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ALBUM REVIEW: Bobbie Morrone, “Lonely St.”

By Lee Anderson

Bobbie Morrone’s new release took him nearly three years to finish. In that time, he says that his inspiration to finish was taken from "growth and patience learned while pushing through a personal fight between material and passion.” In other words, life kept getting in the way of him being able to sing about it. It happens to anyone in any creative field. Was it Hemingway who said that you have to stand up to live before you can sit down to write? (I keep hearing that quote attributed to different people.)  But it’s true. You can’t create good art in a vacuum.

“Lonely St.” is good art. I feel lately as if I’m loving every new piece of music I hear, which can call my objectivity as a discerning reviewer into question. But I don’t care. I can’t help it. This album is so damn endearing that I can’t stand it. I just cannot imagine seeing Bobbie on stage with an iced tea-design Gibson Les Paul--backed by his buddies Isaac Vining on drums and Adam Skinner playing bass--and not dancing. I can picture them performing at a pizza restaurant as easily as any large music hall. Morrone’s music can be best be described as high-concept Beatle-esque melodies blended with the sensibilities of dive bar blues and soul. 

The best tracks for me are “Behind the Walls,” “One of A Kind,” and “I’ve Got it.” These songs reminds me of the first time I heard Mark Curry. Morrone doesn't sound like Curry, but it’s the same sense of discovering something so cool, so pure for the first time. There’s nothing wrong with Morrone’s voice, but two of my favorites are instrumentals: “I Can’t Fall That Far Intro” and “Jam,” a 2 ½ minute slow bluesy guitar piece complimented by a B3 organ. 

The album ends with the sad title song, which finds Morrone driving and thinking deep thoughts. “I’ve got a lonely drive to the lonely side ‘cuz I got something that I can’t hide…I’m just a lonely guy, stuck in a lonely time, I will survive ‘cuz I got something that’s on my mind… ” 

I feel somehow that this song refers to the making of the album itself, especially when he sings lines like: “I’ve got to find out who I was and who I am, or else I’m at risk of being just another man.” I feel you, brother. It’s always easier to obey the routine program but sometimes there’s a calling that commands you say something different, that’s your own. Show the world how talented you are. It’s sad if you don’t.

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