Albert Castiglia Big Dog Has The Blues
This is an album that is full of Albert Castiglia style from the first to the last note. Big Dog, his sixth album is accomplished and as he admits is the first album that really gets under his skin. Mike Zito producer of Big Dog has released the raw, rocking blues that Albert wanted from a studio recording. The album is a statement, a musical signature that makes Albert hit the stage; it is raw, unadulterated heavy guitar driven blues.
Big Dog is eleven tracks of self-penned, collaborative writing and covers that fit his style like a glove capturing the essence of blues as delivered by Albert Castiglia and his band. Joining him on the album are Mike Zito (electric and acoustic guitars, vocals, and percussion); Scot Sunderland (bass) Rob Lee (drums); Lewis Stephens (Piano, Wurlitzer Organ) and on tracks 8 & 9 Johnny Sansone (harmonica).
Opening with Let The Big Dog Eat, you know from the driving guitar that you are in for a journey full of energy, you are in for an exciting hot and sweaty listening experience. The guitar has an explosive zing that cascades as the chords form and the fingers working their magic on the fretboard. His vocals are assured and work well with the overwhelming star of the album his guitar. You can imagine at a live show the audience baying and barking at the end of this compelling opening number. The opening track was no flash in the pan the quality continues right through to the closing slower blues number Somehow. Co-written by Cyrille Neville addressing the plight of the homeless and displaced cuts that little bit deeper. The hope that it leaves you with of better days is a perfect way to end the ride with Albert Castiglia as it gives you time to reflect and listen to the lyrics and you know that the journey has been wild, fun and immensely enjoyable.
In between these tracks, the highlight was the fast guitar foot tapping Get Your Ass In The Van, the irony of the lyrics is insightful. Responding to pampered souls who think music is a reality show with fame a natural progression, who just do not want to do the long hard apprenticeship of playing on the road. The lyrics are modern blues as they reflect on today’s society. The pouring emotional harp of Johnny Sansone ensures Where Did I Go Wrong is another star moment of the album. Taken from Junior Wells’ iconic album You’re Tuff Enough also completes a circle, as Junior Wells invited Albert as a young bluesman into his band for several world tours. We visit the devil with more harp on Where the Devil Makes His Deals, you have blues with percussive twists and this is a dark blue place full of sultry dread and the glimmer of the power of hope.
Albert Castiglia (pronounced ka-steel-ya) vocals and the guitar sound steeped in the blues, the Big Dog is definitely a Blue Brindled full of emotional tension and empathises with your pain, joy and gives you hope of blue skies ahead.
Albert Castiglia – Big Dog – Ruf Records
Bluesdoodles gives this CD EIGHT doodle paws out of TEN ….
- Let the Big Dog Eat
- Don’t Lat Them Fool Ya
- Get Your Ass in The Van
- Drowning at The Bottom
- Let’s Make Love In The Morning
- What I Like About Miami
- Easy Distance
- Where Did I Go Wrong
- Where the Devil Makes His Deals
- Where the Hell Was I Thinking