Albert Castiglia Keepin On With the Blues This Summer

Blues guitarist Albert Castiglia has set an August 10 release date for his new album, Keepin On, which will be released by Blues Leaf Records.

Recorded at Showplace Studios in Dover, New Jersey, most of Keepin On was recorded live with very few overdubs. Castiglia enlisted five session musicians to help on the project, including harmonica master Sandy Mack, who played on "I Could Not Ask for More," a Peter Green song contained on the new CD.

Mack had played on "Ghosts of Mississippi," a song from Albert's A Stones Throw album in 2006. According to Castiglia, "He kicked butt then and he picked up where left off on this session."

Keepin On features five new original tunes, which display Albert's continued growth as a songwriter and guitarist, plus his unique take on songs by John Lee Hooker ("I'm Goin' Upstairs"), Mack Rice ("Cadillac Assembly Line"), T-Bone Walker ("My Baby Is Now on My Mind"), Robert Nighthawk ("Murderin' Blues") and Bob Dylan ("Till I Fell in Love with You").

"I did two acoustic songs and enlisted dobro genius Toby Walker for them," says Castiglia about the new CD sessions. "Toby is world renowned and has even taught at Jorma Kaukonen's Fur Peace Ranch in Pomeroy, Ohio, a number of times. Toby came in originally to play on a song I wrote called 'Sweet Southern Angel.' That went so well and quickly, that we wound up doing another number for the hell of it, Robert Nighthawk's 'Murderin' Blues.' I can honestly sum up those two tunes with one word, 'Magic.' He did a great job and I hope we get to work together again."

Among the other musicians on the sessions are keyboardist Bill Quinn, singer Nicole Hart and percussionist Emedin Rivera. "Bill Quinn came in not knowing any of the material and wound up playing keyboard parts on half of the CD," states Castiglia. "He did such a great job that I nicknamed him 'The Mighty Quinn.' Songstress Nicole Hart laid down background vocals on 'Do You Love Me?,' a song written by Iowa guitarist Jack Fickel. She nailed it in one take, no surprise. Emedin Rivera brought his incredible percussion skills to the recording. Emedin has performed and recorded with Harry Belafonte, Nina Simone and Gloria Gaynor, among others. He added congas to three tracks and added a cyclone shaker (an invention of his) on one track. It's a round version of a standard shaker instrument but its sound and effect is much different. He used it on the intro to an original instrumental of mine called 'Mojo 305.'"

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