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About Albert

Big Dog Lets Albert Castiglia Bark All Day


Mike Zito Produced and Ruf Records Released

New Tunes Growl, Wags and Digs Holes In His Big Backyard



Big Dog will confirm that Albert Castiglia is a different breed from the lightweights and arrivistes who dominate the modern music scene. After five acclaimed albums and decades of blazing blues-rock shows, you might argue that youve already made his acquaintance. But by the Florida bandleaders own admission, Big Dog is the first release to truly get under his skin. I just wanted to make a record that best represented who I am, as a musician, singer, guitarist and live artist, explains Albert. With every release, Ive come close, but this time, producer Mike Zito helped me nail it. He and label boss Thomas Ruf wanted me to make a raw, rocking blues record. Thats what Im about- thats who I am.


At 46, hes slugged his way into contention the old-fashioned way: writing from his heart, bleeding into his performances, eating up the road. I have no illusions about what kind of guitar player and singer I am, he states. My style is raw, unadulterated, crude and heavy. I dont have the technical proficiency of other players, but I play whats in my heart and what I feel at that moment. When I write songs, they have to mean something.


Recorded at Dockside Studios, Louisiana, theres not an ounce of fat on Big Dogs eleven tracks, with Albert darting between self-penned originals, cherished covers and co-writes with some of his closest compadres. You could smell the mojo in the sweet Southern air, reflects Albert, and you could feel the mojo in the recording studio. We had a studio-savvy band with an incredible amount of soul, and Mikes role as producer was the wildcard.


Albert describes Big Dog as a driving along the highway with the top down kind of record, and Let The Big Dog Eat sets the pace (complete with breakneck riffing and improvised barks). Other foot-down cuts include the call-and-response Dont Let Them Fool Ya, the searing Where The Devil Makes His Deals (written with Graham Wood Drout) and the observational wit of Get Your Ass In The Van. That song was a response to all the poor, pampered souls, grins Albert, who think that music is one big American Idol episode.


Some songs cut deeper. Co-written with label mate and Royal Southern Brotherhoods Cyril Neville Somehow addresses the plight of the homeless and displaced in modern America. The poor are commonly used as tag lines in speeches by politicians seeking public office, points out Albert, but when the cameras are off, they are often ignored and scorned. The song reflects a sadness, yet hopefulness, on how we as a society treat these people.


Another poignant moment is Where Did I Go Wrong. A soul-drenched slow-blues with harp from Johnny Sansone, its taken from the iconic Junior Wells Youre Tuff Enough album, and in many ways, brings Alberts story full-circle. Born on August 12th, 1969, in New York before moving to Florida aged five Albert made his professional debut in 1990 with Miami Blues Authority, but truly hit the international radar after Wells invited the young bluesman into his solo band for several world tours. It was an incredible adventure, remembers Albert. 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 Studios. What a sign!


The gig was a shop-window, and though Wells died in 1998, there was no stopping Albert, 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. Nobodys sideman, his own triumphant solo career began with 2002s Burn, followed up by 2006s A Stones Throw, 2010s Keepin On and 2012s Living The Dream.


In 2014, Ruf debut Solid Ground was declared smoldering and intense by blues critics. Now, Big Dog ups the ante, offering eleven new songs to get your teeth into, and supported by a full international tour that promises bark and bite.


If you thought you knew Albert Castiglia, you dont know the half of it. I think this album is a major game-changer for me, he says. No matter what happens after Big Dogs release, Ill always be proud of it. When we tour this album, you can expect a balls to the wall, rockin blues show. Expect to get what Ive always given you my 100%.

For publicity needs, please contact Jill Kettles at Miss Jill PR at 404-213-8542 or Jill@missjillpr.com


 


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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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