(Swing Suit Records)Here’s the latest project from a guy that believes so much in the blues that 100% of the net proceeds from this disc will be going to The Blues Foundation. Kolassa clearly commands much respect in the blues community, assembling a stunning collection of musicians (most of whom you won’t know) to bring his latest vision to life. A mix of originals and covers, Taylor Made Blues is a treat.This disc has a kind of laid back, assured feel, music made for the sheer thrill of making music. The title track is a nod to his Mississippi home, and he adapts songs by Graham Nash, Townes Van Zant and even The Temptations, making this much more than your average blues record. Mick isn’t just singing and playing the blues he’s celebrating them, as are the 11 other musicians joining him in the studio.Each song, if you close your eyes while you listen, is like a mini movie. One of the things that makes Taylor Made Blues such a wonderful experience is the absence of showboating, much like the Mike Sponza album reviewed above. Whether covering Townes Van Zant’s Lungs or playing a Kolassa original, you get the distinct feeling that each and every song is in capable, loving hands- as it should be. Mick’s vocals sound a lot like Elvin Bishop, and for my money that’s a very good thing.I confess to knowing little about Mick Kolassa other than what the bio supplied with this CD tells me, but a couple of spins through Taylor Made Blues has me curious about getting my hands on whatever else he’s done. It also makes me wish I still had a radio show so I could turn other people on to it too.
ESSENTIALS: Lungs, Taylor Made Blues, Left Too Soon