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APOLOGIES

Sorry about not re-posting. I've an illness in my family, but I will reply to all ASAP. For the time being, my beautiful friend, Eva is helping me out. Thank you for your understanding...Paul

2.6.09

Albert Cummings




Albert Cummings - From The Heart - 2003 - Under The Radar

"From The Heart"is the amazing first album from the New England blues supremo, Albert Cummings. This guy is an incredible guitar player, as well as being a powerful vocalist., and great songwriter. Albert penned eight of the tracks on this album which is a work of brilliant sizzling guitar blues. One review of this album was entitled , "I have met the future of the blues, and it is Albert Cummings". The guy will always be compared to SRV, but what an awesome comparison! "From The Heart" is VHR by A.O.O.F.C. There is info on his "True to Yourself" album @ ALBCUM/T2Y and check out his live "Feel So Good" album @ ALBCUM/FSGLIVE where Albert plays some killer covers of Led Zeppelin, Little Feat, and Muddy Waters tunes

TRACKS / COMPOSERS

1 Your Own Way Cummings 4:02
2 The Long Way Cummings 4:15
3 Regular Man Cummings 3:17
4 Tell It Like It Is Cummings 2:56
5 Together as One Cummings 5:59
6 Barrel House Blues Doster, Layton, Shannon 5:17
7 I've Got Feelings Too Cummings 3:03
8 Living on the Highway Now Nix, Russell 4:14
9 Ready as I'll Ever Be Cummings 4:06
10 Rock Me Baby Josea, King 3:15
11 Beautiful Bride Cummings 3:08

MUSICIANS

Albert Cummings Guitar (Acoustic), Guitar, Vocals
Tommy Shannon Bass, Guitar (Rhythm)
Johnny Moeller Guitar (Rhythm)
Reese Wynans, Riley Osbourne Keyboards
Chris Layton Drums

REVIEWS

New England's Albert Cummings is a fine blues-rock guitarist somewhat in the Stevie Ray Vaughan mold, displaying at times the same sort of tone, explosion and soul that made Vaughan so special. Although he had played the northeast blues circuit with his band Swamp Yankee, Cummings really didn't catch the attention of the blues world until he teamed with Vaughan's old backing band, Double Trouble, and recorded this album in Austin, Texas. Yes, he sometimes has Vaughan's tone and feel, but there the similarities tend to end, in spite of having Reese Wynans, Chris Layton and Tommy Shannon in his corner. Cummings, who makes his living as a carpenter, takes more of an everyman, working stiff approach to his material, and his songs tell the stories of men struggling to make ends meet, both economically and domestically. There is little of the mystical guitar seeker in his repertoire, and although he plays wonderfully, it always seems grounded in a kind of blue-collar utility. Which is fine. There was only one Stevie Ray. The opener here, "Your Own Way," pretty much sets the tone for a solid blues-rock outing, with lyrics that celebrate survival and persistence, and while "Tell It Like It Is" strays just a bit into country territory, nothing here breaks or messes with the mold. The Vaughan comparisons are going to follow Cummings as he moves through his career, and recording an album with Vaughan's backing band may or may not have been a good idea in that regard, but aside from that study Fender tone they share, Vaughan and Cummings are really quite different musicians. This is a guitarist to watch. © Steve Leggett, allmusic.com

With the release of From the Heart, the stunning debut from Massachusetts' Albert Cummings, the guitarist/vocalist blasts onto the blues/rock scene armed with a rare blend of power, authority and soul. The 33-year old Cummings turned a youthful apprenticeship in bluegrass in the direction of gutsy, rocked-up blues at the inspiration of the late guitar great Stevie Ray Vaughan. It is here that Albert discovered his true voice as a musician."Stevie turned my life around, musically speaking," Albert enthuses. Starting on the five-string banjo at age 12, the primarily self-taught Cummings soon found himself gravitating towards the musical diversity of the guitar. "When I heard Stevie, I couldn't believe it. I didn't think it was possible to play like that! I listened to him constantly, along with other greats like Brian Setzer and Danny Gatton. The guitar was an instant obsession."A personal epiphany occurred in 1987, when he wandered into a SRV & DT show at Boston's Orpheum Theater. "That first time I saw them play, I was riveted. I had never experienced anything that intensely powerful in my life."Double Trouble's Chris Layton and Tommy Shannon would soon figure directly in Cummings' career. "In October of 2000, I was scheduled to play in Troy, New York. I suggested getting Double Trouble on the bill, and sent them my demo. After playing that and another show with them, they said they wanted to produce me, which was like a dream come true!" "What I like about Albert," says Tommy Shannon, "is that he plays with a lot of fire." Laytonadds, "I dug Albert because I felt I hadn't run into anyone with as much enthusiasm and excitement towards playing in a long time."The album's title, From the Heart, stems from the Austin, Texas recording sessions, when Tommy encouraged Albert to just relax and play from the heart. "That was the best advise I could have gotten," Cummings says. "In time, I realized it was also the perfect name for the record."In expressing his feelings about the blues, Albert says, "I love the blues because it is so real, you just can't fake it. There is something about the sound of a great blues guitarist that snaps my head around."To be sure, many more heads will be snapping to the sound of Albert Cummings, too. © Andy Aledort, Senior Editor, Guitar World Magazine

SHORT BIO

Albert Cummings was born in Williamston, MA, and has made his home in the New England region all his life, where he runs a successful home construction business. He started playing the five-string banjo when he was 12 and appeared headed for a regional career in bluegrass when he encountered the music of Stevie Ray Vaughan in his late teens, and soon made the transition to electric guitar. His first public performance on guitar came at a wedding reception when he was 27 years old, but soon he was on the Northeast blues circuit with his band, Swamp Yankee, and an independent CD, The Long Way, was released in 1999. A chance encounter with Vaughan's old band, Double Trouble, led to Cummings' first solo record, From the Heart, which was recorded in Austin, TX, and featured Cummings fronting Double Trouble. The record was self-released by Cummings, but was soon picked up for distribution by Under the Radar and released in 2003. Cummings' soulful and explosive approach to blues and rock caught the attention of Blind Pig Records, which signed him to a multi-album deal. His debut album on the label, True to Yourself, was released in 2004. He has since shared the bill with B.B. King, Buddy Guy, Charlie Musselwhite, John Hammond, Susan Tedeschi, Tommy Castro, Chris Duarte, Bernard Allison, the Neville Brothers, the Fabulous Thunderbirds, Sheryl Crow and Duke Robillard. He released his third album, Working Man in 2006. © Steve Leggett, All Music Guide

MORE ABOUT ALBERT CUMMINGS

Breaking every cliché associated with the blues while producing some of the most powerful music of the 21st century comes as natural to Albert Cummings as swinging a hammer while constructing one of his award-winning custom built homes. The Massachusetts native learned the requisite three chords on the guitar from his father, but then switched to playing banjo at age 12 and became a fan of bluegrass music. Like everything he tackles, he threw himself headlong into the pursuit, going to festivals and winning several picking contests in high school. Before graduating he heard the early recordings of Stevie Ray Vaughan, however, and was floored by the virtuosity. While in college in 1987 he saw Vaughan perform and he returned to the guitar with a new outlook and resolve. He had another tradition to live up to first, however, and he studied the building trade in order to follow his family into the home building business. Not until he was 27, an age when other musicians were either already established or had long ago put their dream aside for the realities of life, did Albert finally decide to go for it. An intense period of wood shedding resulted Albert sharing a bill with Double Trouble, the late Stevie Ray Vaughan’s rhythm section. So taken with Albert’s fire and passion were bassist Tommy Shannon and drummer Chris Layton that they volunteered to play on and produce his debut recording. In 2003 the aptly-titled From the Heart (Under the Radar), with the awesome power of a Nor’easter and the soul of a natural born artist. No less a giant of the blues than B.B. King, who Cummings acknowledged with a funky version of “Rock Me, Baby,” dubbed Cummings “…a great guitarist.” In an era of cowboy-hatted poseurs, Cumming delivered the goods straight from the heart and shoulder with a wallop generated by his talent rather than his wardrobe. A year later Double Trouble joined Cummings again as he signed with Blind Pig Records to create True to Yourself. This time they brought in legendary producer Jim Gaines to control the sessions. The all-original release further showcased Albert’s rapidly developing songwriting chops and deeply emotional vocals as well as stunning guitar pyrotechnics that put the metallurgical properties of his strings to the test. Tours and shows with blues legends B.B. King, Johnny Winter, Buddy Guy and others brought his music to an audience grateful for the opportunity to be rocked hard by a man possessed to play every song like his life depended on it. Working Man (Blind Pig), Albert’s summer of 2006 blockbuster release, is the culmination to date of a guitar hero’s career just taking off. A punchy, stomping cover of Merle Haggard’s blue collar standard “Working Man Blues” brings it all home for the master builder and musician. The swinging Texas blues of “Please,” the instant barroom boogie classic “Party Right Here,” the snaky slow drag “Rumors” and the rousing rocker “Feeling End” show variety well beyond the typical slow blues and shuffles of so much contemporary music. The deeply emotive ballad “Last Dance” that closes the disc is so evocative that a Hollywood movie could be written around it. Albert Cummings is a man of his times and the man for the times. As he has done with his innovative homes, he has taken tradition and built his own musical edifice that expresses his thoughts and dreams. It is a vision that alternately excites and soothes while also clearly providing a glimpse of his unlimited future. The best is yet to come. © bellyup4blues.com