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I started a quest to find terrific blues music and incredible musicianship when I was just a little kid. I also have a tremendous appreciation of fine musical instruments and equipment. One of my greatest joys all of my life was sharing my finds with my friends. I'm now publishing my journey. I hope that you come along!


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Thursday, April 17, 2014

Ruf Records artist: Albert Castiglia - Solid Ground - New Release Review

I just received the newest release, Solid Ground, from Albert Castiglia and it not only reinforces Castiglia as a premier guitar slinger but shows his continued growth as a singer/songwriter and interpreter. Opening with Triflin', Castiglia lays down rhythm guitar riffs giving his free reign to sing and solo at will. Keep You Around Too Long is a flat out Texas blues romp. Dave Gross also adds guitar on this track but it's the basic feel that makes this track tick. Castiglia lays down some guitar riffs that will make you sweat chased by Jeremy Baum on keys and Bob Amsel on drums. Searching The Desert for The Blues has a straight up blues rock format. Castiglia uses the bottom of the fretboard nicely for some fat beefy tones on this track. Have You No Shame is a soul oriented ballad with a nice melody and a twist of country, with harmony vocal work by Matt Schuler and Lou Bevere. Laying out nicely for bluesy guitar solos, Castiglia takes good advantage and lays it down. Very nice. Put Some Stank On It features guest vocalist and guitar wiz Debbie Davies. A fast shuffle,this is a definite cool track set up perfectly for some nicely articulated guitar exchanges. Love One Another is a pop R&B style track which could easily break onto daily airplay with a smooth melody and catchy hook. Sleepless Nights is a scorcher ... a heavy blues loaded track. This track has some of the most intense guitar work on the release.... sit back and enjoy it! Jimmy Oden's Going Down Slow, a real favorite of Duane Allman fans, with find this track totally reworked with a funky edge. Baum glistens on keys on this track and Castiglia does but loose for a real nice guitar solo as well. Celebration has a sturdy John Melencamp feel and could easily capture widespread airplay and popularity with a strong melody and hook. Hard Time is a very light ballad with acoustic accompaniment. With only acoustic guitar and light percussion, Castigila carries this song on the basis of his vocal and writing skills (Think Gregg Allman). Very nice. Bad Avenue hits the blues straight on the head with a lumbering 12 bar. Castiglia really pulls out the stops on this track with some wicked guitar riffs. Jerremy Baum rides the B3 adding a solid ground anchoring Castiglia as he literally tears a hole in it. Excellent! The Rolling Stones Sway is a great track and Castiglia does a real nice interpretation of it. Bevere adds complimentary vocal work on the track and Amsel's drumming on this track is particularly important anchoring the rhythm. Little Havana Blues has traces of All Your Love melody with a luxurious guitar interlude. This is probably my favorite track on the release, with it's Latin flair and crisp instrumental work. Castiglia stylistically really lays it out here. Think Black Magic Woman... with more richness. Wrapping the release is Just Like Jesus, an acoustic ballad with Dave Gross sharing guitar duties presenting some choice acoustical guitar riffs. This is a diverse release with a little bit of everything. I like this release and am looking forward to it's ride in my car.

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