In 1999 Papa Mali recorded his first solo outing Thunder Chicken, for the prestigious boutique label, Fog City Records, home to Galactic, Mofro, Garage A Trois, Stanton Moore, Tim Bluhm and Ettienne deRocher.
Noted music critic, Thom Jurek had this to say about the record that started it all:
“Thunder Chicken is one of the few truly wild and unruly records to come from the rock & roll tradition in the 21st century.”
Maybe more telling (and certainly even more flattering) is what drum legend Zigaboo Modeliste said, not long after it’s release: “My wife and I listened to Thunder Chicken fifteen times in a row on Christmas day.”
Is there any greater compliment?
‘‘ one of the best New Orleans funk & swamp-rock records in recent memory” — Scott Jordan, New Orleans Gambit
‘‘ Mali and company navigate the idiosyncrasies of the grooves like natives, but still conjure a spirit all their own, as evidenced by the seven originals that round out the program and slide in comfortably alongside the Louisiana classics” — Keith Spera, New Orleans Times-Picayne
‘‘ Who are these dudes? Havent heard swamp music this good since Tony Joe White. Papa definitely has Spanish moss on his antlers” — Lee Froelich, Playboy Magazine
‘‘ laced with the kind of New Orleans groove that would make Dr. John proud” — Jay Mazza, The Louisiana Weekly
‘‘ Fog City is an eminently cool record label with its penchant for expanded-media CDs and utterly cool taste in artists. Papa Mali’s offering should do the label proud. Thunder Chicken is a gem” — Thomas Knapp, The Lafayette Daily Advertiser
‘‘ Incredible album! I was in the record business for over ten years, and have done public radio over twelve years. This CD impressed me more than any in recent history. Thanks!” — postcard from Chris, a fan in Texas