I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, If You Can't Be Good, Be Good At It!, by Mick Kolassa and I think it's his best release yet. Opening with I Can't Help Myself, a R&B style track with a light funky beat featuring Kolassa on lead vocal and acoustic guitar, Jeff Jensen on electric guitar, Bill Ruffino on bass, John Blackmon on drums, Rick Steff on keys, Marc Franklin on trumpet, and Kirk Smothers on sax, this is a solid opener. With deep gospel richness, James Taylor's Lo and Behold has great guitar underpinnings and super vocal by Yullie Brae. Rocking title track, If You Can't Be good, Be Good At It! is clever and has solid guitar riffs by Jensen, and power horn work by Franklin and Smothers. My favorite track on the release, A Good Day For the Blues, features nice guitar work by David Dunavent and Jensen and some of Kolassa's best vocal work on the release. Smooth blues ballad, Slow and Easy Love gives Jensen a wide road to really lay down on lead guitar and he capitalizes nicely over the warm organ bed of Rick Steff. Howlin' Wolf's Who's Been Talking? has a super Latin (read Santana) rhythm and features Dunavent and Jensen again on guitar with super backing by Willie Hall on drums and Weston Caldwell on percussion. Very nice! Wrapping the release is acoustic ballad, She Kept Her Head Up with it's easy rhythm and cool melody over reverb saturated guitar lead and tight drum rhythms by John Blackmon.
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