- For the Feral Heart – CD
- They Call Me Uncle Mick – CD
- I’m Just Getting Started – CD
- If You Can’t Be Good, Be Good At It – CD
- Uncle Mick’s Christmas Album
- Wasted Youth
- Blind Lemon Sessions – CD
- 149 Delta Avenue – CD
- Double Standards – CD
- You Can’t Do That – CD
- Taylor Made Blues – CD
- Ghosts of the Riverside Hotel – CD
- Michissippi Mick – CD
Browse: Home / News
Slow Blues Essentials
By admin on March 3, 2023
Although Mick Kolassa writes and plays almost every style and subgenre of blues, his slow blues songs get the most attention from listeners. Some reviewers have called them his “trademark slow blues”. This digital album is a collection of Mick’s most requested slow blues songs, from his catalog of 13 albums Mick offers his fans’ favorites.
SONG / ALBUM
- Baby’s Got Another Lover (7:26) Michissippi Mick
- Nothing Left to Lose (5:25) Ghosts of the Riverside Hotel
- A Good Day for the Blues (4:43) If You Can’t Be Good, Be Good At It
- Slow and Easy Love (5:24) If You Can’t Be Good, Be Good At It
- It Hurts to Let You Go (5:58) Wasted Youth
- Trying Not To Let the Darkness In (4:14) I’m Just Getting Started
- Easy Doesn’t Live Here (3:22) Wasted Youth
- Take Me Away (4:54) I’m Just Getting Started
- Love Ain’t Supposed to Make You Cry ( 4:49) For The Feral Heart
- Pieces of My Past (6:17) Wasted Youth
- American Intervention (3:37) 149 Delta Avenue
- Pullin’ Me Down (4:57) 149 Delta Avenue
- Left too soon (5:39) Taylor Made Blues
In creating these songs Mick was fortunate to work with a number of amazing musical friends:
- Jeff Jensen, Guitar: 1 8, 10,12,13
- Mario Monterosso, Guitar: 9
- David Dunavent, Guitar: 3
- David Julia, Guitar: 7
- Bill Ruffino, Bass: 1 5,7,9 13
- Dexter Allen, Bass: 6
- Carl Casperson, Bass: 9
- Leo Goff, Bass: 11,1 2
- Chris Stephenson, Keys: 1,2,11 13
- Rick Steff, Keys: 3,8,10
- TJ Bonta, Keys: 9
- Doug McMinn, Drums: 1,5,7
- James Cunningham, Drums: 9, 10,13
- Tom Leonardo, Drums: 9
- Robinson Bridgeforth, Drums: 2
- John Blackmon, Drums: 3,4,6,8
- Lee Williams, Drums, 11,12
- Kirk Smothers, Sax: 2
Posted in News
Troutunes & Other Fishing Madness
By admin on January 13, 2023
This is an album Mick originally recorded/released back in the ’80s–all original tunes, all about fishing or the environment. It has just been reborn in digital only fashion. Check it out!MORE >>
Posted in News
CD Reviews – For the Feral Heart
By admin on January 12, 2023
Living Blues Review by Matt R. Lohr
The liner notes of For the Feral Heart, Mick Kolassa’s 13th solo album, promise the listener “NOTHING BUT LOVE SONGS.” But given the Memphis-based vocalist/guitarist’s status as a relatively recent widower, it is no surprise that this music packs its deepest impact when exploring passions deferred and romance in defeat.
Kolassa’s vocals, confiding and cautionary, coast along TJ Bonta’s throbbing organ and Carl Casperson’s brooding bass on Elegant Angel, and the ’70s-flavored Love Ain’t Supposed to Make You Cry features a spiky Mario Monterosso guitar solo that seems to mock Kolassa’s pain and punishment. Andrew McNeill’s snappy snare drum and Bill Ruffino’s insistent walking bass give Easy to Love a tone interestingly muted, braced for attack. This sardonic sensibility extends into Kolassa’s take on Dave Mason’s Feeling Alright, his brawling guitar and Tullie Brae’s gently threatening backing vocals injecting serious grit into a tune most familiar from its far sprightlier Joe Cocker rendition.
Sweet begins to overtake the bitter as the album eases into its more stylistically diverse back half. A breeze of New Orleans suffuses I Keep Looking, with a spring in the step of Rick Steff’s piano and a jaunty Dr. John looseness to Kolassa’s phrasing. A clever, well-handled romance-tailored-to-fit metaphor and plush acoustic guitar tones make Love in My Size a
genuine heart warmer. There’s even a surprising splash of Caribbean atmosphere, with Hold On threading McNeill’s steel drums through Kolassa’s gentle Jamaican inflections, and Steff’s organ conjuring reggae rhythms on the sun-kissed Forever Sometimes.
The nostalgic violin of Alice Hasen brings a country-folk feel to I Left My Heart in Birmingham; here, and throughout the recording, guitarist and longtime Kolassa collaborator Jeff Jensen’s pristine production enhances Kolassa’s every lovely vocal crack and crinkle. Hasen also lends her skills to the straightforward balladry of Run Away with Me, adding to the wistful comfort imparted by Kolassa’s effortlessly sincere lyrics and delivery.
For the Feral Heart is nicely bookended by a pair of radically contrasting cuts. The bustling wickedness of pure-blues curtainraiser Running to You leads listeners down a twisting, colorful musical road to a closing cover of legendary chestnut As Time Goes By, given a solid, fresh-feeling pace by drummer Tom Leonardo. At the end of the day, Kolassa’s album feels a lot like love itself: seldom predictable, alternately inviting affection and threatening tears . . . but when it’s at its best, ultimately well worth the time. ~ Living Blues, Matt R. Lohr, March 2023
Keys & Chords Review by Philip Verhaege
TRANSLATION: Mick Kolassa is a busy bee. The long player ‘For The Feral Heart’ is already the successor to ‘They Call Me Uncle Mick!, which was released in the summer of 2022. It is his third album that will be released this year and every album has been given a theme. Now these are apparent love songs, but fortunately there is more than just love songs musically. Mick opens with the blues rocker ‘Running To You’, to continue his way with the jazzy ‘Elegant Angel’. The track ‘Feeling Alright’ with Dave Mason’s credits is a wonderful guitar duel between Mick and Jeff Jensen. Guitarist Mario Monterosso comes into the spotlight in ‘Love Ain’t Supposed To Make You Cry’, it’s almost a trademark song for Kolassa. The jazzy and blues song ‘Easy To Love’ is alternated by the acoustic ‘I Keep Looking’. The ballad ‘I Left My Heart In Birmingham’ is about a ‘long-distance’ affair ‘Love In My Size’ and that contrasts with the reggae tinged ‘Forever Sometimes’ and ‘Hold On’, with its distinctive syncopated calypso groove. Alice Hasen’s violin arrangements magically color the roots related ‘Run Away With Me’. Herman Hupfeld’s old standard ‘As Time Goes By’ is the ideal bouncer.
Michigan native Mick Kolassa has lived in Clarksdale, Mississippi for over twenty-five years. He is therefore no stranger to the local blues scene in and around Memphis and was a former member of the Board of Directors of The Blues Foundation. After years of songwriting, Mick Kolassa decided to record his debut album and embraced his friend Jeff Jensen as producer. In 2014 this resulted in the success story ‘Michissippi Mick’. All net proceeds were donated to The Blues Foundation. So Kolassa has its heart in the right place. ~ Keys and Chords
Mick Kolassa is a most prolific musician and manages to make all of his albums compelling listening, venturing into different genres at times, but remaining firmly rooted in the blues. His latest release, For The Feral Heart (Endless Blues Records), is his third album from 2022 and consists of nothing but love songs, ten originals from Kolassa and two interesting covers.
Kolassa is backed by the usual cast of characters, including guitarist/producer Jeff Jensen, keyboardist Rick Steff, bassist Bill Ruffino, drummer Tom Leonardo, among others.
The opener, “Running To You,” is a lively blues rocker, followed by “Elegant Angel,” a jazzy blues and one of two tracks featuring Memphis guitarist Mario Monterosso. The album’s first cover is Dave Mason’s “Feeling Alright,” and Kolassa gives this track a somewhat slower pace than usual, bringing out the often-overlooked lyrics (addressing divorce).
“Love Ain’t Supposed To Make You Cry” is a slow burning blues featuring Monterosso on guitar once again, and “Easy To Love” is a smoky urban blues. “I Keep Looking” is a gentle, mostly acoustic tune.
“I Left My Heart In Birmingham” is a rootsy ballad about the complications involved with a long-distance love affair, featuring Alice Hasen on violin, “Love In My Size,” a song about an unlikely love affair, continuing in the same musical vein.
“Forever Sometimes” and “Hold On” touch on reggae and calypso respectively, and “Run Away With Me” is a bittersweet song about our wishes that sometimes go unfulfilled. Hasen’s violin is a wonderful complement to the poignant lyrics.
Kolassa wraps up the album with his take on one of the greatest love songs ever, “As Time Goes By,” from Casablanca.
As with all of Mick Kolassa’s albums, all net proceeds from For The Feral Heart will go the Blues Foundation, split between the HART Fund and Generation Blues. This is a fine album of warmth and compassion that goes down smoothly.The latest in a set of great albums from Mr. Kolassa. ~ Graham Clarke, Blues Bytes
Michael Doherty’s Music Log
Mick Kolassa’s pace is certainly not slowing. In August, he released an excellent album titled They Call Me Uncle Mick! and followed that just a few months later with For The Feral Heart. And this latest release contains mostly original material. As the title and the album’s cover suggest, the tracks on this album deal with love. And is there anything more important? I think the pandemic has made most people take a new look at their priorities, and, big surprise, Love has once again come out on top. Mick Kolassa, in addition to the vocals, plays acoustic guitar and electric guitar on this album. Joining him on this release are Jeff Jensen on guitar, Bill Ruffino on bass, Rick Steff on keyboards, Tom Leonardo on drums, and Andrew McNeil on drums, along with some guests on certain tracks. By the way, all net proceeds from sales of this album go to The Blues Foundation, and specifically to the HART (Handy Artists Relief Trust) Fund and Generation Blues. MORE->MORE >>
Posted in News, Press & Reviews
NEW – For the Feral Heart
By admin on December 1, 2022
CHECK IT OUT – listen / stream it / buy it!
December 2022 Release
ORDER HERE ->
Over the course of 12 previous albums Mick Kolassa has written and recorded many love songs – this album is NOTHING BUT LOVE SONGS! For the Feral Heart starts with blues but ventures into several other styles, taking the listener on a musical journey. For the Feral Heart includes blues, jazz, calypso, reggae, singer/songwriter and even America standards. With ten originals and two “covers”, the album traverses a lot of musical ground!
Kicking off with the blues-rocker “Running to You,” the album hits the ground running! “Elegant Angel,” a song celebrating a strong woman, is a blues/jazz number that features Memphis guitarist Mario Monterosso. Mick has re-arranged Dave Mason’s “Feeling Alright,” which is actually a song about a divorce, to take it back to the message of the lyrics – something it seems few fans have ever truly listened to– and Mick and Jeff Jensen enjoyed trading guitar licks on this song. “Love Ain’t Supposed to Make You Cry” is one of Mick’s trademark slow minor key blues songs, with Mario Monterosso adding his splendid guitar work. “Easy to Love,” a jazzy blues number about how difficult love can be to maintain, is followed by “I Keep Looking,” a more acoustic number that tells the uncomplicated story of a deep love that has no reason to end – ever.
The ballad “I Left My Heart in Birmingham” tells of the problems of a long-distance love affair with a slightly country feel, and “Love in My Size” is a singer-songwriter tune about an unexpected love. “Forever Sometimes” is a reggae song that celebrates an occasional love affair while the calypso tune “Hold On” tells of a deep commitment between two lovers who are going to stay with each other and get through any troubles. “Run Away With Me” is a gentle song about wishes that may not come true. Wrapping up the album is the wonderful old standard, “As Time Goes By” – and you are urged to play it again!
Posted in News
La Hora del Blues Interview
By admin on September 20, 2022
Free Range Blues
by Monte Adkison aka the “Blues Stalker”
There are musicians that play the blues and there are bluesmen. Mick Kolassa, aka “Michissippi Mick” is indeed in the latter category and is the entire package. A genuine bluesman feels, as well as exhibits, a compassion, love and dedication to the musical genre -not to just play it to fulfill an ego trip on stage or to collect revenue but instead seeks to educate, embellish, devour, and immerse oneself in the love of the music and to share that joy with others. Born in Michigan, Mick Kolassa lived in Mississippi for three decades before recently locating to Memphis. For the past 50 years his history includes playing acoustic and electric guitar, being a prolific songwriter and storyteller, vocalist, blues scholar, blues advocate (former Board of Directors of the Blues Foundation), producer and head of Endless Blues Records, and overall hardcore blues fan. His debut CD in 2014, entitled “Michissippi Mick” was followed by an impressive discography of ten releases including a Christmas album in 2021 (“Uncle Mick’s Christmas Album”) that charted well and included a stellar group of 100% Memphis musicians. His 11th and newest release “I’m Just Getting Started” includes some of my favorite musicians- Jeff Jensen, Dexter Allen, Reba Russell, Bill Ruffino, and Brandon Santini, so this fan felt like she had hit Lotto when listening to it the first time. If this is Mick’s idea of him “just getting started”, then I need to stock up on flame retardant as he indicated that he has several more albums in the works… READ THE INTERVIEW HEREMORE >>
Posted in News, Press & Reviews