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CD REVIEWS – Blind Lemon Sessions

The reviews are coming in for Blind Lemon Sessions — Mick Kolassa’s January 2020 Album


Reflections In Blue

The roles of the songster, singer/songwriter, storyteller, bard, minstrel, bluesman, griot, etc. is one of the most important positions in the business of making music.  One major purpose behind having a band performing was to allow patrons to cut loose, have a few drinks and to lay down all the burdens of a week on the job.  That was true in the 1920s, when recorded music was in its infancy and it is true today.  The Blind Lemon Sessions fits that bill in every sense possible way.  It is easy on the ear, entertaining, easy to dance to (if that’s your thing), easy to get lost in, gives lots of food for thought, and is just plain fun.  Even in these trying times, this album makes it possible to lay all the BS aside and simply relax.  No musician could ask for anything more.  Mick Kolassa shows what he is truly made of…and I am impressed.  This album hits all the right buttons, then turns around to hit them a second time.  There will always be those who will say “It’s not Blues”, but that’s just fine…they said the same thing about Muddy Waters and countless others as well.  This recording is loaded with timeless classics, original tunes that hone right in on life in the here and now and a cover of the Beatles’ “Help” that makes more sense than the original.  The cherry on top is that all net proceeds from album sales go to charity.  Kick, who plays 6 & 12 string guitars, baritone guitar, baritone ukulele, banjolele & percussion on the album as well as doing vocals, is joined by David Dunavent (guitar, slide guitar, banjo & percussion), Seth Hill & Bill Ruffino (bass), Eric Hughes (harmonica) and Alice Hasen (violin).  This one might not feature screaming guitars and high-tech pyrotechnics, but the content is solid, the performance is superb, and it is done in a time-honored tradition.  Mick Kolassa is a songster of the highest order.  Even the hardcore headbanger deserves a moment now and then to regroup.  This one’s a no-brainer.  Give it a listen.  You won’t regret it.

Bill Wilson, Reflections In Blue


 

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Blind Lemon Sessions – NEW CD!

January 2020 Release

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! 

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CD REVIEWS – 149 Delta Ave

The reviews are coming in for 149 Delta Ave — Mick Kolassa and the Taylor Made Blues Band’s September 2018 CD release…


Reflections In Blue

Mick Kolassa surpassed my expectations, for which I owe him and the band an apology.  149 Delta Avenue is one of the finest pieces of blues and deep Southern soul I have heard in a while I have heard in a while.  Primarily original tunes, with a few great covers thrown in for good measure, 149 Delta Avenue is a near-religious experience…  MORE->>


Don and Sheryls Blues Blog

Mick Kolassa has become one of our favorite players in contemporary blues.  On his last two albums, he recorded other folks’ material, and it is great to see him back in his element dropping some cool originals on his latest set,  “149 Delta.”… MORE->>

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149 Delta Ave – New CD!

September 1, 2018 Release

After releasing two critically acclaimed albums of other people’s music, Mick is back to what he loves the most: recording and releasing what he calls his own “Free Range Blues.” This new album, 149 Delta Avenue, covers a multitude of blues styles and sub-genres. Mick has assembled a collection of fine new original songs and three of his favorites written by others. To bring this body of work to life he has brought together a stellar group of musicians that include the Taylor Made Blues Band, and some great guests.

For this album Mick teamed with Grammy® Award and BMA winning producer Michael Freeman. The Taylor Made Blues Band for this album consists of David Dunavent on guitar and backing vocals, Leo Goff on bass, Lee Williams on drums and Chris Stephenson on keyboards, with Susan Marshall and Daunielle (“Pie”) Hill on backing vocals. Stepping up to add their magic are special guests Jeff Jensen, Eric Hughes, J,D. Taylor, Toronzo Cannon, Marc Franklin, Kirk Smother. Alice Hasen, Suavo Jones, and Marty Sammon (with Engineer Mike Wilson offering his whistling skills). Taking full advantage of his tastes and experience and the talents of the amazing musicians who helped him put this together, Mick has once again delivered a real treat for his listeners.

The album opens with Mick’s song “I Can’t Slow Down”, which is his confessional about how he lives, followed by “US 12 to Highway 49”, which traces his lifelong blues odyssey. “Alternative Man” is a sexy blues tune in the classic “macho” sense, treated two different ways on this album. “Cotton Road” is a powerhouse song that Mick wrote after a conversation with the curator of Memphis’ Cotton Museum and driving on the road on which he lives (Cotton Road). “I Don’t Need no Doctor”, a song introduced by Ray Charles but also delivered by Humble Pie and others, has a special place in Mick’s heart, as does Larry Garner’s great composition, “Miss Boss”, which has been a mainstay in his live shows for years. Then there’s “The Viper”, which is just a fun song!

Taken as a whole, this album represents Mick’s love of all styles of blues, as well as his continuing drive to improve as an artist and a songwriter.

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CD REVIEWS — Double Standards

The reviews are coming in on the February 2018 release Double Standards!


Elmore Magazine

Mississippi-based guitarist and vocalist Mick Kolassa gathers a bunch of his friends for duets in this set of blues standards. Blues is often rowdy and raucous but here Kolassa and friends demonstrate how the idiom can be played with finesse and class… MORE 


Making A Scene

Mick Kolassa is a very likable guy and therefore as a musician he has acquired a lot of talented friends. When he decided to do an album of duets of blues standards to be called Double Standards, of course, he collected 12 of them to sing with him…MORE


American Blues Scene

Double Standards is a simple concept: singer Mick Kolassa duets on blues standards with talented colleagues. The result is a deceptively complex album of compelling takes on great blues songs, with Kolassa’s raspy tone surprising the listener with a jazzy delivery…MORE


donandsherylsbluesblog

Over the last few years, bluesman Mick Kolassa has become one of our favorite performers.  Never afraid to express what’s on his mind, that attitude carries over into his music, and it always leads to some fresh, old-school, down-home blues…MORE


Professor Johnny P’s Juke Joint

I’ve always enjoyed albums in which one artist explores music with several other artists in order to see what direction that collaboration takes…MORE


Michael Doherty’s Music Log

Last year, Mick Kolassa and Mark Telesca released You Can’t Do That!, an album of blues renditions of Beatles songs. Now Mick Kolassa is teaming up with several vocalists on his new release, Double Standards, a collection of covers of well-known blues tunes…MORE


Blues Bytes

Mick Kolassa’s latest release is Double Standards (Swing Suit Records), a baker’s dozen classic blues songs performed by Kolassa and a few of his friends, including such blues luminaries as Sugaray Rayford, Heather Crosse, Victor Wainwright, Annika Chambers, Tas Cru, Tullie Brae, Eric Hughes, Erica Brown, Patti Parks, David Dunavent, Gracie Curran, and Jeff Jensen. It’s a warm and intimate, seemingly loose affair covering a wide range of blues styles… MORE

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