Album Reviews

Albert Castiglia

Big Dog

Artist:     Albert Castiglia

Album:     Big Dog

Label:     Ruff Records

Release Date:     05/20/2016


Albert Castiglia has always been adept at blurring the lines between rock and blues, and his latest album Big Dog offers ample reasons why. Produced by contemporary bluesman Mike Zito, Big Dog offers an ideal excuse to ratchet things up even further. Its songs possess the fury and frenzy one might expect from a blues veteran with a distinctive snarl and howl, but that tenacity is also evident on rockier numbers like “What the Hell Was I Thinking” and his homage to his hometown, “What I Like About Miami.”  Likewise, the simmering soul that echoes through “Let’s Make Love in the Morning” and “Somehow” shows that for all Castiglia’s bluster, he’s a purposeful performer as well.

Of course, Castiglia knows all too well what it takes to assert his style. Mentored by the legendary blues musician Junior Wells, he toured with the iconic harp player for several years, up until Wells’ passing in 1998. He subsequently performed with Atlanta blues singer Sandra Hall in  order to further pursue his pedigree. However, Castiglia’s never been content with simply recycling the obvious, and his penchant for pushing the parameters and rocking relentlessly has given him a well deserved reputation as a driven, dynamic instrumentalist, singer and songwriter.  Big Dog provides evidence yet again that his bark is every bit the match of his bite, and when it’s unleashed as it is here, it’s a formidable threat indeed.

– Lee Zimmerman

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