Bob Malone has played more out-of-the-way spots on the map than Port St. Joe.

Bob Malone has played more out-of-the-way spots on the map than Port St. Joe.

He said he’s also played smaller venues than the Port Theatre.

But the man labled “a keyboard wizard” by the New Yorker magazine aims to deliver the same show, the same energy, the same passion, as if he was playing in Las Vegas.

Which he was, over last weekend, as the keyboardist for legendary rocker John Fogerty.

Malone will take the stage at the Port Theatre Saturday, March 25. Doors open at 7 p.m. ET and the show will begin at 8 p.m. ET.

The show continues the mission of the Port Theatre Cultural and Art Center board to expand the offerings at the theatre while broadening awareness of the historic facility.

And it also brings Malone to an area of the country he’s not been often, through a collaboration with promoter Rick Ott of From the Heart.

Malone will play a gig in Tallahassee on Friday night and head to Port St. Joe for the Saturday performance.

“It is fun to get on stage and bang on the piano and play,” Malone said from his home in Los Angeles. “Any audience who takes the time to come see, pay their money, with so many options today, they deserve your best.

“They deserve a good show no matter how you may feel or what is happening in your life.”

Even if there are only 10-15 people who show up, they will get that show; and Malone notes the next year there will be a 100 in attendance, the result of “good word of mouth.”

From his early years, Malone wanted to be a musician.

“In fourth grade, at Career Day, everyone wanted to be an astronaut or something like that,” Malone said. “I wanted to be a musician.”

Despite some sidelong looks from teachers and parents, he was not swayed, learning to “play badly” a host of instruments, bassoon, oboe, violin and guitar.

Behind a keyboard, anything with a keyboard, after initial lessons, “it all clicked.”

“I was a natural,” Malone said.

As he grew, his playing incorporated and spun from an amagalm of styles. Trained classically as a youngster, he focused on jazz in school in Boston and grew up in New Jersey, listening to the likes of rockers Billy Joel and Bruce Springsteen.

That variety of education, particularly in classical playing, gave him more command of the keyboard, more confidence, he said.

And for the past 20 years he has been a traveling troubadour, bringing a high-energy passion to his playing, whether with his own band and songs or Fogerty.

Malone said he plays about 40 dates a year with the Creedence Clearwater Revival founder.

“It it the difference between Triple A and the majors; when I play with John other people carry my gear,” Malone said with a laugh.

“But I love playing my own songs. It is my career.”

Malone said he could fall back exclusively on his playing, his pure ability on any keyboard, including accordion in one Fogerty show, to earn a paycheck but he said that would be the “lazy” way to go.

“I’ve tried to never be that guy,” Malone said. “The song is the important thing. I try to write a good lyric.”

Malone plays roughly 60-70 dates a year solo, becoming, he said, something of an expert in the art of travel.

“It’s not an easy road, but it chooses you,” Malone said of life as a musician. “I’m lucky I’ve been able to play for a living.

“It is a valuable thing to have nothing to fall back on,” he added with a laugh, noting the honing of survival instincts. I’m happy with what I am doing.”

As for what folks unfamiliar with his music can expect on March 25?

“A lot of high-energy piano playing, songs that will make them laugh, songs that will make them cry,” Malone said.

Tickets for the show $30 (VIP) and $20 (general) in advance and $25 general admission at the door.

There will be a cash bar.

Tickets are available 24/7 at the Port Inn.