CD REVIEWS – Wasted Youth


The reviews are coming in…


Blues Matters!

Now here we have a guy who truly puts his whole life into the blues. A former director of The Blues Foundation based in Memphis all profits from all of his album sales go towards the support of two of the Foundations projects. Mick “Mississippi Mick” Kolassa is back with just such a new release. Twelve tracks just oozing blues from every bar. Eleven originals and one cover segueing together three tunes. However, should you go trawling through his catalogue, and you will find that Wasted Youth is not actually his latest. He has also just released mid October a new Christmas album as well. If we put that off to the side what we have here is a very fine collection of tuneage reeking of Memphis and the Blues. Mick has managed to create a thoroughly modern album which, somehow, sits very comfortably alongside the sounds from former times. For example the aching love song about separation, Touching Bass, rolls along with a steady gait redolent of some smoky club from the forties. This is quickly followed up by the trio of songs combined under Darkness To Light. So you get a medley of War’s Slipping Into Darkness, The Youngbloods’ Darkness Darkness and finally Wayfaring Stranger. Set to an almost Reggae rhythm, and with unusual but exquisite violin solos, they all work really well together. Throwing Away These Blues and the title track open the album up. The former implores us to not let life get us down whilst the rougher Wasted Youth shows us that we can really only appreciate youth with the benefit of hindsight.  Edge Of A Razor rounds things off with three simple acoustic guitars with guest Albert Castiglia on slide. A very tasty album indeed! ~ Graeme Scott, Blues Matters!


Veteran bluesman Mick Kolassa delivers a little joy and releases immeasurable pain as he joins forces once again with producer/guitarist Jeff Jensen and kicks 2020 to the curb with CD, an album that bears witness to a year of sorrow in which he lost his beloved wife, several close friends and relocated from Mississippi to Memphis, too… No matter what the medium, Mick Kolassa delivers heartfelt messages from the heart, and serves up a jewel with Wasted Youth. I loved it, and think you will, too! MORE>>

Bluebird Reviews

In these days and age, it is very gratifying for a writer to review a Blues album that encapsulates the original values of the genre so well like Wasted Youth, the brand new album from American singer/songwriter and guitarist Mick Kolassa.

Written largely during the height of the pandemic in 2020, Wasted Youth is a heartwarming, disarmingly sincere and incredibly well structured record in all its aspects, in a year particularly difficult for the veteran American Blues artist, from a personal level… MORE >>

Reflections In Blue

Cutting to the chase, Wasted Youth is one of those recordings that offers more than simply a background for our dancing and polite conversation.  Like diamonds, which are formed under conditions of extreme heat and pressure, great blues tunes do not come easily.  It has been a rough year and a half, but Mick put these trying times to good use.  This is some of the best songwriting I’ve heard, and Kolassa is surrounded by some of the greatest performers in Memphis.  While the tunes here are very much able to be danced to, it is the furthest thing from a party album.  Like the works of the masters of old, there is a profound honesty here.  I found myself taking council and examining my own heart, mind, and soul.  This is Mick’s finest work to date…a bona fide blues album in every sense of the word.  I’d feel comfortable recommending this one to everyone, from the hardcore traditionalist to lover of the more contemporary styles.  Mick Kolassa and company knock this one out of the park. – Bill Wilson, Reflections In Blue


Raised in Michigan but resident in Mississippi, “Michissippi Mick” has been playing the blues a long time with a style he likes to call “Free Range Blues”.  He’s not tied down to one style, be it Delta blues, country blues, Chicago blues, or Memphis style soul blues.

His new album, Wasted Youth, sees him teamed up with Jeff Jensen, and playing with a group that includes sixteen top notch musicians, including the fine vocals of Tullie Brae. It’s a terrific set of 14 songs, eleven of them Kolassa originals, some of them inspired by his dreadful 2020, in which he lost his wife and a number of friends. All proceeds from the album are going to The Blues Foundation, where Kolassa is a former board member… MORE >>

Hot Wax Album Review

Any day a new Mick Kolassa CD shows up in my mailbox is a very good day, because I know I‘m in for a deep and tasty dive into the blues.  I picked this up on my way to work this morning, but had to wait till after supper to give a spin- well, 3 or 4 to be honest.  Wasted Youth is a spirited collection tunes that are bound… MORE >>

La Hora Del Blues

After the acclaimed success of his previous release “If You Can’t Be Good”, singer and guitar player Mick Kolassa publishes now a fourteen song new album, with eleven Kolassa’s own compositions, which have been inspired by all the bad things pandemic has brought and the misfortunes he has suffered in 2020, where he lost his wife and several friends. As he previously did, in the album Kolassa teams again with guitar player Jeff Jensen, which provides strength and energy to all songs, but he has also counted with the collaboration of different amazing musicians, all gifted with fine subtle skills, like Bill Rufino, Rick Steff, James Cunningham, Brandon Santini, Brad Webb, Kirk Smothers, Albert Castiglia or Victor Wainwright among others. As he always does, all the album sales benefits will go to the programs ‘Hart Fund’ and ‘Generation Blues’, promoted by the Blues Foundation in Memphis. Once again Mick Kolassa shows all his special powerful sensitivity and musical knowledge, as well as an undeniable good taste when he steadily walks along the most genuine and vigorous blues landscapes. GREAT. ~ La Hora Del Blues