Get this crazy baby off my head!


Albert Cummings and Swamp Yankee

Albert Cummings and Swamp Yankee - The Long Way - 1999 - Independent

A truly great Massachusetts bluesman. His vocals are great. He is a talented songwriter, and he is also one of the most underrated blues guitarists on the blues rock scene today. This album contains six great originals from Albert. He also does great covers of some old blues by P.Foster, Willie Dixon, and Robert Johnson. Albert's guitar work is outstanding throughout this album, and the guy must be heard by more people. This entire album was recorded in one two hour session, a phenomenal achievement. Buy this guy's great "Working Man Blues" album. You can find Albert's "From The Heart" album @ ALBCUMM/FTH His "True to Yourself" album can be located @ ALBCUMM/T2Y and his powerful, live "Feel So Good" is @ ALBCUMM/FSGL "The Long Way" is VHR by A.O.O.F.C


1. The Long Way - A.Cummings
2. Lonely Bed - A.Cummings
3. Memory - A.Cummings
4. Hoochie Coochie - W.Dixon
5. Mojo Workin'- P.Foster
6. Where Did I Go Wrong - A.Cummings
7. Old Dog - A.Cummings
8. Crossroads - R.Johnson
9. Pull The Shades - A.Cummings


Albert Cummings - Guitar, Vocals
Don Chilson - Bass
Ken Pallman - Drums


I have made a conscious effort in the past many months to bring you reviews of some of the best recordings I have heard, many from some very talented, but perhaps lesser know blues and blues/rock artists. I have purposed not to write negative reviews about anyone but simply focus on the very best material available to the music consumer. I do this, primarily because I am a 40+ year consumer myself and often found myself confused after reading the more traditional type reviews. I would often purchase recordings that were reported in print as worthy of my money, only to find that upon listening to them that surely the reviewer must have shared DNA with the recording artist or else he would have never written what he did. While you may not agree with my particular taste in music, I hope you will always find the all of the material presented to you at Bluesrockers is offered to you void of hidden agendas. I personally purchase most of the material I review and I never solicit and seldom receive free or promotional copies to review. Whatever else you may think about Bluesrockers, always know that we present artists and their work to you as objectively as possible. I try to evaluate the music I consider for review with as much neutrality as possible. I look for artists who display talent, not only as axe slingers, but also as singers and songwriters. I also like to hear bands that sound as if they fit well together and are properly balanced. The recordings I choose to review are not always my own personal favorites but nonetheless they meet my own standards of excellence in most of the aforementioned parameters. "The Long Way" from Albert Cummings and Swamp Yankee is truly a remarkable recording, in that it rates excellent in every area in which I consider when reviewing. Cummings is an extremely talented blues/rock guitarist, somewhat flavored with Stevie Ray, but certainly not a clone. His tone is stinging, the sound clean, and he varies in style but not in quality. His vocals are also above average, something that seems to be the downfall of many guitarists of this level. The band is three piece and both Don Chilson on bass and Ken Pallman on drums are first rate supporting players. Maybe more importantly than that, they are very complimentary to Cumming's guitar and vocals, as the pieces of this band fit together like finely precisioned watch parts. Six of the nine tracks on the CD are Cummings originals, and again, of very high quality. There is not a weak offering in the set, and I have found myself at times replaying one track of the CD for a while, then switching to another and doing the same. At this point in a review, I would normally list favorites but in this case I will make this one simple statement: you will enjoy tracks 1-9. In closing, let me point out one more amazing thing about this recording: the CD was recorded live in the studio in just a 2 hour session. While this affords the recording a nice live feel, I only realized this after listening to the CD multiple times and even then only after reading the liner notes. These gentlemen were most prepared to make this recording when they stepped into the studio. Needless to say, I am listing "The Long Way" as a must own and encourage you to purchase a copy as soon as possible. The CD is available from one of my favorite internet sites at www.cdbaby.com, the same site from which I also purchased the great CD from Tony Janflone, Jr. If these two recordings are any indication of the caliber of artists available there, then CD Baby has to rank at the top of the list for places to find great independent artists. © Bluesrockers 2001 © 2004, Ivy Music Group Inc. © www.albertcummings.com/story_n.php?sid=45


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, following it up with a live set, Feel So Good, in 2008. © Steve Leggett, All Music Guide

BIO (Wikipedia)

Albert Cummings (born in 1968) is a blues guitarist from Williamstown, Massachusetts. He is also a fourth generation builder. Albert Cummings started playing the five-string banjo at twelve but later switched to guitar. In his late twenties he formed a band, Swamp Yankee, and in 1999 released an independently produced CD. The trio spent just two hours in a studio to record the nine songs for the album. Albert Cummings debut recreated to perfection Stevie Ray Vaughan 's style and tone on self-penned songs and blues standards. His next recording was issued as a solo album with Chris Layton and Tommy Shannon, known as Stevie Ray Vaughn's backing team. Serving as producers they also arranged a deal to ensure wider distribution. Only Tommy Shannon remained as bass player for the next album. Two years later, in 2006, Cummings recorded a fourth album with new band members and allowed more country intonations in his music. In 2008, Albert released a live album recorded at the Colonial Theatre in Pittsfield, MA.


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


A.O.O.F.C said...


p/w aoofc

Anonymous said...

Hi, I'm just relaxin' on the web after little hard day.. some work, a few small & fast floods here in and around my town after the storm and hard rain.. Yeah, I watched thematic video on Youtube, Blood, Sweat & Tears from Stockholm, with Jerry Fisher singin' Dylan's song Down In The Flood :-). I like B,S&T, fantastic band, great players, colourful music..
O.k., thanks for Albert, I know Working Man Blues, From The Heart & True to Yourself albums. He's fantastic guitar player, singer, composer.. completely great musician.
Have a great weekend. We have the bank holiday on Monday, so I'll take some rest :-)
Miles (CZ)

A.O.O.F.C said...

Thanks, Miles. Weather is so unpredictable. Night before last where I live, there was thunder and lightning for hours. It was like a "Black Sabbath" concert! I put on the headphones, pulled the curtains and listened to some Downtempo music. I love "Humidity" by Heights Of Abraham". I also love BS&T, and David Clayton-Thomas, especially the seventies stuff. I think Albert Cummings is wonderful, and I love his guitar style. Lately, I[ve been listening a lot to Walter Trout, Tommy Castro, and Albert. A lot of similarities. These guys are so underrated it's unreal! Enjoy your long weekend, Bro, and we'll be in touch very soon

Anonymous said...

I love Tommy Castro !!! And I saw Walter two times in the next town, I have his signature on my Stratocaster. And Joe Bonamassa signature next Walter's one :-)
And on my semiacustic guitar is signature of Dave Hole. Probably I'm gonna be the signature hunter :-D . Well, in fact is fine to remeber this fantastic guys every time I take my guitars to my hands :-)
Miles (CZ)

A.O.O.F.C said...

Hey, Miles. You're a true rock fan. Rock on Bro!....I haven't listened to Dave Hole in a while. Thanks for reminding me....TTU soon