Rick Galusha's Pacific St. Blues and Americana

Since inception (1989), Pacific St. Blues & Americana strives to be a discerning voice helping roots fans sift through the mountains of music released every year. We are not for everyone; we want to engage active, critical listeners that hear beyond d'jour. Interviews include: Johnny Winter, Bill Wyman (Rolling Stones), Jerry Wexler, Tommy Shannon & Chris Layton, B.B. King, Dr. John, Robin Trower, Robben Ford, Mato Nanji, Joe Bonamassa, Harry Manx, Sue Foley, Marshall Chess, Billy Lee Riley, Charlie Louvin, Kim Richey, Radney Foster, Eric Johnson, David Clayton Thomas, Al Kooper, Phil Chen (Wired, Blow By Blow), Ian McLagan, Art Neville, Southside Johnny, Miami Steve Van Zant, Nils Lofgren, Bruce Iglauer, Charlie Musselwhite, Studebaker John, Chris Duarte, Smokin' Joe Kubeck, Hamilton Loomis, Peter Karp, Roomful of Blues, James Harman, Hadden Sayers, Malford Milligan, Melvin Taylor, Otis Taylor, Dave Alvin, Coco Montoya, Jimmy Thackery, Marsha Ball, Maria Muldaur, Shelby Lynne, Magic Dick & J. Geils, Lil' Milton, BuddyGuy, Aynsley Lister, Matt Schofield, Susan Tedeschi, Derek Trucks, Guy Clark, Joe Ely, James Cotton, Robin & Jesse Davey, Hugh Coltman (Hoax), Sean Kelly (Samples), John Entwistle (The Who), Mark Olson (Jayhawks), Walter Wolfman Washington, Anthony Gomes, Bob Malone, Chubby Carrier, Buckwheat Zydeco, Murali Coryell, David Jacob Strain, DeAnna Bogart, Michael Lee Firkins, Guy Davis, Jason Ricci, John Doe, Little Feat, Matt Woods, MikeZito, Peter Buffett, Ronnie Baker Brooks, Corky Siegel, Todd Park Mohr, Watermelon Slim, Magic Slim, Corey Harris,- - - - - - ------------------------Radio archives: http://www.kiwrblues.podomatic.com/. Playlists: http://www.omahablues.com/ Reviews featured in http://www.blueswax.com/. Email: KIWRblues@gmail.com Live online; Sundays 9 a.m. (-6 GMT) http://www.897theriver.com/

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Album Review: Bob Malone, 'Ain't What You Know'

Writer: Bob Malone
Title: Ain’t What You Know
Writer: Rick Galusha

When your friends and co-workers are among the finest studio musicians from one of the world’s most competitive music centers, you have an advantage if played properly. Born in Maine, reared in New Jersey, a graduate of Berklee School of Music and apprenticed in New Orleans; the sixth album by Los Angles based studio keyboardist Bob Malone, “Ain’t What You Know” is a finely honed, exceptionally well crafted album. Much like the ultimate genre hopper Eric Clapton, Malone is able to move effortlessly between overt blues based tracks to the John Hiatt-like, ‘Small Girl’ or the pop radio, ‘Butterfly.’

Malone’s choices for the albums only two covers; The Band’s ‘Up on Cripple Creek’ and The Faces’ “Stay With Me,” indicate the artist’s larger vision for the album; blues based textures relying on solid songwriting and smooth studio production with an eye on commercial appeal to a mature audience with a Classic Rock background. Producer Bob DeMarco effectively uses depth and space, including a smokin’ horn section and female back-up vocals, to actively engage the listener’s ears while paying homage to the song.

While only reminiscent of a traditional blues sound, Malone appeals to the roots and blues audience with heartfelt ballads, nuisanced arrangements and a never ending tour schedule. If one were to take the blues credibility of Dr. John, the songwriting of Jimmy Webb and the arrangement skills of early period Elton John, we see Malone in vesture that suits him perfectly. More traditional blues fans may find this particular outing to lack sufficient rough edges; however, blues and roots radio programmers that seek to introduce lesser known artists will be able to widen their audience. Over its ten tracks this album is a well rounded and well above average.