Blues The best music site on the web there is where you can read about and listen to blues, jazz, classical music and much more. This is your ultimate music resource. Tons of albums can be found within. Wed, 01 Feb 2023 08:25:46 +0000 Joomla! 1.5 - Open Source Content Management en-gb Mick Kolassa & Friends - Double Standards (2018) Mick Kolassa & Friends - Double Standards (2018)

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01. 600 Pounds Of Heavenly Joy (Feat. Sugaray Rayford)
02. I Just Want To Make Love To You (Feat. Heather Crosse)
03. It's Tight Like That (Feat. Victor Wainwright)
04. Fever (Feat. Annika Chambers)
05. Nobody Knows You When You’re Down And Out (Feat. Tas Cru)
06. Rock Me Baby (Feat. Tullie Brae)
07. Key To The Highway (Feat. Eric Hughes)
08. Spoonful (Feat. Erica Brown)
09. It Hurts Me Too (Feat. Patti Parks)
10. Early In The Morning (Feat. David Dunavent)
11. Don't You Lie To Me (Feat. Gracie Curran)
12. Outside Woman Blues (Feat. Jeff Jensen)
13. Ain't Nobody's Business (Feat. Annika Chambers, Victor Wainwright,
 Gracie Curran, Sugaray Rayford, Erica Brown & Jeff Jensen) 


Mick Kolassa has assembled a collection of classic blues songs or his new album. Double Standards is a celebration of the greatest blues songs, performed as duets with some of his musical friends. Mick’s love of many blues styles is well known, and this album brings the listener a wide range of blues, from down home to classic Chicago to jazzy to blues rock, Mick and his friends bring you the many faces of the blues. As with the previous albums the proceeds from Double Standards will go to the Blues Foundation’s HART Fund and Generation Blues programs.


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, albeit rather casually. Kolassa has a deep voice perfectly suited for the blues and could carry this material quite easily by himself, yet the contrasts, the call and response, and the general rapport of the proceedings lifts his performances too. He says, “I learn more with every project and this one forced me to step up and stretch—I let my partners set the vocal style for the song and then worked to fit into their groove. What a blast!”

Although the album comes across as a loose affair, it took some time to complete. Basic tracks were laid out, together with scratch vocals, in December 2016. In January 2017, during IBC week, the first duet was recorded, and this continued as different artists came to town. In the end, they used four different studios at Ardent in Memphis as well as working with producer Jeff Jensen in his own studio.

Anyone familiar with blues, and even some that aren’t, will recognize many of these songs: “I Just Want to Make Love to you,” “Spoonful,” “Key to the Highway,” to name just three. Of the thirteen selections. three were penned by Willie Dixon and three by Tampa Red. Apart from stellar duet performances from Annika Chambers (“Fever”), Gracie Curran (“Don’t You Lie to Me”), and Victor Wainwright (“It’s Tight Like That’), Alice Hasan’s violin is an especially nice touch on “Nobody Knows You When You’re Down and Out” and “It Hurts Me Too.” Kolassa plays guitar on just three tracks ,as Jeff Jensen handles most of those parts, along with a core band.

The album closes in fine style with almost each of the twelve guests taking a verse on “Ain’t Nobody’s Business” before all join in on the chorus. An album of standards can just as easily flop as succeed as most listeners have a favorite version of each song in mind. Yet, these musicians find unique ways to interpret the material, making an enjoyable listen. --Jim Hynes,

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]]> (bluesever) Mick Kolassa Thu, 01 Mar 2018 15:19:52 +0000
Mick Kolassa - Ghosts Of The Riverside Hotel (2015) Mick Kolassa - Ghosts Of The Riverside Hotel (2015)

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01. Ramblin' Man (3:54)
02. Grapes And Greens (3:57)
03. One Meatball (4:26)
04. I Always Meant To Love You (4:04)
05. Trouble (4:00)
06. Nothin' Left To Lose (5:22)
07. If I Ain't Fishin' (4:42)
08. Mama Told Me Not To Come (4:01)
09. Whiskey Woman (4:08)
10. Walkin' (Dead) Blues (3:51)
11. Mama's Got A Mojo (3:47)
12. Delta Town (3:41)

Mick Kolassa - Guitar (Acoustic), Guitar (Electric), Vocals
Robinson Bridgeforth - Drums
Annika Chambers - Vocals (Background)
James Cunningham - Percussion
Adam Hill - 10-String Bass
Eric Hughes - Harmonica
Walter Hughes - Slide Guitar
Jeff Jensen - Guitar (Acoustic), Guitar (Electric)
Cole Layman - Guitar
Logan Layman - Bass, Vocals (Background)
Bill Ruffino - Bass
Reba Russell - Vocals (Background)
Brandon Santini - Harmonica
Kirk Smothers - Sax (Baritone), Sax (Tenor)
Chris Stephenson - Organ
Victor Wainwright - Piano
Watermelon Slim - Dobro, Harmonica


It can be said that when an artists issues an album, they are sharing themselves with their audience. It is as if they are saying, “Here’s what I’m thinking and feeling.” Mick Kolassa loves to share the blues. For him, sharing the blues is akin to sharing a good meal with friends at his home, or a good story over a cup of coffee by the fireplace. For Kolassa, it’s as much about the joy that comes from celebrating and sharing the music, as it is about the music itself.

Ghosts of the Riverside Hotel, Kolassa’s latest release on Swingsuit Records, contains 12 tracks and runs just over 50 minutes. Kolassa says of this new work, “I called this album “Ghosts of the Riverside Hotel” because the spirits of those who passed through those doors are still there, they can be felt. Those blues greats have made my life so much better through their music, and I hope to honor them with this record.” Some of those blues greats included Bessie Smith, who died in Room #2 of this building in 1937 while it was a hospital. Other residents included John Lee Hooker, Robert Nighthawk, Ike Turner, Howlin’ Wolf, Sam Cooke, and Sonny Boy Williamson II.

Another attribute of Kolassa is that in addition to sharing music with his friends, he loves making music with his friends! Brandon Santini, Victor Wainwright, Reba Russell, Watermelon Slim, Logan Layman, Tracy K. Mastelar, and Annika Chambers are just some of the top shelf musicians and artists joining Kolassa on his labor of love.

The best part of this celebration is the songs. Kolassa wrote eight of the twelve tracks here, and it is obvious he enjoyed doing so. The album opens with a unique take on the Hank Williams classic, “Ramblin’ Man,” and straight away we know we are going to enjoy this ride. Musicianship is first class throughout, with the mix, sound, and production providing clarity and depth.

Kolassa gives us a brilliant ’40s style performance of “One Meatball” as a homage to a Josh White delivery of the song. Victor Wainwright on the ivories, and Reba Russell on backing vocals lift the song up perfectly. “I Always Meant to Love You” has a suave, West Coast supper club swinging vibe to it. “Trouble,” written by Todd Snider, is deceptively simple but profoundly realized tune-smithing, delivered just so. “Nothin’ Left to Lose (Robin’s Blues)” is a luxuriously laid back, and thoughtfully deep look at understanding suicide as a solution that Robin Williams’ mind saw as the only way out. The vocal by Kolassa, along with the sax work of Kirk Smothers give the song a haunting quality that lingers.

Kolassa’s bluesy rendering of Randy Newman’s “Mama Told Me Not to Come” has a West Side Soul flair about it that works well. We especially enjoyed “Whiskey Woman,” on a number of levels. The guitars all playing off of one another, the organ work, with its almost church like feel; the thumping baseline by Logan Layman, and the playful backing vocals a lá Annika Chambers, Tracey K Masteler, and Layman all bring together a satisfying sonic work of art. “Mama Got a Mojo” is moody, bluesy, and beautifully played.

Ghosts of the Riverside Hotel is a sonic feast, full of delightful surprises. The bottom line? This is blues that’s well written, deftly performed, and dripping with character. We definitely recommend this to our friends, and yours too! ---Barry kerzner,

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]]> (bluesever) Mick Kolassa Sun, 31 Jul 2016 12:16:09 +0000
Mick Kolassa - Michissippi Mick (2014) Mick Kolassa - Michissippi Mick (2014)

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01. New Beale Street Blues (3:21)
02. Blues Are All Around You (4:02)
03. The Letter (4:37)
04. Reefer Man (3:14)
05. Blues In The Night (4:53)
06. Burned That Bridge (3:08)
07. Baby's Got Another Lover (7:23)
08. Blowtorch Love (4:08)
09. WPD (3:20)
10. Time Ain't On My Side (3:41)
11. Mississippi River Blues (2:32)

Mick Kolassa – guitar, vocals
Jeff Jensen – guitar, vocals
Eric Hughes – harp
Chris Stephenson - organ
Bill Ruffino – bass
Doug McMinn - drums
Reba Russell – vocals
Victor Wainwright – piano
Dedrick Davis – trumpet
Brandon Santini – harp
James Cunningham – percussion
Redd Velvet - vocals
Danny Banks - vocals


"Michissippi Mick" is Mick Kolassa, a lifelong musician and hardcore blues fan who also happens to be on the Board of Directors of the Blues Foundation and an active participant in the Memphis Blues scene. Born in Michigan, Mick has lived in Mississippi for over 20 years.

This album is a labor of love; 100% of the gross proceeds will go to the Blues Foundation, split between two very important programs: the HART Fund and Generation Blues.

Mick has recorded a blend of original songs and added in a few surprise covers. With songs ranging from the rock-solid electric blues of “Blowtorch Love” to the jug-band style reworking of WC Handy’s classic “Beale Street Blues,” this album gives the listener a taste of many styles of the blues.

Mick and Producer Jeff Jensen have reworked the rock classic “The Letter” into a slow blues and brought it back to Memphis, and in their hands the Johnny Mercer Jazz standard “Blues in the Night” is given its bluesiest take ever. The album incorporates several blues styles and forms, taking full advantage of Mick’ tastes and experience as well as the talents of the amazing musicians who helped him put this together.

This album is a celebration of the blues, with support by some of the genre’s fastest rising stars. Produced by Jeff Jensen, who also is featured on lead guitar, Jeff and Mick assembled a dream team with Bill Ruffino on bass, Doug McMinn on drums, and Chris Stephenson on organ. This core band was joined by such notables as Victor Wainwright, Brandon Santini and Eric Hughes. Also contributing their amazing vocal talents are Reba Russell and Redd Velvet.

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]]> (bluesever) Mick Kolassa Thu, 28 Jul 2016 15:36:24 +0000