Tommy Malone – Poor Boy | Album Review

tommymalonecd3Tommy Malone –¬†Poor Boy

MC Records

11 songs-time-44:50

Tommy Malone brings a long musical journey to this his third solo album. He started out in formative bands like Dustwoofie, The Cartoons and The Continental Drifters and proceeded on to more well known bands such as The Subdudes and Tiny Town. The spirit of his New Orleans home can be heard between the lines on his current effort.

He enlists a small but vital band here to execute his musical vision. What results is a mainly mellow collection of rootsy Americana music. Tommy’s rough-edged voice reveals a warm and soothing quality. His evident skills on acoustic, electric and slide guitars lend atmosphere to the ten originals and one cover song contained here.

The jangly “You May Laugh” starts things off on an upbeat note. An homage is paid to The Beatles in this tune as one of their song titles is used as a lyric-“We Can Work It Out”. The easy flowing “Pretty Pearls” refers to jewelry and “pearls of wisdom”. Mellow funk infuses the”herky-jerky” “Mineral Girl”, as well as some lilting electric guitar. Some nifty mandolin plays out at the songs end.

Tommy refers to “All Dressed Up” as “A party song for geriatrics”, although it includes some cool sounds for the older crowd. One of those songs that remains catchy listen after listen is “Bumble Bee” with its neat little keyboard riff that resides just below the surface. The tune also features a “buzzy” acoustic guitar solo.

Country-blues slide guitar is featured on the bouncy “Time To Move On”, a song about “Getting” outta Dodge”, a tune were the rhythm section really shines. Melancholy memories are the subject of the easy rollin’ “once In A Blue Moon”. The tale of a mentally challenged “man-child” is set to a nice skip=along beat in “Crazy Little Johnny”.

Tommy gets down with a soulful and pleading vocal on “Talk To Me”. The sole cover is Stevie Wonder’s “Big Brother”, where the guitars carry the main riff over a drum loop. Keyboard “flute” and a stinging electric slide guitar melody solo greatly enhance this version. This one is a bit more laid-back than the original, which seems to be Tommy’s natural approach.

What is presented here is a heartfelt slice of American music tweaked to suit Tommy Malone’s slide-driven sound. It’s an easy and soothing listening experience from top to bottom. His band provides a sturdy foundation for his moving songwriting. Tommy’s long and rich musical excursion shows no indications of slowing down or lessening in quality.

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