Albert Castiglia – Big Dog (2016)
Like many starting out in blues, Miami’s Albert Castiglia has struggled to forge a sound. Even his self-penned songs sound like Albert King, Stevie Ray, BB, Ronnie Earl, Junior Wells (who gave him his start) and the other luminaries who have (or would have) sung his praises.
His eight albums since 2004 have been small-label (even a German independent) or self-released. And they sound like it, masking some pretty darn good blues writing; 2014’s Solid Ground is especially strong.
The always amazing Mike Zito, who produces and plays, and a Grammy-worthy mix at Dockside Studios (Louisiana) help reverse much of the above. They settle on one style and let fly with a “driving along the highway with the top down” blues party. This ain’t American Idol and there’s no precocious deals at the crossroads (Get Your Ass In The Van); it’s a hungry ole hound let off it’s leash for the first time.