Mick Kolassa – If You Can’t Be Good, Be Good At

Mick Kolassa and Jeff Jensen have teamed up again to produce Mick’s best album yet!  Together they have assembled a heaping helping of Mick’ Free Range Blues. Recording this album in the middle of the Covid-19 pandemic was a challenge, but the guys pulled it off! Bringing together a group of musical friends, a group that only Memphis and the surrounding areas can provide, they’ve assembled a diverse collection of songs that are sure to please.

The album opens with “I Can’t Help Myself”, an R&B love song that is Memphis through and through.  That’s followed by Mick’s “uncover” of James Taylor’s “Lo and Behold”, which starts out with angels singing then brings down fire and brimstone! The third track is the album’s title track: “If You Can’t Be Good, Be Good At It”, a phrase Mick often uses at the end of a conversation – inspiration comes from many places.

Track #4 is a powerful slow blues in a minor key: “Good Day For The Blues”, a song about everything going wrong. Next is “I’ve Seen”, in which Mick sings about what he has seen and what he most wants to see!  In “We Gotta” Mick invites his lady friend to chase the stars and close down bars – soon! Living in the heart of the Mid-South, Mick has developed an appreciation for the region’s favorite beverage, “Sweet Tea”, so, of course, he wrote a song about it!

“Slow and Easy Love” is another slow minor key blues song that is quite popular with the ladies at Mick’s live shows – or at least they were when those were a thing!  Mick wrote “Good Night Irene” (no, not that one) for a friend who is a DJ from Down Under.

“Who’s Been Talking” is a classic Howlin’ Wolf song, written by Chester Burnett himself. To record this Mick invited a very special friend – Blues Brother Willie “Too Big” Hall, to play drums – what a treat!

The album closes with “She Kept Her Head Up”, a song he wrote for and about his daughter, Kassi, and her battle with breast cancer.  It isn’t blues, but that doesn’t matter!

This album is meant to be fun and sad, to take you up and down – and back up, and to give you plenty of reasons to go back and listen a few more times.

October 15, 2020 Release GET IT HERE!

Eric Hughes Band – Postcard from Beale Street

Eric Hughes Band
Postcard from
Beale Street

Available Now!

Eric Hughes exemplifies Beale Street today: steeped in blues but representing so much more; he has played over 4,000 shows on that famed avenue. Hughes sees his role of Beale Street mainstay as a profound honor and sacred responsibility. Eric is a musician, storyteller, historian, tour guide and a rock-solid songwriter. Through Postcard From Beale Street he lets you hear what Memphis sounds like today, and what it sounded like yesterday.


ORDER AT ERICHUGHESBAND.COM

Eric’s songs here range in style from soul, indie, jug-band, ballad, rock, and – of course – blues. Eric and his band of skilled musicians (who toured and recorded with music legends such as Albert and BB King, Little Milton, Bobby “Blue” Bland, Jeff Beck, Buddy Miles and many more) are augmented by solid Memphis session players (with musical resumes that rival anyone). Postcard From Beale Street represents the diverse influences that make Memphis music more than a thing of the past. Like Memphis, Eric’s music can’t be “pigeon-holed”; he’s not merely a blues artist. This is a songwriting album: ear candy from some fine musicians. Each of these songs tell a story through lyrical imagery and crafty songwriting. All of these songs are ABOUT something, not just words to accompany music.

The album begins with “Ain’t Whipped Yet”, which is Eric’s life story and motto – and gives a hint about how his nickname “Scrappie” came about. Eric’s lament, “Oh, Booze!” captures the essence of the Beale Street of the past – and present, with horns and arrangements that would have brought a smile to W.C. Handy himself and lyrics that tell a timeless story.

With “He’s Just An Alley Cat” Eric shows that he and his band can rock out and get funky at the same time. The song “Follow Your Stupid Little Dreams” urges people (especially fellow musicians) to do just what the title says- again in a musical style harking to the Beale Street of 100 years ago.

“Homesick Angel” is Eric’s homage to his fighter-pilot grandfather, and “Fair Weather Friends” tells a timeless story in a very Memphis style. Anyone whose grandparents lived in a rural area can relate to “Blackberry Patch”, and those who long to see a loved one will identify with “Come See About Me”. Waiting For That Day” is the universal song of every working stiff and “It’s 4:20 Somewhere” tells of one way to cope with the frustrations of life.

Postcard From Beale Street is a homegrown production from start to finish, every song was written, played, and recorded in Memphis by Memphis musicians – produced, mixed, mastered and manufactured in Memphis.

Mick Kolassa – Blind Lemon Sessions

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! 

New Release Available NOW !


CD REVIEWS

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

 

Kern Pratt

Kern Pratt was born in Greenville Mississippi and grew up with the blues. Living it. Breathing it. Experiencing it. Becoming it. Playing it. You can feel the emotion in every note he sings; every strum of the guitar. Kern Pratt has the blues and he shows it off in every song on Greenville, MS…What About You.

Now, drawing on life experiences and events, Pratt is writing about and singing the blues. He shares feelings and emotions that are truthful, raw and transparent. When he plays, the blues come alive!

Kern is an emotional artist and man, he wears his feelings close to the surface, and they show up in his music in wonderful ways.  Kern wrote “Loving that Feeling”, the opening track, about a good time that is in the past on a particularly good day, while “Torn Between Love and Hate” is Kern’s song about a bad time in his life. He wrote “Something’s Gone Wrong” after a spat with his lady while getting ready for the studio and this album.  Kern chose to cover some of his favorite songs that hit the same notes, including Mick Kolassa’s “Baby’s Got Another Lover”, a song about a partner’s addiction, Larry Van Loon’s “Rita”, another song about addiction, as well as other numbers that tell real life stories – which is what blues music is all about!  The album closes with Kern’s tribute to Bobby Rush, Bobby’s song “Chicken Heads”, Kern is joined on this track by fellow Endless Blues Artist Jeff Jensen and his band and they have a ball with this great song.

New Release Available December 2, 2019 – PRE-ORDER NOW!

Sister Lucille – Alive

Musical cross-pollination creates unique and rare artists. On their new release, Alive, Sister Lucille presents a potent collection of original modern blues. It’s powerfully delivered with a soulful twang, a mighty rhythm section and sublime guitar work!

Sister Lucille features the wedded duo of Kimberly Dill and Jamie Holdren. When they got together their musical worlds collided in a fusion of Country, rock and blues.

Alive encompasses the entire band’s influences in American roots music, which include; Blues, Country, Rock, Soul and Funk. Sister Lucille has put together a strong and playful set of fresh blues rockers with a little help from some Memphis friends.

Release date is October 15th 2019… ORDER NOW HERE ->

Tennessee Redemption

Introducing a brand new project featuring Brandon Santini, Jeff Jensen, Timo Arthur, Bill Ruffino, and David Green. Album and release tour coming September 2019!

Tennessee Redemption is a hard band to put in a box: Steeped in blues, raised on rock’n’roll, inspired by soul, baptized by gospel, and open minded as jazz; this band is an evolution in the personal artistry of its members.

  • Brandon Santini / Lead Vocals, Harmonica
  • Jeff Jensen / Lead Vocals, Guitar
  • Timo Arthur / Guitar, Vocals
  • Bill Ruffino / Bass, Vocals
  • David Green / Drums, Vocals

Tullie Brae – Revelation

Tullie Brae — Revelation

Tullie Brae is a celebrated performer who is known for setting stages on fire.  With this new album Tullie teamed with producer Jeff Jensen to take listeners on an adventure through the blues. From hard rocking and dark imaginary journeys to soft and emotional ballads, this album demonstrates Tullie’s skill in songwriting and her amazing vocal range and quality.  Above all, in REVELATON Tullie is using her deep love and mastery of the blues to reveal and celebrate a strong and independent woman.  Tullie developed her musical chops in churches in Louisiana, and she used that experience to bring her fans some very exciting new music.  On this album, which consists of 10 songs written by Tullie, her voice shines as she uses all the dynamics of that special instrument – and she plays piano, Hammond B3 and slide guitar on various tracks, demonstrating her versatility and as a musician.

REVELATION opens with “Price of the Blues”, a powerful song about domestic violence and home-grown justice that isa fan favorite in her live shows.  Next is “Seven Bridges”, a song about seeking redemption and a soul cleansing brought to you in a style that comes straight from church by way of the Delta Juke Joints.  “Mississippi Rain,” the third track tells the story of a failed love that won’t fade from memory. “Break These Chains” tells of a bad relationship and the woman’s need to end it, while “New Shoes,” celebrates friendships that make her feel – Like a pair of new shoes!.

“Deville In Deville” is a driving Hill Country song about a battle between a country preacher and the Devil.  “Ain’t No Good” further explores a bad relationship while “Watch Her Move” celebrates women who have risen from adversity – watch her move!  With “Shine” Tullie challenges her listeners to rise above adversity and let their lights shine!  The album closes with “Thank You Mom,” a moving and emotional song that delivers on its title.

Throughout this album Tullie demonstrates her amazing talents as a songwriter and performer, it is a true REVELATION.

Get it HERE

In Layman Terms – Strong Roots

IN LAYMAN TERMS – STRONG ROOTS

Cole and Logan Layman have grown up making music together. In 2015 they met Hamed Barbarji, and this would be the beginning of an amazing friendship and a passionate collaboration! Nick Davidson joined the band in 2017 to complete this solid foursome. The band members are multi-instrumentalists and write original music. Their unique and diverse sound ranges from gritty, foot-stomping acoustic work, to that of an electrified big-band. There are Americana undertones and a hint of modern flair in their music. They are very excited to release this sophomore album, “Strong Roots.” In Layman Terms’ Debut album “Tangled,” released in 2016, received rave reviews and has been played on radio stations all over the country and internationally.

The band may be young, but they are experienced and they are not strangers to accolades. The siblings have performed Nationally as a duo, and Hamed is an International performer. Nick has played up and down the East Coast. Logan was named Veer Magazine’s Emerging Artist of the Year in 2015. She was the Sea Level Singer/Songwriter’s Emerging Artist of the year in 2014. In 2013, she was named “Blues Kid of the Year.” Logan endorses Ernie Ball Music Man basses, and was featured in Bass Player magazine in 2016. Cole endorses Steve Clayton custom guitar pics. Cole and Logan both endorse Farmer Foot Drums. Cole and Logan are proud inductees into The Brotherhood of the Guitar, an elite group of young guitarists from all over the world. They appeared together in the August, 2014 issue of Guitar Player Magazine.

GET IT HERE

149 Delta Avenue

149 DELTA AVENUE

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.

GET IT HERE

Endless Blues Records

ENDLESS BLUES RECORDS

Endless Blues Records is a different kind a record company. We started as a “personal” label for Mick Kolassa and have expanded to work with other artists. Our goal is to help independent artists get their music recorded in a quality way and made available broadly. We work with artists in several different ways from simply providing logistic help and advice to help with get the recording released and promoted to fully financing the production of an album.
We’re a small firm with limited resources so we’re going to be selective in the folks we can help and do more with it. We are not seeking new artists at this time but are actively evaluating potential future partners.