Tuesday, March 18, 2008
Review: Albert Castiglia's "These Are The Days"
This cd will not be available until April 1st, but I've just got to tell you--make plans now to buy it. It's that good! Albert Castiglia (pronounced "Cas-steeel-lia") and band bring forth a well-done electric blues set on this, their third cd. Everything here is terrific. On every song Castiglia wrings every ounce out of great lyrics and brings his guitar passion front and center. The band consists of Albert Castiglia on guitar and lead vocals, Susan Lusher on keyboards, Steve Gaskell on bass and Bob Amsel on drums. Kenny "Stringbean" Sorenson adds smoking great harmonica on tracks 4, 5 and 11. Rio Clemente adds a churchy organ to track 9, and Sweet Suzi Smith & Nicole Hart add great soulful backing vocals on "Night Time Is The Right Time." Things kick off with the humorous original "Bad Year Blues" and then comes Robert Guidrey's "He's Got All The Whiskey," a lament of loss on several levels, and then a fiery "Loan Me A Dime," the Fenton Robinson song you may remember from the Boz Scaggs version with the Muscle Shoals House Band and Duane Allman from Boz Scaggs' self-titled debut album. Castiglia doesn't quite reach those esteemed heights here, but he doesn't get embarrassed by the comparison either. There is a loving original tribute to his late mentor, Junior Wells, on "Godfather of the Blues," and then the centerpiece of the cd--three great tunes done absolutely great--"Celebration" by Graham Wood Drout, "Night Time Is The Right Time" and Bob Dylan's "Catfish." The guitar solo on "Catfish" is, all by itself, a sign of Albert's promise of a bright future. And things don't drop off after that--there are a couple more Castiglia originals, ("Another Bloody Day" and "Twister") the wonderful "Need Your Love So Bad" and the cd wraps up with "Blues For Evan," an impressive instrumental that features Stringbean and Albert trading licks like they've played together forever. I've been listening to Albert play and grow and develop for years now, and this is the cd I've been waiting for. It should catapult Albert Castiglia to the top rank of blues artists.