While others in the Radiators hustled to define a post-Rads identity, frontman Dave Malone has taken his time. “There were some fans who wanted us to continue in whatever form we could manage,” Malone notes, “but I had some other ideas I wanted to try out, especially playing with my family.” Malone listened to suggestions and requests and weighed all his options before deciding on a course of action. In September, he released an ambitious fall schedule that features him playing in a number of different lineups.
Malone’s fans were particularly excited about plans to play with brother Tommy, best known for his work with the subdudes. The two have an interesting history together, as anyone who’s heard them as the Malone Rangers can attest. “That was more of an acoustic thing,” says Dave. “Tommy and I playing some country and folk songs from our childhood. We’re planning to put together a rock band and call it the Malone Sharks.”
Dave reunited with Tommy in September in both settings—an acoustic duo house show on Tommy’s birthday and a full band show at the Boom Boom Room in San Francisco.
Malone also announced a series of dates with Bonerama, including a performance at the Voodoo Experience on Halloween weekend. Bonerama’s Mark Mullins was a regular guest at Radiators shows, and Mullins and Craig Klein participated in the Rads’ final Jazz Fest set last May 8. Since the Rads broke up, Bonerama has been playing several of the band’s songs at their shows, so Malone should be a great fit.
Malone is also playing in a couple of high profile jam sessions combining various New Orleans musicians. On October 5, he’s part of a benefit show in New York City at The Canal Room for the New Orleans Musicians’ Clinic, joining Adam Deitch, former bandmate Camile Baudoin and Dumpstaphunk’s Ivan Neville and Tony Hall. Two nights later, Malone and Baudoin appear together at the Voice of the Wetlands Festival in Houma. The next day he’ll be the special guest with brother Tommy and the Mystik Drone (Johnny Ray Allen, Carlo Nuccio, David Torkanowsky) at Gretna Fest.
It’s a busy schedule, but nothing like that of the Radiators in their final months. “The idea behind that grueling schedule over the band’s last six months of existence was to keep us so busy we didn’t have time to think about the heartbreak of calling it quits after 33 years,” he says. “But when it was over, I really needed some time off.”