If you’ve never heard of Bobby Messano, he was born in New Jersey very close to New York City. He grew up in a time when a young guitarist could work hard, learn his craft and maybe become a guitar hero…(or at least play on a record or two) His main influences as a young guitarist were Jeff Beck, BB King, Eric Clapton, Duane Allman and Jimi Hendrix. He also listened to as much Beatles and R&B as he could get his hands on. Bobby played in NJ club bands from the time that he was fourteen years old, and by the mid-seventies, he had become rather well known in the North Jersey area. His first big break came when Craig Leon and Seymour Stein of now famous Sire Records tried to sign him to a solo deal.
Being young and maybe a lot scared, he graciously declined the offer and waited to fade into oblivion, despite his yearning to become a famous guitarist. By a strange quirk of fate (or maybe because someone was desperate) he received a call a few months later from John Scher’s office. John was a well-known promoter in the NJ/NY metropolitan area. A band that John managed, named Stanky Brown (yes an odd name-but a great band and they were on the radio!) were in need of a lead guitarist and singer. Bobby auditioned, got the gig, and went immediately on the road opening for the #1 band of the moment, KANSAS. Bobby stayed with Stanky Brown, recording a single and an album. They toured constantly opening for The Allman Brothers, Outlaws, Boston, Beach Boys Steve Miller…you name it. After his stint with SB, he then joined the band STARZ, who were already a world famous band. He recorded the now infamous Coliseum Rock with them and continued to tour opening for RUSH, TED NUGENT,STYX and others. After STARZ breakup, Bobby settled into the session, scene playing on many records including BENNY MARDONES’ “INTO THE NIGHT”
His musical resume’ included time with Tycoon, Ellen Foley and Suzanne Fellini. He then joined FRANKE & THE KNOCKOUTS who were just coming off two Top Ten singles. With the KO’s he played headlining shows and opened for Toto, The Beach Boys and many more. Bobby also continued his session work in New York recording with Clarence Clemmons and playing on many of the fledgling MTV jingles and drops including “THE BASEMENT TAPES” theme. In between all of this he took six months to do a European/UK tour with one of his heroes….STEVE WINWOOD. It was an amazing time for the young NJ guitarist. He met many famous musician’s including another hero…ERIC CLAPTON. Over the course of the next five years, Bobby played on dozens of records. Fiona, Joe Lynn Turner, Robey….even David Hasselhoff….he even ghosted on some records that will of course remain nameless. NYC was a great place to be a musician. In 1987, Bobby won the coveted spot on LOU GRAMM’S solo tour supporting his hit “MIDNIGHT BLUE”. He toured the States, Puerto Rico and Germany in the summer of ‘87 with Lou and band.
In 1989 Bobby released the self-titled “MESSANO” CD on Relativity/Strategic/CBS Records. The CD garnered amazing reviews (Four KKKK’s in Kerrang) and lots of airplay and to this day it comes up in many Top 50 lists for ‘80’s AOR Classics. In 1990 while on a tour of Germany with Polygram artist ROBIN BECK, he made a decision that he wanted to put a band together doing Blues, Funk and Traditional Blues songs .In 1992 Bobby Messano & NBO was born. Through many personnel and personal changes, Bobby and his crew traveled hundreds of thousands of miles playing over 2500 shows between 1992 and 1999. In 1997 he recorded his second critically acclaimed solo CD…DOMINION ROADS. The CD was released on Ichiban/EMI Records, which went bankrupt shortly after it’s release. The collapse of the label left many excellent artists stranded. Between 1999 and 2002,Bobby searched for a label to re-release DOMINION ROADS and moved from Virginia Beach to Nashville. He also became one of the Blues Rock stars on the fledgling MP3.COM staying at # 1 for 6 months. In 2002, DOMINION ROADS found a new home with Fishhead Records in Cleveland. The renamed, remastered and repackaged DR came out as HOLDIN’ GROUND and garnered a First Round Grammy Nomination and rave reviews World Wide from Blues Radio and the Blues Press.
Bobby lived in Nashville for 9 years, with a short and not so sweet stint in Southwest Florida. He continued to write, produce and play and toured out of Nashville with MCA artist Alecia Elliot, and Number One charting artists Steve Holy, Rodney Atkins and Jimmy Wayne. Bobby also continued doing acoustic and electric dates both solo and with his band. In 2006 he co-Produced the new Shadows of Knight CD, “A KNIGHT TO REMEMBER” and went on the road supporting it on the “LITTLE STEVEN UNDERGROUND GARAGE BAND TOUR”. In 2007, for the first time in nearly 20 years, Bobby relocated to the NYC/NJ area after the passing of his father. 2008 was an exciting year with the re-release of his critically acclaimed 1989 tour de force Rock CD “MESSANO” . Successful supporting shows in Las Vegas and The Rocklahoma Festival followed as well as some Headlining and co-headlining (Fabulous T-Birds) shows and festivals. In 2008 Bobby also finished his follow up to “HOLDIN’ GROUND” , “TRIALS TRAUMAS TRIBULATIONS AND DEMOS” which contained new tracks, demos and songs that were written for TV and other artists, most unreleased. It was released in January 2009 on ITunes, Amazon MP3 and Rhapsody. Bobby spent 2009 on the road supporting TTT&D. 2010 began with Bobby signing to Wayne Brook’s Chicago based BLUES ISLAND organization, and his first LIVE CD, “LIVE IN MADISON” was released on March 12, 2010.
Bobby’s new CD “LOVE & MONEY” was released in April 2015 on Connor Ray Records and debuted on the Billboard Blues Chart at #7. It stayed on the chart for another five weeks peaking at #1. “Love & Money” was also nominated for a Blues Blast Magazine Award for Rock-Blues Album of the Year.