Written by Eddie Ferranti
Jul 21, 2011
ImageStoryville was a Texas super group in the mid-90’s that had an Austin based soulful, bluesy rocker named Malford Milligan fronting the likes of David Grissom, David Holt, Tommy Shannon, and Chris Layton.

Rose and I have been lucky to catch reincarnations of the band at the killer Saxon Pub in A-Town and it is a moving and worthwhile experience. MM was coming to the Mucky Duck in Houston and we were ready to see some flashes of that era, especially since about 6 months earlier he had cancelled his show at the last minute at The Duck.

As soon as he took the stage this evening and announced his lead guitar player was off on tour with Joe Ely, the gig ended for me before it started!  Flanked by Phil Redman on keys and “Yogi” on bass, Milligan formed what he called “Thee Oreo of Soul”.  What it turned out to be was more like “The Marshmallow Ball of Goo”.  To try and fill in keyboards for electric guitar works for about 3 songs max. What happened here turned into a Holiday Inn lounge singer bit. And bad at it, too.

MM’s sound is not blues this way or soulful either.  It is capable of holding your attention for a while with his over-the-top chest slappin’ and shuck and jive style, but in the long run it was tedious and boring. Some signs of life included “She’s Naturally Funky”, “Don’t Change Horses in the Middle of the Stream”, tender dedication to Steven Bruton on “Blue Eyes”, and thee most up tempo number “Standing By The Highway Just Waitin’ in the Rain”.

Milligan didn’t help his cause this night with us either by showing up in a plain white t-shirt lookin’ like he just rolled out of the rack. His ‘ham-and eggs” act gets real old when stripped so bare like this. His new CD is coming out and he’s sporting a “Ward Cleaver” type hair-do too that should help like nothing to further his career.  Dude needs to get back to his roots like ASAP…Until the next hopeful better time out in LIVE music land, I’m out.