So last Thursday was the first day that I ran since back in January. It was a good run and you can read more about it here. The soundtrack for the run was the new release from Albert Castiglia Solid Ground. Solid Ground is seventh release from Castiglia (pronounced ka-steel-ya) and his first on Ruf Records. I caught up with Castiglia’s career back in 2010 when I started this blog.In that year he released Keepin’ On. While writing the post, I listened to not only that album but also his 2008 release These are the Days, which earned him a Blues Music Award nomination for “Song of the Year” for his original, “Bad Year Blues.” as well as a nomination by the Illinois Blues Blast Awards for the same song. Albert won that award. Castiglia was also nominated for the “Sean Costello Rising Star Award.”
Castiglia’s talent was brought to the attention of Ruf Records founder Thomas Ruf, by fellow blues artists Samantha Fish and Mike Zito. Recently, Castiglia has been on the Blues Caravan Tour along with Christina Skjolberg and Laurence Jones. Ruf says this about Albert….
“We are thrilled to have Albert Castiglia join the RUF Records family of artists. Albert is an energetic powerhouse on stage and the funniest guy in the world off stage. We had a ball on the Blues Caravan tour together. Thank you, Samantha Fish and Mike Zito, for turning me on to his amazing talent and personality.”
Albert says this about Solid Ground..
“SOLID GROUND is my best album to date,” says the 44-year-old bandleader simply. “I put more time, love, blood, sweat and tears into this recording than any of the others. I love every song on it and the result is a musical variety that I hope touches something in everyone.”
– See more at: http://albertcastiglia.net/#sthash.RmbxIiNZ.dpuf
There are a variety music on the album. There are some traditional blues numbers dealing with relationships like “Keep You Around Too Long” and “Have You No Shame”, but there’s also some that deal with social issues like “Love One Another”. There’s even a Latin flavored instrumental for folks like me “Little Havana Blues”. One of my favorite tracks is “Bad Avenue” where not only Castiglia’s guitar work is great but the Hammond B3 of Jeremy Baum which is solid throughout the album, comes to the forefront! Another of my favorites is “Searching the Desert for the Blues” All in all the album is another winner for both Albert and Ruf Records. So Check it Out!!
Here’s a performance of “Bad Avenue” from Ruf’s 10th anniversary Blues Caravan Tour at Famous Monday Blues, Jericho, Oxford on Monday 17 March 2014