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Up All Night

Available at Amazon.com

 
About Albert

"Up All Night." It's an apt title for Albert Castiglia's seventh album: nobody sleeps when this man is in town. After 27 years of house-rocking studio albums and smack-in-the-mouth live shows, the Florida bandleader is the acknowledged master of red-raw, sweat-and-hair blues that gives it to you straight. Now, the visceral riffs and bruised soul of Up All Night make everything else sound like a lullaby. "I'd describe the musical vibe of this new album," says Castiglia simply, "as heavy."


Being released October 6, 2017 on Ruf Records, Up All Night finds Castiglia in a creative swagger after last year's acclaimed Big Dog. What wasn't broke then hasn't been fixed now, with the bluesman once again recording at Dockside Studios, Louisiana, and capturing a warts-and-all mix alongside producer Mike Zito. "I figured since the Big Dog session went so well there, why change studios?" he reasons. "I'll probably record there for the rest of my life."

Dockside might be home-turf, but any notion of a comfort zone was dispelled by an edgy new lineup who pushed their bandleader to the wire. "Putting my new band together was a pivotal moment and this recent incarnation has really upped my game," says Castiglia. "My drummer, Brian Menendez, is very dynamic and gives me that extra spark. He's along the lines of a Ginger Baker or Mitch Mitchell. Jimmy Pritchard is my bass player and he's solid as a rock. His tone is fat and he's right on time. When I hear him, I think of Bill Wyman or Calvin 'Fuzz' Jones. It's a power trio with no boundaries or restrictions. It's a pretty amazing sound to me and it's reflective in Up All Night."


Up All Night is what happens when fist-tight chemistry meets a songwriter firing on all cylinders. Flying out of the blocks and bottling ten songs on the first day, Castiglia shook the Dockside walls with the most powerful songs of his career. There's the stinging "Hoodoo On Me." The strutting garage-band vibe and scream-it-back chorus of "Three Legged Dog." The punchy call-and-response bar-room brawler that is "Knocked Down Loaded." "That song was written with my frequent collaborator, Graham Wood Drout," says Castiglia, "and it brings me back to when I was a young musician and felt like I was ten feet tall and bulletproof."


Other high-velocity cuts include "95 South"'s travelogue, decorated by the inimitable slide-guitar fairydust of Sonny Landreth ("That's about having to drive from Washington D.C. to my home in South Florida in the middle of a tropical storm"), while "Chase Her Around The House" splices an early rock 'n' roll vibe with an age-old male need ("It's about coming home and wanting to devour your significant other after being on the road for a long time").


He'll pummel you with the rough stuff, but Castiglia can also shift gears to more contemplative moments, whether that's the rolling and contented acoustic blues of "You Got Me To That Place," or its thematic opposite-man, "Unhappy House Of Blues." "That song was co-written with Cyril Neville," he explains. "Cyril wrote the lyrics but I completely relate to them, because they bring me back to unhappier times when I was a struggling musician and I had no support from who I was with. I think anyone can relate to these tunes."


This isn't Castiglia's first time around. Born on August 12th, 1969, in New York – before moving to Florida aged five – he made his professional debut in 1990 with Miami Blues Authority, but truly hit the international radar when Junior Wells invited him into his solo band for several world tours. "It was an incredible adventure," recalls Castiglia. "Ever since I was a kid, I wanted to be a Chicago bluesman. Junior opened the door for me to do that. He recorded his last studio album, Come On In This House, at Dockside. What a sign!"


The gig was a shop-window, and though Wells died in 1998, there was no stopping Castiglia, whether he was joining the great Atlanta vocalist Sandra Hall for national tours in the late-'90s, or holding his own in onstage jams with everyone from Pinetop Perkins to John Primer. Nobody's sideman, his own burgeoning solo career began with 2002's Burn, followed up by 2006's A Stone's Throw, 2010's Keepin On and 2012's Living The Dream. In 2014, Ruf debut Solid Ground was declared "smouldering and intense" by The Blues Magazine, while last year's Big Dog was the thrilling culmination of a lifetime's craft, championed by Blues Blast's Kim Derr as "the best album I've listened to this year".


That back catalogue is a high bar, but Up All Night raises it, defying you to sleep until you've worn out its 11 magnetic tracks. "You'll rock out and dance like nobody's watching," concludes Albert. "If you're sad, this record will lift you up. If you're already happy, this album will make you happier. You can listen to this album anywhere, anytime…"



 


Tour+Schedule




MUSIC

Castiglia is an artist who sings from the gut, shoots guitar licks from the hip and writes songs that articulate ones hopes, fears and heartaches. 
 Recorded at Fat Rabbit Studios in Glen Ridge, New Jersey, this album isn't just solid, it's special. There are plenty of thrills in the musical execution, with Albert leading the band on vocals and guitar, backed by the veteran team of Matt Schuler (bass/vocals), Bob Amsel (drums), Jeremy Baum (B3/piano/wurlitzer), Lou Bevere (guitar/vocals) and Debbie Davies (guitar/vocals) – plus Dave Gross on multi-instrumentation and production.

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Living The Dream (2012)

Albert Castiglia earned his blues cred as a member of Junior Wells' band, but his resumé is irrelevant at this point in his career. His muscular vocal style, incendiary guitar work, and fine songwriting are all the signs of an artist who's in it for the love of music, a fact he wryly acknowledges on this album's title track. With John Ginty's big Hammond B-3 lending support to his chattering rhythm guitar work, Castiglia sings "The road to riches is playing guitar, that's why I'm living inside my car" before laying down another stinging guitar solo. "The Man" is a blues mambo that protests the damage bankers have done to the country with a bitterly humorous lyric and some snarling lead guitar. A modified Bo Diddley beat drives "Public Enemy #9," another wry tale of street life, while "I Want Her for Myself" is a more traditional country blues thang with driving acoustic guitar and cool harmonica work by Sandy Mack. Graham Wood Drout's "Sometimes You Win" is another acoustic workout, a brooding meditation carried by only by Castiglia's acoustic guitar and vocals. Castiglia shows off his guitar prowess on a supersonic version of Freddie King's "Freddie's Boogie" featuring another solid performance by John Ginty on the B-3. He demolishes Mose Allison's "Parchman Farm" with a metallic guitar assault and a sneering, growling vocal and gives Little Richard's "Directly from My Heart to You" the familiar feel of an early New Orleans R&B jam, again with the able work of John Ginty, this time on piano. poet Recording information: Showplace Studios, Dover, NJ.

Photographer: Jim Zielinski. Personnel: Albert Castiglia (vocals, acoustic guitar, electric guitar); John Ginty (piano, Hammond b-3 organ); Bob Amsell (drums). Audio Mixer: Ben Elliott.



  Living The Dream
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Keepin On (2010)

Albert Castiglia has been making his living as a bluesman for 20 years, coming to prominence as lead guitarist for the legendary Junior Wells. He's played with a who's who of blues greats in his career and stepped out on his own in 2002 with Burn, an album that got universal raves. There's no doubting Castiglia's power as a guitarist, as his searing lead work on the album-opening "Cadillac Assembly Line" (written by Mack Rice, composer of the standard "Mustang Sally") demonstrates. Listening to the track on an iPod may permanently fuse your earbuds to your skull. But he's got more on tap than his considerable pyrotechnics. Castiglia demonstrates his versatility with his own compositions, including the jazzy "Mojo 305," an instrumental featuring some nice B-3 work by Bill Quinn; "Keep on Keepin On," a swampy blues-rocker with a topical lyric that tips its hat to Creedence Clearwater Revival with its chooglin' beat and Castiglia's fiery vocal; the acoustic slide guitar showcase "Sweet Southern Angel" with Toby Walker backing up the boss on Dobro; and "Closing Time," a mournful late-night she-done-me-wrong song with inventive guitar work that starts out restrained and slowly builds in its furious power. Castiglia's desperate vocal here is full of anger and resignation. Critics often compare Castiglia's singing to Van Morrison, and maybe there was a bit of Van the Man in his vocal style years back, but on Keepin On he has his own signature style, a combination of urban grit and smooth, soulful crooning. Like Robert Cray, Castiglia combines hardcore blues with soul, rock, and country flavors for a sound that will appeal to rockers and blues purists alike.

Photographer: Jim Zielinski. Personnel: Albert Castiglia (vocals, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, slide guitar); Toby Walker (dobro); Bill "Mighty" Quinn (piano, Hammond b-3 organ); Bob Amsell (drums); Emedin Rivera (congas); Nicole Hart (background vocals). Recording information: Showplace Studios, Dover, NJ. Living Blues (p. 73) - "ON his latest Blues Leaf solo set, KEEPIN' ON, Castiglia sounds nothing less than the road-tested, authoritative presence he has become."


  Keepin On
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These Are The Days (2008)

These Are the Days album by Albert Castiglia Recording information: Showplace Studios, Dover, NJ. These Are the Days songs Personnel: Albert Castiglia (vocals, guitar); Kenny Sorensen (harmonica); Susan Lusher (piano, Hammond b-3 organ); Rio Clemente (organ); Susan Lushner (keyboards); Steve Gaskell (bass instrument, bass guitar); Bob Amsell (drums); Sweet Suzi Smith, Nicole Hart, Nicolette Hart (background vocals). Liner Note Author: Bob Porter. These Are the Days CD music contains a single disc with 11 songs.

Albert Castiglia earned his blues cred as a member of Junior Wells' band, but his resumé is irrelevant at this point in his career. His muscular vocal style, incendiary guitar work, and fine songwriting are all the signs of an artist who's in it for the love of music, a fact he wryly acknowledges on this album's title track. With John Ginty's big Hammond B-3 lending support to his chattering rhythm guitar work, Castiglia sings "The road to riches is playing guitar, that's why I'm living inside my car" before laying down another stinging guitar solo. "The Man" is a blues mambo that protests the damage bankers have done to the country with a bitterly humorous lyric and some snarling lead guitar. A modified Bo Diddley beat drives "Public Enemy #9," another wry tale of street life, while "I Want Her for Myself" is a more traditional country blues thang with driving acoustic guitar and cool harmonica work by Sandy Mack. Graham Wood Drout's "Sometimes You Win" is another acoustic workout, a brooding meditation carried by only by Castiglia's acoustic guitar and vocals. Castiglia shows off his guitar prowess on a supersonic version of Freddie King's "Freddie's Boogie" featuring another solid performance by John Ginty on the B-3. He demolishes Mose Allison's "Parchman Farm" with a metallic guitar assault and a sneering, growling vocal and gives Little Richard's "Directly from My Heart to You" the familiar feel of an early New Orleans R&B jam, again with the able work of John Ginty, this time on piano. ~ j. poet

Recording information: Showplace Studios, Dover, NJ. Photographer: Jim Zielinski. Personnel: Albert Castiglia (vocals, acoustic guitar, electric guitar); John Ginty (piano, Hammond b-3 organ); Bob Amsell (drums). Audio Mixer: Ben Elliott.



  Godfather of the Blues
  Need Your Love So Bad
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A Stone’s Throw (2006)
Recording information: Showplace Studios. Personnel: Albert Castiglia (vocals, guitar); Sandy Mack (harmonica); Ned Berndt (drums).

  A Stone’s Throw
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Burn (2002)


  Burn
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BIG Dog (2016)


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