Albert Castiglia review…May 17, 2019….

ALBERT CASTIGLIA

MASTERPIECE

GULF COAST RECORDS

BRING ON THE RAIN–I TRIED TO TELL YA–HEAVY–KEEP ON SWINGING–MASTERPIECE–THOUGHTS AND PRAYERS–TOO MUCH SECONAL–CATCH MY BREATH–RED TIDE BLUES–LOVE WILL WIN THE WAR–I WANNA GO HOME

For his last album, South-Florida blues man Albert Castiglia was “Up All Night,” headin’ to the next town.  Well, since that time, Albert has had a sho’ nuff life-changing Epiphany,, that has resulted in perhaps the finest album of his career, “Masterpiece,” for producer Mike Zito’s Gulf Coast Records.  Natch’l fact is, only Albert and Zito play on the whole album.  Albert is on vocals, both switch off on bass and guitars, and Zito is on keys.

Albert’s life-altering moment?  A connection to a daughter he never knew he had, and the two “new” grandchildren.  The subsequent changes in his life have led to some of the most powerful, statement-making material he has ever written or recorded.

Leading off is the scorching “Bring On The Rain,” where finding his daughter literally closed “the hole in my heart.”  “I Tried To Tell Ya, the man was one big lie,” is set over a Doomsday backbeat and Albert’s Hellhound guitar licks, while “Heavy” looks at the hatred in today’s society directed at those members  who are different, for whatever reason.  This cut preaches tolerance and a hope for the future, but, “times ain’t getting tough, they’re gettin’ Heavy.”

Albert offers up a couple of cool covers, too.  First up, we go back to Junior year of high school in ’73, with Albert’s echo-washed read of Johnny Winter’s “Too Much Secanol,” and closes the set with Muddy on his mind, and “I Wanna Go Home, to my baby, sometime!”

We had two favorites.  The title cut is an upbeat, Dylan-esque look at his new-found daughter, who is truly his “Masterpiece.”  With the new folks in his life, it’s natural for Albert to worry for their safety.  Albert’s answer to the stupefying, almost-daily, senseless mass shootings across this country is a sweeping ode to the victims and a hope that, one day, altho “hate may win some battles, Love Will Win The War.”

Albert Castiglia has always been one of the premier artists in all of contemporary blues.  For four years now, the blues has been without its King.  With “Masterpiece,” Albert certainly can lay claim to the throne!  Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow, The Nashville Blues And Roots Alliance.

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