Blues Guitarist Albert Castiglia Is Keepin On With New CD Out August 10 On Blues Leaf Records

MIAMI, FL – Blues Leaf Records announces an August 10 release date for Keepin On, the new CD from incendiary blues guitarist Albert Castiglia. Blues Leaf Records is distributed in the U.S. by the Allegro Corporation.

Recorded at Showplace Studios in Dover, New Jersey, most of Keepin On was recorded live with very few overdubs. Castiglia enlisted five session musicians to help on the project, including harmonica master Sandy Mack, who played on “I Could Not Ask for More,” a Peter Green song contained on the new CD. Mack had played on “Ghosts of Mississippi,” a song from Albert’s A Stones Throw album in 2006. According to Castiglia, “He kicked butt then and he picked up where left off on this session.”

Keepin On features five new original tunes, which display Albert’s continued growth as a songwriter and guitarist, plus his unique take on songs by John Lee Hooker (“I’m Goin’ Upstairs”), Mack Rice (“Cadillac Assembly Line”), T-Bone Walker (“My Baby Is Now on My Mind”), Robert Nighthawk (“Murderin’ Blues”) and Bob Dylan (“Till I Fell in Love with You”).

“I did two acoustic songs and enlisted dobro genius Toby Walker for them,” says Castiglia about the new CD sessions. “Toby is world renowned and has even taught at Jorma Kaukonen’s Fur Peace Ranch in Pomeroy, Ohio, a number of times. Toby came in originally to play on a song I wrote called ‘Sweet Southern Angel.’ That went so well and quickly, that we wound up doing another number for the hell of it, Robert Nighthawk’s ‘Murderin’ Blues.’ I can honestly sum up those two tunes with one word, ‘Magic.’ He did a great job and I hope we get to work together again.”

Among the other musicians on the sessions are keyboardist Bill Quinn, singer Nicole Hart and percussionist Emedin Rivera. “Bill Quinn came in not knowing any of the material and wound up playing keyboard parts on half of the CD,” states Castiglia. “He did such a great job that I nicknamed him ‘The Mighty Quinn.’ Songstress Nicole Hart laid down background vocals on ‘Do You Love Me?,’ a song written by Iowa guitarist Jack Fickel. She nailed it in one take, no surprise. Emedin Rivera brought his incredible percussion skills to the recording. Emedin has performed and recorded with Harry Belafonte, Nina Simone and Gloria Gaynor, among others. He added congas to three tracks and added a cyclone shaker (an invention of his) on one track. It’s a round version of a standard shaker instrument but its sound and effect is much different. He used it on the intro to an original instrumental of mine called ‘Mojo 305.’”

Born in New York and raised in Miami, Albert Castiglia (pronounced “ka-STEEL-ya”), began playing guitar at 12. In 1990, he became a member of The Miami Blues Authority and was later voted “Best Blues Guitarist” by New Times magazine in 1997. Shortly thereafter, he was spotted by legendary blues singer/harmonica player Junior Wells, who asked Castiglia to join his band as a guitarist and singer. With Wells as his mentor, Albert performed at clubs and festivals across America, as well as in Canada and Europe. During that time, he also got the opportunity to play and jam with many other blues stars, including Pinetop Perkins, Ronnie Earl, Billy Boy Arnold, Lurrie Bell, Jerry Portnoy, Eddy Clearwater and Otis Clay. After Junior Wells passed away, Castiglia toured with Atlanta blues singer Sandra Hall.

In 2002, Albert launched his solo career with the debut CD, Burn, collaborating with his longtime friend, Graham Wood Drout of south Florida band Iko-Iko. Drout’s visceral, yet literary songs became the perfect vehicle for Castiglia’s soulful vocals (which recall Van Morrison) and stinging guitar playing. In 2006, he released his second album (and first for Blues Leaf Records), A Stone’s Throw, which included two more Drout compositions, “Big Toe,” and the amazing “Ghosts of Mississippi,” which is already becoming a blues classic. Castiglia and Drout also released a live CD together, titled The Bittersweet Sessions, in 2005.

His 2008 CD, These are the Days, contained five original Albert Castiglia songs, including the opening track, “Bad Year Blues,” which was nominated for song of the year at the Blues Music Awards, and “Godfather of the Blues,” his tribute to Junior Wells. Once again, Graham Wood Drout contributed another song for Albert, “Celebration.” The cover songs on These are the Days saluted a wide range of styles and artists ranging from Bob Dylan (“Catfish”) and Nappy Brown (“Night Time is the Right Time”), to Fenton Robinson (“Somebody Loan me a Dime”) and Little Willie John (“Need Your Love So Bad”).

Albert Castiglia is already on a national tour in advance of the new CD’s release, featuring a number of dates in the Midwest and South, which will continue throughout the summer and fall. For more information on the artist, visit www.albertcastiglia.com.

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Published in: on May 31, 2010 at 8:16 PM  Leave a Comment  

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