Malone was born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia, by her mother and grandmother, both professional singers. She first began performing at age four in a church choir, and later learned to play saxophone, guitar, and drums, which she played in her first band at age twelve.
As a teenager, Malone began to write songs. While studying voice at Agnes Scott College, she began performing professionally in and around Atlanta. She left school upon receiving a recording contract from Clive Davis at Arista Records, for whom she recorded the album Relentless with her band Drag the River, produced by Lenny Kaye of the Patti Smith Group. She would later sign with Walter Yetnikoff’s label Velvel Records. In 1999, Malone returned to her independent roots and her own label, SBS Records, originally established in 1987 as Aluminum Jane Records and later renamed in 1992. She continues to write, record and tour furiously and passionately.
Malone has won numerous awards including Best Female Vocalist and Best Acoustic Guitarist (Creative Loafing), Album of the Year (Atlanta Magazine), Americana Album of the year (Independent Acoustic Project Award). Her albums Sugar Foot and Debris, released on SBS Records, were both on the Grammy Award ballot for best Contemporary Blues and Best Americana Albums respectively. Her songs have appeared in the films Bam Bam and Celeste, All Over Me, Shotgun Jesus and television programs True Blood, Dawson’s Creek, Felicity, Brooklyn South, and have been recorded by Indigo Girls (for which she received both gold and platinum records), Antigone Rising, Vistoso Bosses, and Hannah Thomas. Malone appeared with The Harshed Mellows (featuring Dan Baird of the Georgia Satellites, Mike Campbell, Benmont Tench, and Stan Lynch of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, producer Brendan O’Brien, and session drummer Mauro Magellen) on a recording of the song U.S. Blues for the Grateful Dead tribute album Deadicated (Arista Records, 1991). She was also featured in a Georgia Tourism TV commercial with Elton John in the 1994. The Collectible card game Magic: The Gathering was named in part after Malone’s song The Gathering (Redemption Dream 1994/Daemon Records/HiFi Records). In 2010 Malone took part in a virtual concert performing to a screen displaying avatars, as part of Michael Nesmith’s Video Ranch 3D project. Malone has collaborated in the studio and on stage with such artists as John Mayer, Sugarland members Jennifer Nettles, Kristen Hall, and Kristian Bush, Indigo Girls, Shawn Mullins, Kevn Kinney, Drivin’ N Cryin’, Little Feat, Albert King, Charlie Musselwhite, Johnny Winter, Lurrie Bell, Lonnie Brooks, ZZ Top, Robert Cray, Keb Mo, Tinsley Ellis, Rory Block, Marcia Ball, Chris Whitley, Steve Earle, K.T. Tunstall, Shawn Colvin, Jackson Browne, James Taylor and Joan Osborne, as well as Ellen DeGeneres.
Michelle Malone has been called “among the flashiest, most impressive slide guitar soloists working in contemporary blues, often fortifying her vocals with slashing lines, inventive twists and surprising backing.” (Nashville City Paper)She can make the biggest arena seem cozy as a campfire and an intimate venue feel like the center of the universe. Her live show is not to be missed. Stompin' Ground creates the perfect platform for the acoustic angel to meet the wicked Salome. It's stripped down and cranked up like a chopped up hot rod in a NASCAR final heat, oozing passionate rocking beats at its juicy core. Along with her band, The Low Down Georgia Revue (Jonny Daly from Drag the River is back on guitar, while Lee Kennedy on bass and Linda Bolley on drums lay down the backbeat) Stompin' Ground was recorded in Atlanta by Rob Gal at the Snack N Shack. Michelle opens the CD sliding her way around the bottleneck guitar and singing about returning to the south for solace when she gets down and out, and closes it singing, "Here comes your shadow chasing after you"
From beginning to end you get the feeling that after all her barnstorming struggles and boot-stomping victories, Malone has hit pay dirt in the music and in herself, Stompin' Ground finds Michelle Malone at the peek of her talent.
A SWINGIN' CHRISTMAS IN THE ATTIC
Even if it's not Christmas just one listen to this CD and you'll be ready to deck the hall! Recorded live at the legendary Eddie's Attic in Decatur, GA on November 3, 1992, and available on CD for the first time, A Swingin'Christmas in the Attic is Michelle at her most bluesy, jazzy and relaxed - and it's sure to get you into the holiday spirit all year long. Includes "Santa Claus is Coming to Town," "Let It Snow," "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer" and others.