Blues man: an interview wit’ Oakland’s Augusta Collins

by Minister of Information JR

Augusta-Collins, Blues man: an interview wit’ Oakland’s Augusta Collins, Culture Currents M.O.I. JR: How did you get into playing music? How long have you been playing the guitar?

Augusta Collins: Well, my uncles and cousins would come by my parents’ home every Sunday and jam in the 1950s. I found myself being moved by the sounds and focus that my family put on the music, all music. My uncles and cousins were dedicated blues artists. They loved and played the blues. I’ve been playing guitar all my life. I touched my first guitar at 3 going on 4 years old.

M.O.I. JR: What kind of music do you play?

Augusta Collins: My own! I have listened, studied and performed with many artists. I can say, “I truly perform my own music.” My music is a mixture of blues, folk, R&B, rock, jazz etc. You name it, I’m doing it. I’m hungry, and I’m ready.

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M.O.I. JR: Did you recently release an album? Can you tell us about it?

Augusta Collins: Yeah, I did! My latest release, “In the Studio with Augusta Collins,” is produced by Emmy award-winning producer Anita S. Woodley. On this album, I am channeling Leadbelly.

Augusta-Collins-1000-Miles-from-No-Where, Blues man: an interview wit’ Oakland’s Augusta Collins, Culture Currents I am performing my music with something to say about each song: why I wrote the song and what they mean to me. I do not talk much. As a matter of fact, I have a little to say about each song. The music speaks for itself.

M.O.I.JR: You recently worked with Anita Woodley on her one-woman play, “Mama Juggs.” What attracted you to her work?

Augusta Collins: Anita’s energy, personality and creativity. This woman is a giant in our time.

M.O.I. JR: Where can people see you in the Bay Area?

Augusta Collins: I am performing my music at Pizza Pazza, 3905 Piedmont Ave., Oakland, 7-10 p.m., every Friday. I have been performing at Pizza Pazza going on five years now.

M.O.I. JR: How can people keep up with you online?

Augusta Collins: My website is, and I’m on Facebook and Twitter. You can email me at or phone me at (510) 695-9339 or write to me at Augusta Lee Collins, P.O. Box 203, Oakland, CA 94604-0203.

Email POCC Minister of Information JR, Bay View associate editor, at and visit