Swing Suit Records
CD: 11 Songs, 33:07 Minutes
Styles: Acoustic Beatles Blues, Beatles Covers
In life, some things are so ubiquitous that any attempt to imitate them or “change them up a bit” can be easily spotted. One of them is McDonald’s fries. Companies like OreIda put out frozen “Fast Food Fries” in order to satisfy a craving, but there’s nothing like the real deal. Another worldwide ubiquity is the Beatles: the band, the brand, the music, the merch. Who knows how many hundreds, probably thousands, of performers have covered their songs? Michigan’s Mick Kolassa and Mark Telesca aren’t the first, and won’t be the last. Nevertheless, they’ve given their best shot at trying to blues-ify some of their favorite tunes by the Fab Four. You Can’t Do That! is a collection of eleven covers, remarkable in their lack of remarkability. The sample I review later is notable because it sounds the most like traditional blues, and is a more-than-pleasant arrangement. Beyond that, do I have much more to say? Would the Beatles? The jury’s out in the second case. As for the first? On vocals, these two do not sing. They talk. This cannot be overstated. On guitar (both men), percussion (Kolassa) and bass (Telesca), they’re clearly better, but guest star Jeff Jensen is better still. What classics from the mop-tops will you hear? “Can’t Buy Me Love” – moderately interesting; “Lady Madonna” – gloomy and depressing; “You Can’t Do That” – obviously; and “Why Don’t We Do It in the Road” – ugh. Still need more info? Check out their bio below, and my last sentence for a final verdict.
Mick’s little corner of the Web reveals a little background: “I’m Mick Kolassa, also known as Michissippi Mick. I am a lifelong musician and hardcore blues fan who also happens to be on the Board of Directors of the Blues Foundation. My love of the blues began 50 years ago and with this and my previous album I am able to share that love with you. You can see that I love all styles of blues, and I also love to find the blues song hidden in tunes that most people wouldn’t think of as blues. I hope you enjoy listening to it as much as I’ve enjoyed putting it together.”
Along with Kolassa and Telesca are guest guitarist Jeff Jensen, James Cunningham on drums and other percussion; Eric Hughes on harmonica and guitar; Marc Franklin on trumpet and flugelhorn (!), and Tommy Boroughs on fiddle and mandolin.
The following selection is the best blend of Beatles and blues, by far.
Track 03: “I Feel Fine” – Sing along, anyone over 50 (and also anyone who hasn’t been living under a rock for the past 50 years or so)! This slow burner is a keeper for sure, along with Eric Hughes’ terrific harmonica. This time, it’s perfectly okay to converse while performing, because such a tone is perfectly fitting for this cover.
Ms. Wetnight hates to say it, but when it comes to blues-ifying Beatles songs in a mediocre way, You Can’t Do That!