Memphis-based songwriter Mick Kolassa weighs in with a fine set of southern soul-soaked blues, which stand out by dint of wittily observed lyrics that centre on the genre’s traditional concerns. The title track offers some bad boy rules for living, with a horn section riffing away in the background, while Good Night Irene is not the Leadbelly classic, but rather the story of a woman who evidently enjoys a good night out with the lads while leaving the old man at home.

The protagonist of I’ve Seen got to check out all the great bands, including ‘Muddy, Wolf, John Lee and all three Kings,’ but now yearns to see his crush object lying next to him one morning. The song is topped off by fiddle solo, of all things.


“a fine set of southern soul-soaked blues”

There’s a couple of covers, too. Who’s Been Talking is, of course, the Howlin’ Wolf classic, featuring a guitar part that nods gently towards the song’s harmonic similarity to Santana’s Black Magic Woman. And if it is a long time since you’ve heard James Taylor’s 1970 album Sweet Baby John, Kolassa offers a radical remake of the Taylor track Lo And Behold, done as a gospel number.


Too many additional musicians to namecheck, but you can hear they were having a good time doing the recording. Kolassa is a new name to me but hearing this one left me keen to check out his seven earlier releases.