FolkWorld #76 11/2021
© Frank Roszak Promotions / Endless Blues Records /

Across the Western Ocean

Uncle Mick's Christmas Album

Mick Kolassa

Artist Video Mick Kolassa @ FROG

This Christmas album was recorded in the 95-degree heat of a Memphis summer, we thought it would be cool. The album is 100% Memphis, every musician, engineer, technician, and guest call Memphis home. Once again Mick Kolassa teamed up with Jeff Jensen to produce a fun-filled and unique album. Combining some originals with Christmas classics the band put a Memphis spin on everything. Trust us, this ain’t your daddy’s jingle bells!

The album opens with Mick’s take on Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas is You”. It is delivered in a very Memphis bluesified fashion. Then the band took “Frosty the Snowman” right down Beale Street in a Second Line kind of way. Mick’s original “The Best Christmas Ever” is a fun and funky love song about a very special Christmas present.

The blues classic “Merry Christmas Baby” is followed by a VERY different take on the previously unbluesy “Jingle Bells” – the band brought this song to Memphis in a big way! “Winter Wonderland”, which provides some lightness to the mix, is followed by “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas”, delivered with an R&B feeling and featuring Rick Steff on multiple key instruments – including a Mellotron.

Mick’s blues rocker “Christmas Morning Blues” is a story of a Christmas that fell victim to a classic blues problem. The album closes with the band’s “Beale Street Christmas Jam”, in which the musicians each take a shot at fitting a classic Christmas song into a 12-bar 1-4-5 shuffle. All in all, we hope this album is as much fun to listen to as it was to produce!

Mick Kolassa

»This album is a labor of love; 100% of the net proceeds got to The Blues Foundation, split between two very important programs: the HART Fund and Generation Blues.«

Mick Kolassa "Uncle Mick's Christmas Album", Endless Blues Records, 2021

Mick Kolassa

I’m Mick Kolassa, a lifelong musician and hardcore blues fan who, in addition to being an active blues artist, also am head of Endless Blues Records and a former member of the Board of Directors of the Blues Foundation. I live in Memphis but was born in Michigan and lived in Mississippi for nearly 30 years, where I was given the nickname “Michissippi Mick”.

My love of the blues began when I was a teenager and with my music I share that love with the world. Rather than staying within a single genre of blues, I love and celebrate all styles of blues, so I call my style “Free Range Blues”. Whether it is a Delta Blues song from the 1930s, Piedmont Blues, Chicago Blues, Memphis style Soul Blues, slick city blues or cool country blues, I love and play them all. I also love to find the blues hidden in songs of other genres, “bluesifying” songs and doing what I call “uncovers”.

I have played my blues in solo and duo acoustic formats and with bands at clubs, theaters and festivals throughout the US and Europe.

The Blues Foundation

The Blues Foundation

The Blues Foundation is Memphis-based, but world-renown as THE organization dedicated to preserving our blues music history, celebrating recording and performance excellence, supporting blues education and ensuring the future of this uniquely American art form. The Blues Foundation is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization that works to support the blues and the blues community in many ways. The Foundation holds several regular events to celebrate the blues and recognize excellence in blues through the Blues Music Awards, the International Blues Challenge, Keeping the Blues Alive Awards and the annual induction of individuals and their works into the Blues Hall of Fame. The Blues Foundation also provides or sponsors programs on blues education, including Blues in the Schools and Generation Blues, and in health care for blues artists through Sound Healthcare and the HART Fund. MORE INFO ->

All Proceeds from my albums will go to support two of these important programs: The HART Fund and Generation Blues. THE HART FUND (Handy Artists Relief Trust) is for Blues musicians and their families in financial need due to a broad range of health concerns. The Fund provides for acute, chronic and preventive medical and dental care as well as funeral and burial expenses. GENERATION BLUES provides scholarship to artists under the age of 21 to study at reputable camps, seminars and workshop programs such as Port Townsend Acoustic Blues Festival, Augusta Heritage Center and Fernando Jones’ Columbia College Blues Camp.

Frank Roszak Promotions

Frank Roszak Promotions

Frank Roszak, former Director of Radio, Promotion, & Press for Delta and Eclecto Groove Records is available for hire for independent radio and press promotion. Roszak's multi-faceted background in the music industry includes over 25 years of experience as an award winning record producer and engineer, in addition to extensive involvement booking acts at many internationally acclaimed festivals around the world. During his six year tenure with Delta Groove Music, Roszak was responsible for securing top radio play positioning and press exposure for such high profile artists as Elvin Bishop, Bob Corritore, Rod Piazza, Mike Zito, Candye Kane, and many others, including Ana Popovic; whose album "Still Making History" spent a total of 18 weeks on the Billboard Blues Chart, and the Mannish Boys; who to date have received a total of 11 Blues Music Award nominations including 3 for Album of the Year and 3 for Traditional Blues Album of the Year. If you are an independent artist serious about seeking representation for marketing your next project to radio and press, then you owe it to yourself to discuss your options with someone who can provide you with the necessary experience and industry connections to help take your music to the next level.

Photo Credits: (1)-(2) Mick Kolassa, (3) The Blues Foundation, (4) Frank Roszak Promotions (unknown/website).

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