Solid Ground CD review from R2 Magazine Posted by David James Innes on February 22, 2014 at 16:30 www.albertcastiglia.net
A new name to many, no doubt, Albert Castiglia has been quietly amassing a reputation as a bluesman among the cognoscenti. Spells backing Junior Wells and Sandra Hall are on his CV, illustrating his pedigree.
Solid Ground is his major label opportunity, and over fourteen tracks where the quality never dips, he seems to have made the most of it, displaying remarkable versatility, striding confidently and sure-footedly into musical territory that will make the genre police shudder. Good man. Having said that, it’s a straight good time 12-bar blues that jockeys for position as the album’s top track. ‘Put Some Stank On It’ barrels along without ever becoming self-indulgent and is bound to be an energetic high point of Castiglia live shows.
Its rival for top billing displays Castiglia’s versatility. ‘Have You No Shame’ is late-night adult soul, gorgeous in its world-weariness and featuring an emotional Debbie Davies backing vocal. Likewise ‘Love One Another’ recalls Curtis Mayfield in its effortless subtle emotional funk and conciliatory theme.
Simplicity is key, and temptation to self-indulgence tempered. ‘Hard Time’ is a country blues with Castiglia’s resonator buttressed by Dave Gross’s upright bass, and Solid Ground closes with ‘Just Like Jesus’, where an acoustic guitar and voice are all that Castiglia needs to articulate his resignation to ill-luck.
Half-Cuban, Castiglia nods to this Latin lineage in the instrumental ‘Little Havana Blues (Arroz Con Mango)’, displaying yet again the versatility and dexterity that impresses throughout Solid Ground.
David James Innes
http://www.60minuten.net/?p=7873 Albert Has put out his debut album for Ruf Records, and I believe it will be a great hit. He and his band have laid down 14 great tracks and I have thoroughly enjoyed listening to them several times. From the throbbing drive of the opening track, to the outstanding acoustical closing track this CD is Quickly becoming a favorite of mine. I found every song to have a unique feel to it. Even the classic blues cover of Jimmy Oden's Going Down Slow, Which search greats as Howlin 'Wolf and Bobby Blue Bland have taken to the charts. Albert and his band have taken this and made it Their Own. One of my personal favorites is track 9, Celebration . If You Could take a Bob Seger song with all its passion and feeling, and set it to a similar melody: such as Paul McCartney's soundcheck piano piece, this would be it. It is a simply beautiful song and I love it. They also have some great throw-down, old gritty blues pieces: such as Hard Time and Bath Avenue. Both are great foot tapping, soul searching tunes, as well as a fun bluesy instrumental tango did is just sultry and sexy. Over all this CD is a great start with Ruf Records and I believe this blues man from Miami Has put out a CD did he and his band should be very proud of
Solid Ground - Albert Castiglia - Ruf Records http://marshtowers.blogspot.com/2014/03/albert-castiglia-solid-ground.html The new album from Albert Castiglia presents 14 meaty slices of blues rock. Triflin' starts off the album as it means to go on: infectious guitar riff, pounding drums and no-nonsense lyrics expressing a growing intolerance of people who trifle with one's time. That's not to say Solid Ground is one-trick pony; indeed, although all of the songs reside firmly within the blues rock genre there are several changes of house style along the way. Have You No Shame drops the tempo for an effective heartbreaker, while Put Some Stank On It swerves to dip a toe or two into rockabilly territory.
There's one or two surprises along the way too, with Sway - yes, the Rolling Stones classic from Sticky Fingers - being tackled in ambitious fashion. I had my doubts about the wisdom of such a cover when I first saw the track list, but Albert - with deep blues voice well to the fore and firing off guitar licks left, right and centre - pulls it off in impressive fashion.
There's clearly been a lot of effort put into this album, as confirmed by Albert himself: ''Solid Ground is my best album to date. I put more time, love, blood, sweat and tears into this recording than any of the others, and it shows. I love every song on it and I'm sure there'll be something for everyone to like.''
For the latest news and tour dates, head over to Albert's official website http://albertcastiglia.net/ and the GFI Promotions site. http://www.gfi-promotions.com/
Albert Castiglia Living the Dream By Tom Carter; Jun 1 Find on Amazon.com South Florida Bluesman Albert Castiglia just keeps getting better and better and one has to think that the title of his sixth album, Living The Dream, describes his life right about now. After working as Junior Wells' bandleader Albert has gone on to make a mark for himself playing festivals and shows around the world. Castiglia opens with the title song displaying his considerable guitar talents at full tilt then follows with "The Man", another original contemporary Blues number describing the country's current economic woes. John Ginty's piano work there and elsewhere add a nice touch not usually heard in Albert's stage shows. Castiglia also penned "Public Enemy #9, relaying confrontations with the law in unfamiliar places over a funky beat and B3 fills, the jumping "Fat Cat" and "I Want Her For Myself", a mid-tempo acoustic track with Juke Joint Jonny Rizzo on slide guitar and Sandy Mack on harp. Mack also adds harmonica on the Paul Butterfield classic "Lovin' Cup" which Albert reworks with his trademark rapid-fire string attacks for one of my favorite cuts on the disc. Blues staple "Parchman Farm" is included in unmistakable Castiglia style along with "Walk The Backstreets", one of the slow burners here. Living The Dream is nothing short of a masterpiece from Albert Castiglia that will thrill any fan and earn him lots of new ones.
Bluesville Picks To Click B.B. KING’S BLUESVILLE PICKS TO CLICK FOR THE WEEK OF October 13, 2012
Thank you to all of you for the continued support and as always below is the list of “Picks to Click”.
Bill Wax, Proprietor of Low-Fi’s Bar and Pool Hall in the heart of Bluesville.
1. “Living The Dream” – Albert Castiglia – Blues Leaf
2. “Blood Red Blues” – Cee Cee James – FWG Records
3. “Every Kinda’ Blues” – Johnny Neal – Breakin’ Records
4. “Blues On Solid Ground” – John Primer – Blues House
5. “Grim Reaper” – Rockin’ Johnny Band – Delmark
6. “I’m Gone” – Omar & the Howlers – Independent
7. “I’m Just Dead, I’m Not Gone” – James Luther Dickinson/North Miss. Allstars – Memphis International
8. “A Natural Fact” – Steve Stongman – Independent
9. “Heartfelt” – Jarekus Singleton – Independent
10. “Between the Ditches” – Rev. Peyton’s Big Damned Band – Side One Dummy
11. “Doin’ What I Takes” – Lloyd Jones – Fresh
12. “Blues Stains On My Hands” – Norman Sylvester Band – Boogie Cat
13. “Cotton Fields of Dreams” – Albert Bashor – Earwig
14. “Waiting for the Phone to Ring” – Chris O’Leary Band – Vizztone
15. “Election Special” – Ry Cooder – Nonesuch
From The Great Northern Blues Society Albert Castiglia - Living The Dream
The title track “Living the Dream” starts off with a funky guitar riff, a great guitar solo and powerful vocals, this song has it all. “The Man” has great lyrics and I love the percussion by Emedin Rivera. Castiglia sings “The game is rigged and it ain’t on my side, hard luck and trouble I just cannot hide. Willie’s weed and Johnny’s Tanqueray, couldn’t kill this pain that I’m feeling today.” “No one’s getting over but the man.” I think we all feel that way every so often, some more than others.
The Freddie King instrumental “Freddie’s Boogie” just kicks ass. The Hammond B3 by John Ginty, provides a perfect backdrop for Albert’s guitar, which must have had to have been put out by fire extinguisher by the time this song was over, “Directly from My Heart to You” the Richard Penniman aka Little Richard penned tune, has a nice slow soulful groove to it. Ginty’s B3 and piano playing rule the day here until Albert’s guitar solo. That guitar solo reached inside me, got my heel to tap slow, then everything just amped up and blended together for one last blast that left me wanting a lot more
“Sometimes You Win” is an acoustic track. I’m not usually a fan of acoustic guitar songs but Albert always does them with such passion and intensity that you can’t help but love them. I love the lyrics and great slide guitar work on “Public Enemy #9” Sandy Mack’s dirty harp playing puts a cap on the most alive version I’ve ever heard of Paul Butterfield’s “Lovin Cup.”
The instrumental “Fat Cat” is another original where Albert just dares you not to be jumping around in your seat. “I Want Her for Myself” is another enjoyable acoustic track with Sandy Mack adding harp and “Juke Joint” Johnny Rizzo on acoustic slide guitar. Things slow down a bit on”Walk the Backstreets” but it is still a powerful track. I guarantee Mose Allison didn’t envision “Parchman Farm” sounding like this when he wrote it. This final dose of mind melting guitar is a great way to close out this CD.
Albert’s vocals are right where they always are and his guitar playing is off the charts. Holding down the bottom in fine form are the usual suspects, Bob Amsel drums and AJ Kelly on bass. I just have to say thank you to Albert and the guys. They played at our Blues Café’ back in March and put on an awesome show. Albert is one of the nicest artists that I have ever met and let me tell you, I have met many. Thanks again!
Ron Hoerter with Daniel Schlewitz
Albert Castiglia earned his blues cred as a member of Junior Wells' band, but his resumé is irrelevant at this point in his career. His muscular vocal style, incendiary guitar work, and fine songwriting are all the signs of an artist who's in it for the love of music, a fact he wryly acknowledges on this album's title track. With John Ginty's big Hammond B-3 lending support to his chattering rhythm guitar work, Castiglia sings "The road to riches is playing guitar, that's why I'm living inside my car" before laying down another stinging guitar solo. "The Man" is a blues mambo that protests the damage bankers have done to the country with a bitterly humorous lyric and some snarling lead guitar. A modified Bo Diddley beat drives "Public Enemy #9," another wry tale of street life, while "I Want Her for Myself" is a more traditional country blues thang with driving acoustic guitar and cool harmonica work by Sandy Mack. Graham Wood Drout's "Sometimes You Win" is another acoustic workout, a brooding meditation carried by only by Castiglia's acoustic guitar and vocals. Castiglia shows off his guitar prowess on a supersonic version of Freddie King's "Freddie's Boogie" featuring another solid performance by John Ginty on the B-3. He demolishes Mose Allison's "Parchman Farm" with a metallic guitar assault and a sneering, growling vocal and gives Little Richard's "Directly from My Heart to You" the familiar feel of an early New Orleans R&B jam, again with the able work of John Ginty, this time on piano
- J. Poet