Saturday, January 23, 2010

Albert CUMMINGS - From The Heart 2003

Albert CUMMINGS - From The Heart 2003


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.
By Steve Leggett. AMG.
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.
Reese Wynans- (Keyboards),
Chris Layton- (Drums),
Riley Osbourne- (Keyboards),
Tommy Shannon- (Rhythm Guitar),(Bass),
Johnny Moeller- (Rhythm Guitar),
Albert Cummings- (Guitar), (Vocals)
01.Your Own Way 4:02
02.The Long Way 4:16
03.Regular Man 3:17
04.Tell it Like it is 2:56
05.Together as One 5:59
06.Barrel House Blues 5:17
07.Ive Got Feelings Too 3:04
08.Living on the Highway Now 4:14
09.Ready as Ill Ever Be 4:06
10.Rock Me Baby 3:15
11.Beautiful Bride 3:08

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