Mick Kolassa and The Taylor Made Band – @ Darwin’s, Sandy Springs, GA March 24
The room was buzzing at Darwin’s Friday night. Mick Kolassa and The Taylor Made Band were the first touring group to play the new location,, and people were pretty excited. By the time the music started, it was standing room only with people standing at the back wall.
Aftr years of producing and making albums. Mick Kolassa decided to start touring 0gularly so he started this band of talented musicians and named it after his tiny home town of Taylor, Mississippi.
Things got offs off to a fast start with a powerful version of “Mama Told Me Not to Come.” People were shaking their heads and their bodies wondering what hit them, and then came another surprise. Before the show, Mick had told me that The Taylor Made Band was planning to release an album of Beatles songs done blues-style. The second song was one of those songs: “Lady Madonna,” slow and soulful and absolutely mesmerizing. you have to be careful doing something new with a beloved Beatles son, but this did them proud.
If I remember correctly, the next song was “I Always Meant To Love You,” which Kolassa explained was his attempt to finish Willie Nelson’s “You Were Always On My Mind.” It’s a less romantic, more honest version of the story!
I’m not sure of the order of the songs after that. Everything was a bit of a happy blur but at one point he turned the vocal over to lead guitarist David Dunavent, and what a splendid surprise he was! First he sang a song he made up at a festival at 3 am in the morning which replaces “Hot Thighs” with “Hot Fries” and had everyone laughing and then he did a beautiful version of “Sweet Cherry Wine” which flowed into a stunning version of”I Shall Be Released.” Kolassa took the lead and Dunavent and bass player John Allouise joined him on the choruses. . They all sang together at the end: “I see my light come shining/From the west down to the east/ Any day now/An day now/I shall be released..” Everyone in the place was floored by that song. I can still hear that purity and magic as I write this. Words cannot do that performance justice,
Kolassa and the band also did a blues version of “I Can’t Get Next To You”by and he told how the lead singer of the Temptations when he heard this version, “I sang that song for 50 years and I never knew it was a blues song!” Kolassa has a real talent for “uncovering” songs like that. The other song I recall in the first set was Mick’s own “I’m Getting Late,” a song that could have been written for me. In fact. we needed to leave at the break and I told Mick so as I talked with him and my friend Heidi. I knew he planned to do two more Beatles songs and I told him how much I hated to miss that and he said if I could stay just a few minutes he would play one of them for me at the start of the set so I sat myself back down and he announced, “I have somr friends who have o shove off who want to hear anoher Beatles song so i am going to do his one for them, ” anf they played a marvelous version of “I Feel Fine.” I never envisioned that song as a blues before, but it worked!
Then we reluctantly did have to go, but it was a night to remember for everyone who was there! Mick has put together a marvelous group of talented musicians, including drummer Joe Eagle, who laid down the rhythm excellently back in the back. They all obviously love the music and love their “free-range blues” as Mick calls it. That was a range we were happy to occupy for a while!
You can hear the Taylor Made Band and see the entire town of Taylor) on Mick’s latest album, appropriately named Taylor Made Blues.