During the pandemic, the prolific Eric Krasno had to slow down like the rest of the world and in doing so he found familial harmony with a new house, wife, and baby. During this process, he collaborated with producer Otis McDonald on a cover of Bob Dylan’s “Man In Me”, this recording experience, and song, in particular, set in motion Always, Krasno’s newest solo album.
The funky guitarist gets things strutting from the opening with the strumming “Silence” as Krasno delivers warm vocals about the hurt of not hearing anything at all from his lover. Things fall into more of a Soulive vibe when the full band of McDonald on bass, Wil Blades on keys and organ, Curtis Kelly on drums, and James VIII on guitar, during the exuberantly vibrating “So Cold”.
Krasno has his funky side down after years of playing with Soulive and Lettuce, the upbeat dance-ready “Lost Myself” is laden with warm ‘70 soul horns and grooving runs as is the cooking “Where I Belong” which delivers some of Krasno’s best six-string work on the record. The artist mixes it up a bit with the B3 augmented, gospel-tinged “Hold Tight” before moving to a light Lenny Kravitz-inspired rock with “Alone Together” and modern R&B influenced “Always With You” with less success.
The track that kick-started this project, along with the Blaxploitation soundtrack ready “Good Thing”, are stand-out offerings. Krasno’s take on Dylan is vibrant and unique, infusing a relaxed soul and a cool groove in a style reminiscent of the Five Stairsteps “O-o-h Child” easy does it motif. The cover song and Always as a whole, hip-swaying pick me up record.