- Throwing Away These Blues
- Wasted Youth
- It Hurts to Let You Go
- I’m Missing You
- Easy Doesn’t Live Here
- I Can’t Get Enough
- Feeling Sorry for Myself
- Touching Bass
- Darkness To Light
(War, Young, Traditional) 5:27
- My Mind Doesn’t Wander
- Pieces of My Past
- Edge of a Razor
All songs composed by Mick Kolassa except;
“Darkness to Light” by War, Young, Traditional
Mick Kolassa has once again teamed up with Jeff Jensen to put together a package of fun. Following the critically acclaimed If You Can’t Be Good, Wasted Youth is a collection of a dozen tracks with 14 songs, 11 of which are Kolassa originals. The Covid year of 2020, during which Mick lost his wife and several friends, inspired many of the songs on this album.
The album begins with “Throwing Away These Blues”, which is about not letting life get you down. The title track, “Wasted Youth”, speaks to the fact that youth isn’t truly appreciated until it’s gone. Mick wrote “It Hurts to Let You Go” about the inevitability of loss in all of our lives.
The pace gets changed with “I’m Missing You”, a funky and danceable love song. “Easy Doesn’t Live Here”, with David Julia adding some guitar magic, is another love song, noting how difficult love can really be! On “I Can’t Get Enough” Mick is joined by another guitar playing friend, Anthony Paule. Mick then turns to the downside of 2020 and the things that happened with the song “Feeling Sorry for Myself”, but bounces back with a love song about separation, “Touching Bass”, on which Bill Ruffino’s mastery of the Fender Bass is featured.
“Darkness to Light” is a medley of three of Mick’s favorite songs: War’s “Slipping Into Darkness”, The Youngbloods’ “Darkness Darkness”, and the old spiritual “Wayfaring Stranger”. By approaching them with a reggae feeling Mick and the band highlight the similarities and differences among these classic songs, and Jeff teams up with violinist Alice Hasen to provide some exciting solos.
“My Mind Doesn’t Wander” is another love song, this one featuring Brandon Santini on harmonica. “Pieces of My Past”, which is a slow blues, came about as Mick was moving to his new home, which necessitated downsizing and getting rid of “pieces of his past”. It seemed a fitting memorial to 2020.
The album ends with “Edge of a Razor”. Which tells the story many of the hard-working women Mick knows and respects. This song consists of three acoustic guitars and Mick’s vocal, with Mick finger picking the basic structure, Jeff strumming the chords and their friend Albert Castiglia playing slide guitar to round it out.
The Endless Blues Band
Mick Kolassa – Vocals and Guitar
Jeff Jensen – Guitar
Bill Rufino – Bass
Rick Steff – Keyboards
James Cunningham – Drums (1,7,8,11)
Doug McMinn – Drums (2,3,4,5,6,9,10)
Tullie Brae – Backing Vocals (1,5,9)
Eric Hughes – Harmonica (2)
Brandon Santini – Harmonica (10)
Marc Franklin – Trumpet
Kirk Smothers – Saxophones
Brad Webb – Slide Guitar (2)
Albert Castiglia – Slide Guitar (12)
David Julia – Guitar (5)
Anthony Paule – Guitar (6)
Victor Wainwright – Piano (7)
Alice Hasen – Violin (9)
Vickey Loveland – Conga Drums (5,9)