Thursday, July 26, 2012

Living the Dream reviewed by Steve Jones

Living the Dream
Albert Castiglia
Blues Leaf Records
12 tracks

Albert Castiglia is the real deal.  If you have not heard what this guy can make a guitar do, then this is the opportunity to find out.   His vocals and songwriting are also up to snuff and he presents a nice mix of originals and covers in this new CD that will get your blood flowing!

The CD opens with the title cut and from the start we can see this is going to be a really fun ride.  Catchy lyrics tell a good story and the stratospheric guitar solos get you primed for a super CD.  He follows that up with another original, “The Man,” where he gives us a tale about how the country was taken hostage by a handful of suits. Well done musically and from making a statement.

“Freddie’s Boogie” lightens the tone and moves at lightning speed.  Organ work by John Ginty along with Castiglia’s guitar really sell this one well. Castiglia finally gives us a rest with the slower “Directly from My Heart to You”; again we get some nice work by Ginty (on piano this time) and soulful vocals by Albert.  “Public Enemy #9” features a shift to acoustic guitar and it is a nice original cut.  Paul Butterfield’s “Loving Cup” gets a loving treatment and we are only half way through.  Space precludes comment on al tracks, but suffice it to say that he plies though slow and fast cuts with equal aplomb.

I really think this is a well crafted album– Castiglia impresses me with his tone and prowess.  His trio includes Bob Amsel on drums and A.J. Kelly on bass.  Sandy Mack on harp, Juke Joint Johnny Rizzo and Emedin Rivera are featured on “I Want Her for Myself”, another nice original cut.  His fans will eat this up and newbies will get a great intro– recommended!

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