SONG - 1,000 Miles from Nowhere by Augusta Lee Collins

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Contact Augusta Lee Collins @ 510.695.9339

Thursday April 16th

Gallery of Contemporary Jewelry and Art

No Cover
6Pm ~ 8Pm

Toney Thibodeaux

Wednesday, May 16, 2012


$15, plus Shipping

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

9/28/11 - ARTICLE SERIES #4: Performing Artist painted By Artist

Performing Artist Painted By Artist
By Paul Cobb
September 28, 2011
(Left) Performing Artist Augusta Lee Collins with Painter, Artist Anthony Holdsworth in his studio in West Oakland. Collins with Rev. Kevin Barnes “standing behind him” as they discuss food for the soul at Abyssinian Baptist Church. (Right) Collins poses beneath Holdsworth‘s painting of him that hangs in the Alameda Public Library. Photos by Adam L. Turner.

Painters, like preachers, can see and hear what others often miss. 

Anthony Holdsworth, an English born artist has painted our town better than most illustrators. He sees the “there” that’s here. Not much escapes his numerous streetscapes and landscapes, not even the ex-homeless performing artist, guitarist Augusta Lee Collins. Though homeless persons are often ignored and taken for granted, Holdsworth noticed Collins and “brushed him in” his oil paintings. He “mixed” Collins in.   From the beginning he appeared as nothing more than a barely indistinguishable black spot on the canvas, but perfectionist Holdsworth, a color theorist and perceptionist, whose “cityscapes” make sense for the farsighted, held forth and saw more. Artist Holdsworth included artist Collins into more of his paintings.

Like the buildings, trees, benches and streetlights, Collins “lit up” Holdsworth’s works. They are colorfully displayed together around the world in public buildings, museums and galleries. Even in Santiago, Cuba, Oakland’s Sister City, brother Collins is there, too, holding forth, for art’s sake. When Rev. Kevin Barnes fed Collins food for his body and soul, he, who knows “soul food”, also heard the talent within the soul of Collins.  When the Post began a two-part set of articles about Augusta Lee Collins at the Pizza Pazza, no one thought that after 5 articles it would touch so many lives in so many places. His “up from homelessness” saga has inspired others to come forward. The Post is considering an offer to assemble the unsold Holdsworth /Collins paintings to help both artists. Then, afterwards, conduct an auction of Holdsworth’s works to support the homeless feeding programs like Barnes’ Abyssinian Baptist Church.  For those who want to be a part of the audience to witness Holdsworth paint an “Art n’ Soulscape” of Collins and Barnes at  Abyssinian Baptist, with some lovely colorful church hat-wearing members rhythmically holding forth while Collins performs Al Green’s “Jesus is Waiting”, please contact us at As a writer, I too can see and hear Collins singing “If you’re broken down, Jesus is waiting, hey yea, don’t let yourself down, Oh, he’s standing right there behind you, helping you to make up yo
ur mind, can’t you see, you’ve got a friend, reach down in your heart and say a little prayer for me, thank you, thank you, thank you…”.
Can’t you see?—(Next: Street Corner Symphonies, attracting other artists).

Contact Rev. Barnes at Abyssinian Missionary Baptist, 528 33rd St, Oakland , (510) 653-0315.
Call Collins at 510.695.9339 or or or,

This 40 minute musical journey combines both song and stories
of Augusta's life journey and 45 year career as a performer.

"Hear my heart, my soul and my story!"

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Keep on, Comin' on Back... Ya Hear!

Keep returning to my blog to see new feature articles by 
Oakland Post Newspaper's writer/publisher, Paul Cobb on yours truly, singer/songwriter Augusta Lee Collins and the people in my life I've met along the way. This will be a treat indeed! 
"Enjoy! Keep on, Comin' on, Back.... Ya Hear!"
-Augusta Lee Collins

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

9/21/11: ARTICLE SERIES #3: "Love Will Find a Way"

September 21, 2011

Singer, songwriter, guitarist Augusta Lee Collins says he’ll never forget where he came from as he sang a song he wrote called ‘A Thousand Miles From Nowhere’.
“I felt so proud when Rev. Kevin Barnes came to see me play last Friday night at Pizza Pazza.  When I was homeless he fed me in his church just 8 blocks from where I now play.”
Recalling more desperate times while on the streets playing for survival money, he sang “I’m out here in the rain, with my guitar in my hand, writing you this letter, and I hope you understand that I am standing up, waking up…” at that point Rev. Barnes encouraged him to continue to stand up in a traditional Baptist call and response acknowledgement.  Collins responded with “Love will find a way” another song he dedicated to Barnes and his Abyssinian Baptist Church family. Collins says he was formally a professional meal seeker. “I knew where all the places were that served meals but Abyssinian was the best because his members showed each of us the utmost respect. We were made to feel as if we were a family member,” said Collins.
 Collins says he’s recognizable because of the series in the Post Newspapers chronicling his journey from homelessness. “People come to Pizza Pazza to hear me. I earn money too, but now I am standing up. Now I don’t feel like I am a thousand miles from nowhere. I feel like I am close to all. I am somewhere near the center of good things.
“People know my name and come up to me for autographs. But more importantly, some say my story has inspired them to want to move up from homelessness.”
He told Barnes that he changed his teaching schedule so he could attend his church on Wednesday nights for prayer meeting. “ Which reminded him of “If we can only learn to live together and not be afraid of tomorrow”,  another song he wrote while hanging out in Jefferson Park, aka “Old Man’s Park”.
Collins has been asked to perform in a benefit for the Haiti Emergency Relief Fund, December 3, from 3 to 5pm at Everett and Jones Barbecue, 2nd and Broadway in downtown Oakland. Collins feels that he’s revisiting people and places with a renewed spirit. “I am now performing inside of the places where I once stood outside,” he said.
Rev. Barnes said “Augusta Lee Collins is living proof that God can take the lonely, the low, the lost, the  least and the left out and  bring them up. At our next prayer meeting with him we will thank our homeless ministry volunteers for showing the kind of love that some of us have lost sight of, love from above and from within. The kind of love referred to in the Bible in Galatians 5:22, because God is love.”
“Even though I’ve lived and loved the blues, I can sing love ballads too. Don’t you think I have a reason now? I’ll be in church Wednesday night because I agree with Rev. Barnes when he says it’s time for Oakland to show love to everyone regardless of their condition,” Collins said, as he autographed another Post newspaper.
Contact Rev. Barnes at Abyssinian Missionary Baptist, 528 33rd St, Oakland , (510) 653-0315.
Call Collins at 510.695.9339 or or or,

My latest release is now available

"Hear and see My Heart, My Soul and My Story!"
Contact Augusta @ 510.695.9339

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

9/14/11 - ARTICLE SERIES #2: Augusta Lee Collins' Mix at Pizza Pazza

September 14, 2011
By Paul Cobb
Part 1—“Baby, Please Don’t Go”
Some musicians say that a performer can’t sing or play the Blues
with feeling unless they have lived a blue-black experience. Augusta Lee Collins, who performs every Friday night at the Pizza Pazza, 3905 Piedmont Avenue in Oakland, can sing the Blues.

Collins, once a homeless guitarist who played and sang at 14th and Broadway and in Jack London Square, earned enough money to let the many bottles of “Night Train” keep him from “Goin Down Slow”. While living the blues’ hard times on the streets he reflected on the good times when he played drums with Lightnin Hopkins, his blues king.  Collins knows the blues, up close and personal.Michael Rose, the owner of Pizza Pazza, heard Collins and gave him a chance to perform at his restaurant and Collins hasn’t missed a beat on Friday night for six consecutive years. For him Hopkins’s signature song “Baby Please Don’t Go” has a special meaning.
After the first article on Collins appeared more fans and customers appeared at the Pizza Pazza. Rose appeared too and helps welcome his new customers. This Friday night Collins will play with a special guest, Rev. Kevin Barnes, the man who fed him every Thursday at Abyssinian Baptist Church, only a few blocks from where he performs. “Rev. Barnes is proud of me when he sees me on the streets distributing my fliers to promote my music. He has invited to come and teach a class, speak and perform for the people who dine at his church. What an honor. I thank God. I thank Mr. Rose. I want to give back,” said Collins.

Augusta Lee Collins’ self-styled blend of–blues, folk, country, R&B, reggae, love ballads, spirituals and gospels is known as the “Collins Mix”. He wants Rev. Barnes to know that his religious themes are patterned after the legendary Al Green. He says he often listens to Al Green sing “Jesus is Waiting, Thank you, Thank you, Thank you, Thank you.” He said the beauty of that song is Green seems to never stop saying Thank you “and that’s the way I feel, I want everyone to come out on Friday nights to hear me say Thank you.” Collins also know the song famous gospel recording  by Gospel Icon Bishop F.C. Barnes  “I’m coming up on the rough side of the Mountain.”
 (Next—The Collins Mix of Music.”)

This 40 minute musical journey combines both song and stories
of Augusta's life journey and 45 year career as a performer.

"Hear and see my heart, my soul and my story!"
Music by Augusta Lee Collins
Directed by Jehnovan Carlisle
Phone Augusta @ 510.695.93393

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

8/31/11 - ARTICLE SERIES #1: Augusta Lee Collins at Pizza Pazza

Augusta Lee Collins, a singer and songwriter who has also been enshrined in the West Coast Blues Hall of Fame, did not contact our paper. Some of the Pizza Pazza customers who heard him said his music making was awesome and everyone ought to hear him on Friday nights from 7pm to 10pm at 3905 Piedmont Avenue in Oakland.
The Post invites the readers to go see Collins perform, watch his videos, listen to his CDs and post your comments with the Post. You can contact him at 510.695.9339 or or

Sunday, January 16, 2011


(Photo by Leah J. Clark

Augusta Lee Collins is experiencing "The highlight of his career!"  "In The Studio with Augusta Lee Collins," is garnering the attention of music lovers everywhere. 
Get your copy of the CD TODAY!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Released CD! "In the Studio with Augusta Lee Collins"


Call 510.695-9339

"IN THE STUDIO with Augusta Lee Collins"

"HEAR MY HEART, SOUL and STORY!"  The album, "In the Studio with Augusta Lee Collins," shares his life on the road and how he found hope in the folds of Oakland.  The 40-minute musical journey combines both songs and the stories that inspired his original compositions.  Augusta's musical career spans 45 years.  After 30 years as a renowned Bay Area drummer, Augusta Lee Collins decided to step out from behind the kit and play guitar and sing the Blues.  He formed the band M-Pulse aka withM-PULSE aka The Augusta Lee Collins Trio and The Augusta Lee Collins Quartet.
"Augusta brings such passion, rhythm and style to every note he plays..." -M. Beardsley

""The Blues" just drips off!  Like hot, sweaty life!  The best, Augusta Lee Collins." -S. Logan
"Hello Augusta dear...Keep on inspiring us with your wonderful tunes~God's gift is own it." -T. Morgan
"Hello Augusta, just love your blues, your style!  a huge fan from France..." -O. Quignon
"Outstanding...and I mean can feel the textures of the music..." -A. Laird
"I'm a thousand miles from nowhere, with my guitar in my hands-Love it!!!" -F. Williams
"Great stories behind the songs." -A.S. Woodley

"...I keep playing "A 1,000 Miles From NoWhere" real loud!! -Y. Johnson

"Nice...I like the beat...Soul and Blues mix." -P. Grant

"Congratulations it's a #1 song Augusta" -M. Dorsey
"...IT'S AWSOME!!!  Your story, your music-wonderful." -M. Taylor
"I like this...thank you." -P. Hampton
"A 1,000 Miles From NoWhere"...Very Nice!" -D. Brown
"This is HOT!  I feel ya!  DAMN!" -J. Mocarsky
"Sounds really good Augusta.  You've paid your dues in full." -T. Wysinger
"...I really enjoyed your CD." -R. Tauben
"...Your music is REAL..." -M. Taylor

"I love, love, love love my new CD.  I listen to it a whole lot!  You rock Augusta Lee!!! -LaLa

"..great tracks...emphasize the range versatility of Collins as both a vocalist and guitarist." -River News-Herald G. Kusic
"Listening now!  WOW, sexy, soulful, emotional!!!  Very nice.  Thank you Augusta!" -J.L. Mocarsky
"Love it!" -S. Golden
"Augusta, The Blues Man of the ages-he commands attention on stage...The CD is a must if you're a fan of the blues.  Augusta delivers the blues with a gusto unfound." -R. Ricketts
CALL 510.695-9339

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

NEW VIDEO - "A Thousand Miles From NoWhere Unplugged - Augusta Lee Collins"

"A Thousand Miles from Nowhere Unplugged - Augusta Lee Collins"
Augusta Lee Collins on Vimeo.

"A Thousand Miles from NoWhere Unplugged - Augusta Lee Collins"
This is my original music that I have written and produced.

Augusta Lee Collins musical career spans 44 years. After 30 years as a renowned Bay Area drummer, Augusta Lee Collins decided to step out from behind the kit and play guitar and sing the Blues. He formed the band Mpulse and is now working with Toney Thibodeaux on lead acoustic and electric guitar and background vocals and Mark Anderson on piano.

Thursday, December 2, 2010


This month, Augusta Lee Collins blues gem "1000 Miles from Nowhere" is  featured in the music page issue 
of Status Hat's online magazine.

*Scroll to the middle of their website*

"The legendary Bay Area drummer Augusta Collins sharing his blues with us as guitarist and singer. After soaking up all the beats he is letting us feel what else he has to say with "1000 Miles From Nowhere".  His hypnotic song shares in the age old sense of longing and desperation that makes this an real blues gem." 

- By Status Hat Online Music Page Magazine

Thursday, September 2, 2010

1975 - Rediscovered Photos of Augusta Lee Collins

Augusta Lee Collins is best known as a very talented drummer that was most prolific throughout
the late 1960’s and into the middle 1980’s.

 Performing with legends like Lightnin’ Hopkins, Herbie Hancock, Abbey Lincoln, George Duke, Hampton Hawes, Sun Ra, Bobby Hutcherson, Woody Shaw, Juilian "Cannonball" Adderley, Nate Adderley, Frankie Beverly and Maze, Charles Wright (of the Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band) and the Pointer Sisters to name a few.  Augusta showed an interest in all forms of music very early.  Augusta has performed at the U.C. Berkeley Jazz Festival three times and the Monterey Jazz Festival and the Alameda County and California State Fairs and the African American Museum and Library at Oakland three times and the Oakland Museum as well as performing with the Oakland Symphony Orchestra, Harold Fiberman conductor 
              and musical director and many other venues including much television (ABC, NBC PBS, CBS, KTVU, community and college run television...etc.) and radio (NPR, KALX, KPOO, BERKELEY LIBERATION RADIO, KPFA, KBLX, community and college run radio...etc.)
Augusta Lee Collins has toured both the United States and Europe.
Augusta Lee Collins  in collaborations with 'rie Shontel performed in the one woman show "Mama Juggs" at the Twin Space in San Francisco, California December 21, 2010 and in Oakland, California  at the Black Dot Cafe, December 29th and 30th, 2010.  On December 17, 2010, West Coast Blues Hall of Famer/Singer-Songwriter Augusta Lee Collins with Emmy Award-winning Producer Anita S. Woodley released, the long awaited CD "In The Studio with Augusta Lee Collins" Produced by Anita S. Woodley.  The 40-minute musical journey combines both song and the stories that inspired his original compositions.
Phone Augusta @ 510.695.9339

SEND $20.00
PO BX 203
OAKLAND, CA 94604-0203

It's Slamming Ya'll

Thank You!

Augusta Lee Collins


PO BX 203
OAKLAND, CA  94604-0203

PHONE:  510.695.9339