by The People’s Minister of Information JR
Augusta Collins is one of the local bluesmen we have floating around Oakland and the Bay. A few years back I came into contact with him while covering playwright Anita Woodley’s “Mama Juggs” play about her family dealing with breast cancer.
Augusta had a singing part in the play that was really heartfelt. After the production we struck up a conversation and have become friends ever since. Since then I have seen his flyers all over downtown Oakland announcing his performances. It is an honor to now catch up with the Oakland bluesman himself, Augusta Collins. Check out his new DVD “Game” and hear him in his own words …
M.O.I. JR: Can you tell us how and when you started playing the blues?
Augusta Collins: I started playing the blues when I was 4 years old. My uncles would stop by my parents’ home and have Sunday jams every Sunday… all day. This was 1953.
M.O.I. JR: Who were you originally inspired by? Who inspires you now?
Augusta Collins: Jimmy Reed, Fats Domino and Chuck Berry originally inspired me. To this day I am still inspired by Miles Davis’ works.
M.O.I. JR: Can you tell us a little bit about your new DVD?
Augusta Collins: My DVD “Game” is my statement on a few of our conditions in this mad world. Jehovah Carlisle did some fine directing.
M.O.I. JR: Can you talk a little bit about your work with “Mama Juggs”?
Augusta Collins: Anita Woodley … Wow! This woman is talented. Working with Anita boosted my love for drive. This woman pushes and knows what she wants. It was and is a great honor to have worked with Anita Woodley.
M.O.I. JR: Musically, what are you up to?
Augusta Collins: Always seaching for new sounds and directions. I love creating music.
M.O.I. JR: How can people keep up with what you are doing? When can people see you again?
Augusta Collins: You can keep up with me and my music by emailing me. I will put you on my mailing list: firstname.lastname@example.org. Or visit my website, augustaleecollins.blogspot.com. I will be performing at Pizza Pazza, 3905 Piedmont Ave., Oakland, on Friday, Nov. 1, 6:30-9:30 p.m. No cover.
The People’s Minister of Information JR Valrey is associate editor of the Bay View, author of “Block Reportin’” and filmmaker of “Operation Small Axe” and “Block Reportin’ 101,” available, along with many more interviews, at www.blockreportradio.com. He can be reached at email@example.com.