If You Can’t Be Good, Be Good At It
Endless Blues 2020
Review by David Bowling
Somewhere in the distant past, a Mick Kolassa album was one of my first reviews. That was over 2000 reviews ago. I don’t remember ever hearing a poor or even average Mick Kolasa album. His releases have been universally excellent and each has had a distinct flavor to it. His newest release, If You Can’t Be Good, Be Good At It follows in that tradition.
As with just about all artists, the Covid-19 virus has kept him off the road. Mick Kolassa filled that idle time by going into the studio and recording a new album, comprised of nine original and two cover tunes.
He uses his blues roots as a center for his music and then expands it into several styles and directions. “I Can’t Help Myself” imoves in a soulful direction and is a rare love song from Kolassa. He plumbs the depths of James Taylor’s catalogue for “Lo And Behold,” which he takes in a harder direction.
“Good Day For The Blues” and “Slow And Easy Love” are what he does best and form the heart and soul of the album. They are slow blues pieces that tell simple stories. His cover of Howlin’ Wolf’s “Who’s Been Talking” is his nod toward the era of classic blues.
The music is fuller than many of his albums as he has a full band behind him and gives the music a little more bite than usual.
If You Can’t Be Good, Be Good At It is a fine addition to Mick Kolassa’s body of music. It bears repeated listens as it sinks into the consciousness.