Mick Kolassa – Wasted Youth – PRE-ORDER NOW!

Mick Kolassa – Wasted Youth
Pre-Order Now!


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$25 Int’l Order – shipping included


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 is set to release on July 30th!

Stories Behind the Songs

Throwing Away These Blues (Kolassa) 2:27
2020 was a tough year, and I found it easy to feel sorry for myself (as another song will attest), but I’ve never been down for long, I seem to be almost immune to depression, and I hated the feeling. So regardless of how hard than damned year hit me, I knew I needed to move past it, and this song talks about that, it celebrates leaving bad times behind

Wasted Youth (Kolassa) 4:50
I started working on this song a couple years ago, when I was feeling less healthy and more worn down by my years. It is a song about growing older and understanding that our days are limited and realizing that I didn’t realize that years ago. I figured that a lot of blues fans would identify with the song! This track has 3 electric guitars on it, with Jeff Jensen and me paying what could be called a “call and response” as he plays a response to my initial line. Brad Webb adds his slide guitar superpowers to this song and Eric Hughes added his harp to the tune, making this 10 straight albums on which Eric joins me in making music!

It Hurts to Let You Go (Kolassa) 5:58
I wrote this song as a way to prepare myself for the loss of my wife, which I knew was coming soon – but I wanted it to be more general than just my story, I wanted to write it for anyone who is dealing with the loss of someone close to them

I’m Missing You (Kolassa) 3:47
I have an imaginary muse and I write love songs to her often – it seems to be the safe way to go! I wanted it to be funky and celebratory, telling of missing my love while being content to have her. Missing her but secure in her love. Musically I wanted the bass to dominate this song – and I think Bill Ruffino pulled that off!

Easy Doesn’t Live Here (Kolassa) 3:22
Relationships are tough, and to make them work you need to understand that, to accept that love isn’t all cake and cookies. But if love is real, and strong, adversity doesn’t really mean anything! I wanted this song to sound and feel different from others on the album, so I leaned in a Latin direction when composing it and asked the wonderful young guitarist David Julia to add some of his magic to it.

I Can’t Get Enough (Kolassa) 2:57
Another love song to my imaginary muse, meant to be slightly humorous but lots of fun. I asked my friend Anthony Paule to play guitar on this, and he captured the spirit of it beautifully. Marc Franklin (trumpet) and Kirk Smothers (sax) kept that fun spirit going as they rounded the song out.

Feeling Sorry for Myself (Kolassa) 3:04
Despite my regular upbeat attitude and apparent immunity to actual depression, I do get down sometimes and, as 2020 drag on and ever downward, I just let the “feeling down” take me down a bit further. Because I can’t let a good emotion just disappear, I memorialized my own slip into minor depression in this song. I wanted it to feel a bit like a Ray Charles song – Ray would smile through a sad song, and I love that. My good friend Victor Wainwright helped it to sound a little more like Ray!

Touching Bass (Kolassa) 3:23
This song came about as I was simply messing around with a bass guitar, walking around a 12 bar song. Playing with the fact that Bass and Base are homonyms I just started playing with the idea of a bass driven song about touching base

Darkness To Light (War, Young, Traditional) 5:27
I have always wanted to cover Slipping Into Darkness. War’s album The World is a Ghetto is one of my all-time favorites. And this song always just grabs me. I started playing around with it and I just naturally started leaning it toward a reggae feel – which isn’t that far from the original. While playing it the Youngbloods song Darkness Darkness came to mind – it had the same feel and “tone (both songs seem to be about addiction and desperation) and even have similar musical underpinnings (very similar chords) to transition from one to the other. While messing around with variations it struck me that the old spiritual, Wayfaring Stranger, was also similar musically and could be fit into the mix. The combination turns out to tell a story of addiction, despair, death and eventual salvation and reunion with love. That’s why the medley is called Darkness to Light

My Mind Doesn’t Wander (Kolassa) 3:11
Another love song, courtesy of my imaginary muse. I wanted to take this song a step or two away from a traditional blues or rock form (1-4-5 in music speak) but not too far. I asked my longtime friend Brandon Santini to join us on this song because I knew his harp tone could take the song somewhere special – and it sure did.

Pieces of My Past (Kolassa) 6:17
This song is my attempt to say goodbye and good riddance to 2020. When my wife passed away I decided to move away from Mississippi, but not too far – I moved to Memphis! I moved into a much smaller house, which necessitated getting rid of a lot of things, some of which I (we) had carted around for decades. As I downsized – significantly – it occurred to me that I was literally throwing away pieces of my past, which inspired the song.

Edge of a Razor (Kolassa) 3:06
I began writing this song about a dear friend who works harder than anyone else I know, a single mother who stretches herself thin to hold things together and make sure her children secure. Watching her let some things that would be nice for her pass by as she focused on the kids, it struck me that it’s a tenuous situation, living on the edge of a razor. As the song developed and I wrote the verses I came to understand that I was writing this song about hundreds of brave and strong women who have fought through similar challenges. Musically this song consists of my voice and three acoustic guitars, each played in a different manner. I finger-picked the chords of the song and played the bassline with my thumb (channeling my inner folkie) and Jeff Jensen strummed the same chords too give them depth. I asked my friend Albert Castiglia to add a guitar to it, and he provided the perfect complement by playing an acoustic slide guitar. I believe that we each felt the emotion of the song, as each has daughters of our own and understand the reality of the song. Honestly, this song fills me with pride.

Chris Gill – Between Midnight and Louise

Chris Gill – Between Midnight and Louise

We are happy to announce that Chris Gill is coming to Endless Blues Records. This new album is 100% Chris, the album he has wanted to do for some time. All him with his favorite guitars, sharing some great tunes with you. If you don’t understand the title of the album I ask you to look at a map of Yazoo County Mississippi – maybe that will help. The album is set to release on May 14, 2021 and available at Amazon, Apple and all your favorite streaming or download services!

Dexter Allen – Keep Moving On

Dexter Allen – Keep Moving On

We are pleased to announce that Mississippi sould and bluesman Dexter Allen has joined the Endless Blues family! Noted for his clever lyrics and overall musical skills, Dexter has released several previous recordings and has entertained people all over the world. He is a multiple winner of Mississippi Music Awards, including Entertainer of the Year in 2009 and the Jus’ Blues Entertainer’ Award in 2018. Dexter has toured on his own as well as with other entertainers, including a run as lead guitar player for Blues Legend Bobby Rush, and has shared the stage with an array of established blues artists. Dexter’s album, Keep Moving On, was released March 31st 2021 on the Endless Blues Label.


Before touring was put on hold, Dexter performed his original blues everywhere from Eric Clapton’s Crossroads Guitar Festival to the Legendary Rhythm & Blues Cruise. But you can’t keep a good bluesman down and Dexter’s Keep Moving On is a testament to that.

Keep Moving On showcases Dexter’s authentic blues chops. Born in Crystal Springs, Mississippi (home of Robert Johnson), Dexter got his musical start at 12 playing bass with his parent’s gospel band. He then toured the world at lead guitarist for Grammy-winning legend and friend, Bobby Rush. Dexter has since stepped out into his own spotlight, building an international following with audience engagement, soulful vocals, and passionate driving guitar inspired by influences like Buddy Guy and Clapton.

Keep Moving On‘s title song speaks of everyday struggles and triumphs everyone goes through, and gives hope that things are going to get better if you just keep moving on.

Get it here

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

If You Can’t Be Good, Be Good At It!

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!.

“Devil 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