Blind Lemon Sessions
Endless Blues Records 2020
Review by David Bowling
Mick Kolassa is a musician who moves in a number of directions but is always centered around the blues. I have been following his career for a decade or so and his albums are always unique creations. Each has a distinct personality and his latest release, Blind Lemon Sessions, is no exception.
The album began in Germany when Kolassa recorded some material for a compilation album to be issued by the Blind Lemon Record label. He eventually recorded enough material for a new album.
There are seven cover songs that present the essence of Mick Kolassa. The traditional “St James Infirmary” and classic “Ditty Wah Ditty” are short simple songs that have been around for decades and he manages to give them new life. The Beatles “Help” is changed from a frantic rock number to a slower bluesy appeal. It is a unique take on a well-known song.
His own material is more Americana than blues at times. He has consistently relied on humor and “Recycle Me” continues that tradition.
Very noticeable on this release is the use of multi- stringed instruments. Kolassa plays six and 12 string guitars, a baritone ukulele, and an odd type of banjo. Add in slide guitars, bass, violin, and another banjo by his supporting players and you have a layered effect that adds extra textures to his approach.
Blind Lemon Sessions is a fine release that fuses different styles into a unique blues sound. It is an album that focus’ on the subtleties of the blues and is well worth a listen or two.