Label: Delta Moon Records
Release Date: August 21, 2015
Review Date: August 30, 2015
Bob Malone, who has toured the world for two decades as a solo artist, as well as played keyboards in rock legend John Fogerty’s band since 2011, has just released his new CD, Mojo Deluxe. It’s the eighth solo album for Malone, who was classically trained, holds a degree in jazz and has played a lifetime of shows at rock and roll clubs, theatres and arenas.
Born and raised in New Jersey, he has lived in New York City, New Orleans and Boston, and is currently based in Los Angeles. Playing an average of 100 tour dates a year, he has shared stages with Bruce Springsteen, Jackson Browne, Jimmy Buffett, Rickie Lee Jones, The Neville Brothers, Rev. Al Green, Dr. John and many others. As a solo artist, Bob tours the US, UK, Europe and Australia extensively, including sets at Glastonbury Music Festival and Colne Blues Festival in the UK; Long Beach Bayou Fest, Falcon Ridge Folk Fest in the US; plus the Blue Mountains Music Fest and Narooma Blues Fest in Australia. At the world-famous New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, he has twice played the legendary WWOZ Piano Night.
The even-dozen tracks on Mojo Deluxe feature the wide-breadth of Malone’s musical knowledge and include exiting originals, as well as cool covers of songs by Ray Charles (“Hard Times”) and Muddy Waters “She Moves Me”). The sound is a perfect gumbo of dirty blues, classic rock & roll and New Orleans piano pyrotechnics. It’s where Bob Malone stomps his foot on a miked-up cigar box, rips on a funky old upright piano and a vintage Wurlitzer and sings fearlessly of life at the halfway point. It’s loaded with deep grooves, swamp rock, gospel-drenched ballads and plenty of nasty slide guitar. The all-star band backing him on the new CD includes harmonica player Stan Behrens (WAR), bassist Tim Lefebvre (Tedeschi-Trucks Band), drummer Mike Baird (Journey, Bob Dylan, Joe Cocker), producer/guitarist Bob DeMarco and drummer Kenny Aronoff, Malone’s Fogerty bandmate. The album was recorded at several studios in the Los Angeles area, as well as in New York City.
Bob Malone offered insights into some of his songs contained on Mojo Deluxe:
“Certain Distance” - “I am an introvert, and a loner. I have always felt a little bit separate from my fellow humans. Most people - even the ones who know me well - take it personally. Which has always amazed me. So once and for all, I want you all to know it’s not you - It’s me. Now leave me alone.”
“I’m Not Fine” – “When people ask me how I’m doing, I say: “fine!” “great!” “never been better!” It’s the American way - nobody likes a complainer! But lately it’s been getting a lot harder to fake it. To be honest: I’m not fine. Thanks for asking.”
“Paris” – “When I tour Europe, I usually play Paris, and my wife, of course, likes to go there with me. When we are there together, it is terribly romantic and we sincerely feel we are in the finest place on earth. But the last time I played Paris, I went alone, and when you’re there alone, Paris is just a city full of French people. Smoking. And when the waiter gives you that Gallic arch of the brow when you ask about a table for one, you just can’t wait to go home.”
“Watching Over Me”- “It took me 25 years to write this song. In the early ‘90s I moved to Los Angeles from the east coast and before long I had a few gigs with country music legend Freddy Fender. There was this one show in Las Vegas and I completely underestimated how much gas money I would need to get there in my aging piece-of-sh*t Dodge van. By the time I arrived, my gas tank was empty, as was the half-pint of cheap whiskey in my glove box. I had no functioning credit cards, no money in my bank account and the gig paid by check. With nothing left to lose, I took the one single dollar I had left to my name and put it in a slot machine. I won two-hundred bucks. To this day, that’s really the only spiritual experience I’ve ever had. I’m still not a religious man, but I have to wonder…”
“Chinese Algebra” – “I always wanted to write something that would contain all of the eclectic elements of my piano playing in one coherent piece of music and discourage bad harmonica players from asking to sit in with the band. This is the result.”
“Can’t Get There From Here” – “I am Generation X, and I am middle-aged. And like every generation before, I can’t believe how fast it happened. I’ll spend the second half of my life trying to undo the damage done in the first half of my life. And maybe, in the end – redemption.”
Each tune a gem in their own right, Mojo Deluxe is will be a great addition to you listening library.