.lennybreau.com/
    19. http://www.discogs.com/Buddy-Greene-Praise-You-Lord/release/1956817
    20. http://www.sawmillcreekband.com/about.php
    21. http://www.audio-music.info/htm/f/Fleck_Bela_Tales_from_the_Acoustic_Planet.htm
    22. http://www.amazon.com/Minstrel-Lord-Buddy-Greene/dp/B00000IYFY
    23. http://www.faqs.org/copyright/reynolds-and-jones-a-collection-of-music-vol-i-by-patrick-h-2/
    24. http://cgi.ebay.com/Billy-Yates-Billy-Yates-CD-1997-/341662743990
    25. http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~jcm/discog.html
    26. http://www.discogs.com/Michael-Johnson-Dialogue-The-Michael-Johnson-Album/release/752520
    27. http://www.amazon.co.uk/Mercury-Years-Johnny-Cash/dp/B00004TREJ
    28. http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/live-in-nc/id107532628
    29. http://www.answers.com/topic/darrell-scott-1
    30. http://www.youtube.com/user/karlaandersonmusic
    31. http://georgegraham.com/reviews/albrown.html
    32. http://www.jpshrine.org/lyrics/liner/notes_fas.htm
    33. http://www.russbarenberg.com/CurrRel.cfm
    34. http://www.malcolmholcombe.com/bio_set.htm
    35. http://www.jpshrine.org/lyrics/liner/notes_ssfap.htm
    36. http://www.fye.com/Best-of-Pickin--on-Eric-Clapton-Front-Page_stcVVproductId7625803VVcatId455366VVviewprod.htm
    37. http://www.buy.com/prod/hawaiian-tribute-to-bob-marley/q/loc/109/204884260.html
    38. http://www.bluegrassjournal.com/2008/12/10/alison-brown-company-you-keep-march-2009/
    39. http://www.davidsonbrothersband.com/albumdb.htm
    40. http://fiddlefreak.com/2009/08/16/sarah-jarosz/
    41. http://airplaydirect.com/music/bands/28038/index.php
    42. http://www.rhapsody.com/jill-sobule/jill-sobule--2010/karen-by-night
    43. http://guitarinternational.com/wpmu/2010/06/03/musicsaves/
    44. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MsDbjVTJo4o











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