Born in New Jersey, Bobby Messano has played on more than 50 major label and indie albums. His music has been heard everywhere, from MTV jingles to Benny Mardones’ smash hit “Into The Night.” He has appeared or headlined at BAMFEST, The Charleston Blues Festival, Smokin’ In Steel, Summerfest, Charlotte Speed Street, Bayfront Blues Festival and many other prestigious events. His recordings have earned airplay on more than 275 blues stations. “That’s Why I Don’t Sing The Blues” was on the American Blues Scene’s Blues Top 5 chart for 24 weeks and was named 2012's Top Blues/Rock Album (USA) by Blues Underground Network; that same year he was inducted into the Delaware Blues Hall Of Fame.
LOVE & MONEY, released in 2015, hit #1 on the Billboard Blues Album chart and was nominated for a prestigious Blues Blast Award for Best Rock-Blues Album. His 2017 album, BAD MOVIE, debuted at #1 on SiriusXM’s Bluesville channel, remained in the Rack Of Blues Top 15 for three months and won in the Best Blues category for the Hollywood Music In Media Awards (HMMA). Bobby celebrated his 40th year as an ASCAP-affiliated songwriter and released LEMONADE in July 2019.
You’ve been called a legendary guitarist — which artist most influenced your playing style?
I don’t know about that Legendary thing…LOL. I’m sort of a hybrid of many guitarists that influenced me, especially old school guitarists: Freddie King, Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, Jimi Hendrix, George Harrison, Les Paul. I think I realized when I was a kid that if I could put enough of the influences of people that I admired, I could create my own sound.
Which song of yours was the first you heard on the radio?
That’s a funny story. The first time I heard myself on the radio (as opposed to one of my songs) was while I was driving through Teaneck, NJ in my MGB GT. I was on Cedar Lane listening to WNEW FM in NYC (a VERY influential station at the time) and I heard a track from the band Stanky Brown that I was in. It was my first album and I was so freaked out I almost drove into a telephone pole. It’s STILL a thrill to hear a song of mine on the radio and fans always send me screen shots when I’m on SiriusXM.
What song was your first on a TV show?
“In The Depths Of Love” from my Holdin’ Ground CD. It was on a CBS show called “The District” with Craig T Nelson. Boy did that pay a lot of money. Almost simultaneously, the same song was on a few episodes of “One Life To Live”…Pretty fun.
How would you describe your music to new fans?
Honest songs from the heart with lots of guitar.
Lemonade — can you share the backstories to the songs on the album?
THE BAD GUYS — This was a co-write with Meredith Salimbeni about two people in love trying to become themselves while being surrounded by impossible circumstances. A love that was on the verge of becoming real, but ended terribly due to circumstances out of the lovers’ control. They were actually The Good Guys.
HEAL ME — This is another co-write with Meredith. I rewrote an incredibly sensual song and changed it to a spot where, I was pleading for healing…which never came.
LEMONADE — Is a tongue-in-cheek look at literally making lemonade out of lemons. The Lemonade album was actually supposed to be another artist’s album, but circumstances arose to make it not happen. I had to write the entire record in 40 hours, and even though I like iced tea more than lemonade, I somehow did it..LOL
A THURSDAY IN JUNE- This is the most important song I’ve ever written about a subject very difficult to talk about; Rape. I’m trying to get it to R.A.I.N.N. and The Me Too Movement. It’s about someone very close to me who was raped by her husband while they were separated. He broke into her bedroom. She went to a Rape Center, her therapist and a hospital for a rape kit, and her parents didn’t believe her because the husband convinced them she was lying. They broke her spirit and the husband got away with it because she never filed. It affected me deeply #Wewontbesilent #Ibelieveyou
I DON’T WANT TO MISS YOU ANYMORE — Pretty Literal…LOL BUT I played BB King’s Lucille on the solos…wow
JUNK JAM- A fun song we all wrote in the studio…What a group of musicians…Bob Malone (John Fogerty/Ringo) Doug Belote(Jerry Douglas, Sonny Landreth, Riki Lee Jones) Carl Dufrene (Anders Osborne, North Mississippi All Stars, Tab Benoit) REALLY cool Jam.
IT’S JUST THE MONEY THAT’S MISSING — It always is, isn’t it…we’re musicians…the only career that you make less money now than you made when you started. Hahahaha
BLACK AND WHITE — It’s a combination of a political statement, talking about how there is no real color in the world, we’re all the same, AND looking at a person who thinks it’s different, when it is LITERALLY just B & W.
I’M TIRED OF WRITING THE BLUES — I am…It would be nice to just write happy snappy songs all the time…I always have to insert my sarcasm, 😊
FIND THE COST OF FREEDOM — A brilliant idea by my co-producer JoeBaby Michaels. An iconic CS&N song that is SO VIABLE today.
What message do you hope fans will take away after listening to your music?
That they understand the story. I write songs about my life and from my experience and I always hope that people listening to the story can say…WOW, I get that, something like that happened to me….PLUS, I want them to feel the guitar…feel the notes and where they’re coming from…to move them.
Favorite collaborations to date?
There are a few. My favorite collaboration on one of my albums was between my friends Brian May of Queen and Jon Tiven “Come To Your Senses” on BAD MOVIE. All my collaborations with Jon were great. I also love my collaborations with Meredith Salimbeni “The Bad Guys” and “Heal Me’” on Lemonade. She’s an extraordinary singer/songwriter who unfortunately has had an amazing career stifled by her family.
Of all your industry awards, which one stands out to you?
If you were to play in another genre, what would it be?
I’d probably be just a singer/songwriter straight ahead Americana artist…travelling around the world with my acoustic writing and telling stories.
Thursday, October 3 — Omaha, NE — Chrome Lounge
Friday, October 4 — Minneapolis, MN — Shaw’s
Saturday, October 5 — Bellevue, IA — Flatted 5th
Sunday, October 6 — Pomeroy, IA — Byron’s
Sunday, October 13 — Pinehurst, NC — TBA
Saturday, October 19 — Fort Collins, CO — Ginger & Baker.
Wednesday, October 23 — Sellersville, PA — Sellersville Theater w/ Bob Malone
Thursday, October 24 — Marlboro, NY — The Falcon w/ Bob Malone
Friday, October 25 — Butler, NJ — Fusion Café
Saturday, October 26 — New York, NY (private show)
Sunday, October 27 — Teaneck, NJ — Debonair Music Hall w/ Bob Malone