Rick Malis

I've lived most of my life in two mill towns, Lawrence, Massachusetts and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Both places had a heavy influence in me making a record like Rust Belt Blues, my fourth solo studio release. It also felt like a timely record to make in this period of economic decline and a disappearing middle class. I've also been listening to and playing a lot of blues lately and that led me to take a different musical direction on this recording and batch of mostly new songs.

Here's a little more about me.

My brother taught me how to open chord G, C, D and Em on an old Gibson when I was 14 and I still use that progression a lot; too much in fact.

I've always been able to sing pretty well. Before my testicles dropped, they shoved me into choirs, barbershop quartets, and made me sing Christmas Carols at the front of the room in school. Then i discovered Bob Dylan and Hank Williams and put a quick end to all that extracurricular crap to become a bona fide folk singer. Every day I think I'm getting closer.

Roadhouse money is about all I've ever made playing music, but I'm completely ok with that. I played on two bills with George Jones. Both times he couldn't make it out of the bus. I've jammed and shook the hand of Bill Monroe. Norman Blake insulted me once. And I harmonized on the Good Ship Lollypop with Terry Bradshaw on his 33rd birthday. Quite the resume.

Last year I made $9.34 on one gig.  There ain't no way I'm stopping now 'til I beat that record. 

If you want to know more about me, I'd just suggest you listen to some of my songs. They're mostly truthful.