When the 7 Walkers came on the scene, it was like a breath of fresh air. Finally, a founding member (Bill Kreutzmann) of one of the most important bands of the century (Grateful Dead), if not all time, was creating new material. Furthermore, he was doing so with lyricist, Robert Hunter, one of the most profound songwriters to ever put pen to paper, but who had released very little material for far too long of a time period.
Putting together an all-star lineup, made up of guitarist and vocalist Papa Mali, multi-instumentalist Matt HubbardÂ and bassist Reed Mathis who was replaced by funk legend, George Porter, Jr., due to Mathis’ Tea Leaf Green commitments.
What happened with the addition of Porter was an all new depth of Kreutzmann and Mali’s original Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup vision… “getting even more of each other’sÂ funk on each other’s Grateful Dead and vice versa.”
While on Jam Cruise 10, David Shehi sat down with Kreutzmann and Mali for a lengthy discussion on many topics, from a new album that is in the works to Grateful Dead vault releases. Most notably though was Kreutzmann’s setting the record straight in regards to his relationship with Bob Weir, Mali’s openness about the importance of Bill in his life, and Kreutzmann’s tearful candor when talking about the the vacancy he felt after the passing of Jerry Garcia and how that has been somewhat filled by Papa Mali and the 7 Walkers.
An Interview with Bill Kreutzmann & Papa Mali