Bobby Messano featuring Bob Malone Lemonade BobbyMessano.com
Bobby Messano once sang, tongue firmly in cheek, “My life is perfect, there ain’t no doubt; have everything I need, I’ve got it all figured out…That’s why I don’t sing the blues.”
Things are looking up on Lemonade, Messano’s latest with Bob Malone.
A good-time album, Lemonade is a far-reaching album of guitar- and keyboard-rich summer blues.
Messano has had a lengthy career as sideman (late career Franke & the Knockouts and guitar on the original take of Benny Mardones’ more than a little creepy “Into the Night,” to mention two of the most notable) while releasing eight previous solo albums.
Lemonade is comprised of ten songs, several of them freewheeling jams, “It’s Just the Money That’s Missing,” “Lemonade,” and “Junk Jam” among them. “I’m Tired of Writing the Blues” is thematically similar to the previously referenced “That’s Why I Don’t Sing the Blues.”
The album kicks-off with “The Bad Guys,” reminiscent of Peter Frampton’s “Breaking All the Rules.” It is a strong number, asking hard questions without getting heavy. “Heal Me,” “Black & White,” and the title track are additional songs that have terrific hooks and solid arrangements, more old-school FM radio than straight-ahead blues.
These are fully-developed arrangements, no sparseness apparent. But the songs don’t overwhelm either; co-produced by Joe Michaels and Messano, an ideal balance has been achieved. “I Don’t Want to Miss You Anymore” is pretty funky with the Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young b-side “Find the Cost of Freedom” closing the set; apparently Messano has previously recorded Stephen Stills songs.
Lemonade wasn’t designed to change the world. It is a fine slice of blues-infused rock ‘n’ roll, summertime music: yacht rock comes to mind, and not disparagingly.