Mick Kolassa began this acoustic album when Thomas Schleiken, of Blind Lemon Records, invited him to do some shows in Germany and record a couple songs for a compilation album. What began as a couple songs kept expanding into this – where Mick got a chance to play some of his old favorite songs, as well as a couple of new favorites and some new compositions. It also gave him a chance to stretch his vocal cords and different guitar chords as he traveled through several keys and subgenres of music – a little more exploration of Free Range Blues™. Mick confesses that a few numbers on this album are not blues, or even blues-ish, especially two of his new originals (which are probably best considered “Americana”). But here you have it, music played without electricity!
The album opens with Mick’s take on the Lonnie Johnson song “Mr. Jellyroll Baker”, a song Mick has been singing for about 50 years. Up next is an original “Text Me Baby”, an “old style” song about a new way to communicate. In “Keep On Truckin” Mick adds a banjolele to the mix, and with “I Want To Be Seduced” a baritone ukulele lends its voice to the song. Throughout this album unamplified stringed and percussion instruments carry the music forward.
Mick’s song “Mr. Right” reflects the sexuality of old blues songs, while “Bad Things”, written by Jace Everett, is a modern take on the same subject. Two classic old songs, St. James Infirmary and Ditty Wah Ditty, that have also long been in Mick’s repertoire. “Recycle Me” is another original of Mick’s that is fueled by his sense of humor. “Help”, the well-known Beatles song, is played as a plea rather than an upbeat number, reflecting the depth of the lyrics. The album closes with “The Space Between Us”, a short song about the end of a long relationship – inspired by a movie title, not any personal experience.
Mick was fortunate to be joined on this album by some dear friends and talented artists, as you’ll soon find out!