With his powerful, raspy voice and riveting stage presence, Austin-based singer Malford Milligan has drawn comparisons to such soul icons as Otis Redding and Al Green. Milligan was born on March 29, 1959, in Taylor, TX, to Frank and Mary Milligan, and as an albino black, he experienced a double dose of America's pervasive racial confusions. After failing to make a go of it as a sociology student at Texas Tech University, Milligan moved to Austin in 1981 with the intent to start anew at the University of Texas. His life took a hard left turn toward a music career, however, when he began showing up and singing at the regular Monday night blues jams at Antoine's. Milligan was clearly a special talent, and he soon found himself fronting a local alternative band called the Stick People.
In 1994 he helped form what amounted to a Texas supergroup, Storyville, which also included David Holt, David Grissom, and the rhythm section from Stevie Ray Vaughan's Double Trouble, bassist Tommy Shannon and drummer Chris Layton. Storyville released three critically acclaimed albums between 1994 and 1999, but never managed to really break out on a national level and disbanded after their last release. Milligan became a much in demand session singer, working on albums and touring with the likes of Hal Ketchum, Marcia Ball, Alejandro Escovedo, Sue Foley, Eric Johnson, Chris Smither, and others. He also privately released two benefit albums, The Gospel According to Austin and The Gospel According to Austin, Vol. 2, which found him working outside his usual secular material. From 2001 to 2003 he fronted the explosive Boneshakers band, leaving to form his own group, the Malford Milligan Band, which released an album, Rides Again..., on Varese Sarabande in 2006. ~ Steve Leggett, Rovi