Mick Kolassa review…February 7, 2018….

MICK KOLASSA

DOUBLE STANDARDS

SWING SUIT RECORDS

600 POUNDS OF HEAVENLY JOY WITH SUGARAY RAYFORD–I JUST WANT TO MAKE LOVE TO YOU WITH HEATHER CROSSE–IT’S TIGHT LIKE  THAT WITH VICTOR WAINWRIGHT–FEVER WITH ANNIKA CHAMBERS–NOBODY KNOWS YOU WHEN YOU’RE DOWN AND OUT WITH TAS CRU–ROCK ME BABY WITH TULLIE BRAE–KEY TO THE HIGHWAY WITH ERIC HUGHES–SPOONFUL WITH ERICA BROWN–IT HURTS ME TOO WITH PATTI PARKS–EARLY IN THE MORNING WITH DAVID DUNAVENT–DON’T YOU LIE TO ME (EVIL) WITH GRACIE CURRAN–OUTSIDE WOMAN BLUES WITH JEFF JENSEN–AIN’T NOBODY’S BUSINESS WITH THE ENTIRE ENSEMBLE

Over the last few years, bluesman Mick Kolassa has become one of our favorite performers.  Never afraid to express what’s on his mind, that attitude carries over into his music, and it always leads to some fresh, old-school, down-home blues.  For his latest project, he enlisted the services of a dozen of his contemporaries for an album of duets, quite aptly-titled, “Double Standards,” for the Swing Suit  label.   Mick has taken some of the best-known songs in the blues canon and paired them with duet partners who give each song its own unique style.

The core band finds Mick on vocals and guitar (on three cuts), Jeff Jensen on guitar, Bill Ruffino on bass, Eric Hughes on the harp, and James Cunningham on drums.  The party starts with “Hoy hoy, we’re the boys,” the “600 Pounds Of Heavenly Joy,” featuring Mick and Sugaray Rayford.  Heather Crosse’s vocal belies her youth on “I Just Want To Make Love To You,” while Gracie Curran and Mick turn “Don’t You Lie To Me” into an all-out funkfest.  Victor Wainwright has a lot of fun with the countrified blues of the hilarious “Tight Like That,” while Mick and Tas Cru, with Alice Hasan on fiddle, tell the sad tale many of us already know–“Nobody Knows You When You’re Down And Out.”  Everybody gets into the act on the seven-minute slow blues closer,  “Ain’t Nobody’s Business if I do!”

Every cut is a winner, but our favorite featured Mick and harpman Eric Hughes on Big Bill Broonzy’s “Key To The Highway.”  In fact, in the liner notes,  Mick praises the songwriters of these classics, most notably Willie Dixon and Tampa Red (Hudson Whittaker), accounting for six of the thirteen cuts.

Mick Kolassa continues to be a major player on today’s scene.  Factor in the talents of his duet partners,  and “Double Standards” becomes a whole lot of fun!

Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow.

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One response to this post.

  1. Thank you guys for the review of Mick’s album, of which I was thrilled to be a part. I’m glad y’all like it! Please let me know how I can send you my new album “Meet Me In Memphis”. Thanks again to you!

    Reply

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