This week, I'm bringing a very special guest to Out of the Chute.
I first met Tim Malchak over thirty years ago during a concert in Peoria IL. While I know that was a lifetime ago for both of us, all I have to do is pop my cassette in the player or bring up the tunes of those days on YouTube... one of which I'll be sharing at the end of this post.
We've both ridden life's rollercoaster over that time, but two things have not changed. Tim Malchak is still one of the most real guys in the industry and a stellar artist.
Let's open the chute!
Thanks for joining me in KellysCountry today, Tim. Re-connecting with you and knowing you're still playing music has been a blessing for me.
I was preparing for this visit, I dug out our previous interview… from 1987! Until we connected on Twitter last fall, we’ve not spoken in 33 years. WOW! Time flies and I know a lot has happened in your life. We’ll never be able to catch up today so let’s see what we can cover.
In the 1980s you were on Alpine records, an independent label before people really understood the impact independents would have on either the music or the publishing industry. You told me in a former interview that you didn’t feel you could take credit for opening the doors to other artists. What did you carry with you from that experience to your new path going into 2000 and beyond?
I think I brought a serious work ethic from always being the underdog, so to speak, in a very competitive industry.
What were some of the differences between working with Alpine and moving to Universal and Different Circles? Other than the lack of charting, was there anything specific that sent you back to South Carolina?
Alpine was owned by my producer Johnny Rutenschroer and we enjoyed a very creative work environment together. It was a mutual decision to sign with Universal and we both co-produced the new album with James Stroud.
I think the biggest change in your life came in 1999. Would you briefly tell us what led to that bridge and what you shed of your former life?
Well it’s no secret now that I struggled with drug addiction for 26 yrs. In fact I became a very high functioning addict. But I knew I couldn’t continue on like that. In 1995 I just stopped cold turkey by the grace of God. Then in 1999 I realized a need for a Savior. On July 22 1999 I confessed my sins to God and received Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior
Your music has also gone through a metamorphosis. When did the ministry lyrics begin to flow and what were you thinking? I mean, these were different lyrics from things you’d recorded through Alpine.
After I got saved I knew I wanted to write songs and use the gifts He’d given me for His glory, not mine! As I became more acquainted with the word of God, the songs just seem to pour out of me.
One Nation Under God contains eight powerful tracks, four of which are co-written with your wife. How long have the two of you been co-writing?
We’ve been together for 5 years and we’ve co-written many songs together.
Leslie seems to be a woman of many talents, one of which was providing the beautiful cover design for the new album. Is she a graphics designer?
Actually she is a retired pharmacist. But she does have a unique talent for album design.
Years ago I asked about the acoustical sound being your trademark. You told me that was what you cut your teeth on and would always be a big part of your music. I’m thrilled to see you were true to your conviction. Writers have a distinctive voice, and I believe that TRUE musicians do as well. Years always bring change and you’ve had some in your life over the past thirty-plus years. Has there been a struggle to maintain that signature voice?
Not really. I’ve always been a huge fan of acoustic guitar and the artists that embrace it so wonderfully. People like Dan Fogelberg, Jim Croce, James Taylor just to name a few. The acoustic has always been the basis for all my music whether its Christian or not. I perform solo with an acoustic guitar so I strive to make records that I can represent with just a guitar and one voice.
You and Leslie have been trying to cover the southeastern part of the US, spreading the ministry through your music. What’s next for you and Leslie on this journey? With the Covid-19 and the sheltering in place have you put any of your scheduled ‘evenings’ on hold and what are you doing to prepare for when you can continue to move forward?
This pandemic is a terrible thing that is taking over the world. We are just trying to follow the CDC guidelines and staying quarantined. Once the virus comes under control then we will try to resume a limited touring schedule. It’s going to be tough.
That’s our eight but I have to throw in one more out of curiosity:
I know you have a big Super Hero in your corner these days but I have to ask, are you still a Batman fan? LOL (I’m Blushing) Yes no doubt Jesus is my Super Hero now. I think my Batman days are over but thanks for the reminder.
Here's a flash back thirty years to the song that runs through my head.
Tim's current CD- ONE NATION UNDER GOD is available for purchase:
You can connect with Tim Malchak through the following links:
Please come back tomorrow for Turntable Tuesday where I'll be reviewing Tim's latest release: