Review: Bob Malone – Mojo EP
Posted on: Sunday, Jul 20, 2014
Bob Malone – Mojo EP
I remember Creedence Clearwater Revival albums being reviewed in Blues Unlimited magazine way back, and more astoundingly perhaps, being pretty well received; and their material has been covered many, many times, by artists from Ike and Tina to the likes of zydeco accordionist Queen Ida. Creedence’s leader was John Fogerty, who wrote ‘Rockin’ All Over The World’ after leaving the group – it was later picked up by Status Quo.
All this preamble is simply because Los Angeles keyboards player and singer Bob Malone works in Fogerty’s current band, so unsurprisingly there is a strong and rootsy blues-rock approach on offer. Take the opener – some jazzy electric piano leads into hard-rock riffing and a wailing blues harmonica adds to the growing excitement of this up tempo rocker.
The line-up includes other musicians from Fogerty’s band, from veteran funk outfit War, Tim Lefebvre form the Tedeschi-Trucks Band and Mike Baird, who has associated with Bob Dylan, Joe Cocker and others. The piano focus makes a change from constant guitar slinging, though the sound itself mixes up blues, rock, New Orleans sounds and Americana (excellent Dobro playing on the slower, bayou inflected ‘Toxic Love’).
No keyboards player in the blues field is going to overlook Ray Charles, and Bob turns in an admirably restrained cover of Brother Ray’s ‘Hard Times’. ‘I’m Not Fine’ has a funky rock approach with hints of New Orleans, in contrast to the quiet, breathy, non-bluesy, vaguely Elton John styled ‘Paris’, which I could live without. Thankfully it is back to that bluesy New Orleans approach for the lengthy closer, ‘Rage & Cigarettes’ – which should have a “parental guidance” warning.
This EP is a taster for Bob’s forthcoming album (his seventh), a special limited edition release to coincide with his UK tour. Bob flies into Britain for the Colne Festival on 25th August and will be gigging around until late September. On this evidence he should be well worth checking out!
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