I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, Blind Lemon Sessions, from Mick Kolassa and its a cool retrospective of classic, traditional and new tracks, all done in an acoustic environment. Opening with Lonnie Johnson's Jelly Roll Baker, Mick Kolassa on guitar and lead vocal, Seth Hill on bass and Eric Hughes on harmonica. Clean and easy, a solid opener. On Bob Carlton's tune Keep On Truckin' (The Ja-Da Song, later made popular by Blind Boy Fuller and Hot Tuna as Keep On Truckin') Kolassa takes the Hot Tuna route adding Alice Hansen on violin giving it a nice, rural feel. Up next is a cover of Jace Everett's Bad Things, the theme song for HBO Series, True Blood. I gotta admit, Everett hit a homer with this track and although Kolassa's voice isn't as cool as Everett's, this is a cool cover and with the addition of guitar by David Dunavent, a real nice job. With some real nice violin work by Hansen, Kolassa covers classic, St. James Infirmary. Not pulling in any drama and playing it straight as an acoustic blues featuring violin, Maybe my favorite on the release. Lennon and McCartney's Help is the surprise on the release, with an acoustic, non pop, approach. Although it's introspective slant is totally different and somewhat more digestible than the original pop track, it remains fresh and interesting with only Kolassa and Hansen on violin. Wrapping the release is The Space Between Us, a Kolassa original ballad. Pure vocal with only acoustic guitar backing, a simple closer.
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