I first met Albert Castiglia when he and other members of Junior Wells' Hoodoo Man Band were touring with singer Sandra Hall. Since that time, I have seen Albert perform as part of a couple of Junior Wells tributes and leading the band for opening numbers. Castiglia has always impressed me as a guitarist, giving me a chance to wonder about how he would do as the front man for his own band. With the release of Albert's first solo recording, Burn, my questions have been answered in a clearly affirmative manner.
The eleven songs featured on Burn offer several sides of Albert Castiglia, demonstrating that he is not only a talented guitarist (in a variety of styles), but also a capable singer and a fine songwriter. As Burn traverses through its offerings of electric blues, acoustic blues, soul and blues rock, Castiglia repeatedly reveals a talent that is even greater than I had perceived watching him perform live. On the CD, Albert does an excellent job of using his talent and the band in a mutually satisfying way, never really overpowering his backup musicians, although he is clearly the frontman.
As mentioned earlier, there are eleven songs on Burn, including eight originals written by Castiglia and/or bass player Graham Drout, two live covers of Sir Mack Rice's "Cadillac Assembly Line" and Junior Wells' "Hoodoo Man Blues and a studio cover of Muddy Water's classic, "Can't Be Satisfied." The range of styles found on Burn are sure to please anyone, including straight up acoustic blues on "Can't Be Satisfied"; the soulful "Since You've Been Gone"; and blues rock boogie of the title track "Burn." Regardless of the song or the style, It is safe to say that there is not a clinker anywhere on the entire disc.
My personal favorites on Burn include the previously mentioned title track, the catchy, fresh sound of the rocking "Teasing The Trains," the excellent slide guitar on "Take Me With You When You Go" and the Delbert McClintonesque sound on "The Day The Old Man Died." I also really enjoyed the two live cuts on the CD, "Cadillac Assembly Line" and "Hoodoo Man Blues," both which clearly illustrate Castiglia's talent as a live performer.
All in all, Burn is an exceptional debut recording by an exceptional young talent, Albert Castiglia. I suggest that you keep an eye open for Burn at your local music outlet and/or catch Albert live at your first opportunity. Whether he is performing live or on the CD, you won't be disappointed!
Web: www.albertcastiglia.com or www.hoodooal.com
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