R.L.’s been a musician since his days as a child growing up in Como, Mississippi, home to the great Hill Country bluesman Mississippi Fred McDowell. He started out as a drummer, playing for the Rising Star Fife and Drum band with blues legend Otha Turner, all the while waiting to come out in front to sing and play guitar. His songs are often delivered in an improvisational fashion, with references to his collaborators, his environs and whatever else happens to be on mind at that particular moment.
Lightnin’ Malcolm learned directly from Blues Masters touring with R.L. Burnside, T Model Ford, Big Jack Johnson, Robert Belfour etc… Developing a uniquely funky and hypnotic Bass/Rhythm/Lead simultaneous “full band” Guitar sound, as One Man Band with foot drums or Power Duo with drummer (notably Cedric Burnside). In 2009 Malcolm won Blues Music Award Emerging Artist, fusing raw electrifying Blues power and fresh melodic songwriting with elements of Funk, Soul, Rock, Reggae, Hip Hop, African World Beat, Gospel and Country to create an Authentic melodic signature sound.