ew creatives have had as much of a rounded experience in the music world as Bob Malone, who has distinguished himself as an instrumentalist, songwriter, composer, live performer, and elite session musician for more than two decades. Malone is now showing off his talents as a solo artist on his latest set Good People, out on May 21.
Described by Malone as a project to explore “the loss, burnout, alienation, existential dread and fleeting moments of hopefulness I happened to be going through – in spite of the carefully curated self I presented to the world on social media. Nothing new, of course, but in 2020 those feelings suddenly became more universal than they’d ever been in my lifetime.”
Good People grabs onto Malone’s “keyboard wizardry” on the piano and serves up a variety of bluesy rock–ranging from contemplative ballads to all-out sweeping jams, all carried along by smoky vocals and Malone’s unmatched ability to wrest every drop of emotion out of the keys possible.
Malone introduced fans to the set with the title track, a song of inspiration perfect for these uncertain times, which builds from a quiet melody to a soaring harmonic choir of voices (including his own wife, Karen Nash, for whom the song is written). The follow-up single, “My Friends & I,” released Feb. 26, invites a slightly darker mood with a somber reflection on finding one’s tribe, only to have to eventually say goodbye. The single is accompanied by a moving lyric video which puts visuals to the personal struggles so many of us have been experiencing for a year now in the midst of a global pandemic.
Both singles set the album’s overall tone of spiritual mining, as well as display the instrumentalism and songwriting chops Malone is well-known for. In addition to the seven other originals on the collection, Malone additionally surprises by putting his own distinctively original stamp on three covers: “Bad Moon Rising,” written by John Fogerty, whom Malone has played keyboards with since 2011; Fleetwood Mac’s 1969 cut “Oh Well,” and the Bob Dylan classic “Tangled Up in Blue.”
In terms of collaborative efforts, Malone employs a staggering amount of talent on Good People, recruiting musicians who have worked with everyone from Dylan to Bruce Springsteen, Willie Nelson, Tom Petty, Tori Amos, and many more. The album was recorded over a three-year time span which took Malone from his current base of Los Angeles to also lay down tracks in New York City and New Orleans.
Malone has toured the world as a solo artist for over two decades in addition to his work on the keyboards with Fogerty and others such as Bob Seger and Avril Lavigne. He’s featured on the 2017 Ringo Starr record Give More Love, and his recording of “You’re A Mean One, Mr. Grinch” was the theme in the Illumination/ Universal movie trailers for The Grinch. Malone is additionally a tireless live player, working with four bands of stellar players from all over the globe and bringing music to audiences worldwide.