Albert Castiglia
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Albert Castiglia

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The best kept secret in music



Another act that achieved receiving overwhelming response from the crowd was Albert Castiglia. Although living in Miami and playing with a local bar band, Albert has had his share of experience and could be the next break out blues artist. One night in 1997, at a now defunct blues club called the Back Room, Albert was fortunate enough to get to jam with the late great Junior Wells. Junior was so impressed with this young mans work that three months later, when he found himself needing a guitarist, he asked Albert to join the band. For the rest of that year and until Junior got too sick to perform, Albert Castiglia was part of the Junior Wells Blues Band. Prior to moving back to South Florida, Albert also toured with Sandra Hall. Albert is one of those performers that seems to hypnotize you during his performance. You key in on him and you just can't take your eyes off of him. His good looks, his smile, his facial expressions, his energy and his enthusiasm make him a sheer joy to watch. - Big City Blues


Besides razor-sharp guitar skills and way-soulful vocals, Albert Castiglia employs a powerful weapon on his debut CD: Graham Drout and Iko-Iko. One of Miami’s best songwriters, the bass-playing Drout contributed a handful of songs, co-wrote others with his young protégé and traveled with his Iko-Iko bandmates to a studio in Henderson, Tenn., to back Castiglia on the recording. Having developed his craft on stages with Junior Wells and Sandra Hall, Castiglia reins in the guitar heroics and instead concentrates on putting over these hook-filled, atmospheric tunes. Highlights include Drout’s downright evil “The Day the Old Man Died” and “Teasing the Trains,” an Iko favorite, as well as Castiglia’s “No One To Blame,” a slow blues song based on a junkie musician the guitarist knew in Chicago. Showcasing his versatility, Castiglia also performs a solo Dobro version of Muddy Waters’ “Can’t Be Satisfied” and caps the self-released recording with a pair of live tracks, including Wells’ “Hoodoo Man Blues,” a tip of the Dobbs hat to his former mentor.

- City Link Magazine

"Blues Weekend Chicago Style- Albert Castiglia Live at Tobacco Road"

Albert Castiglia is a fine entertainer, part comedian, part master of ceremonies and always the consummate guitarist. During the final set, Albert engaged in conversations with members of the audience as he played through his hour long set and beyond. At my request, Albert and band performed one of my favorites from Burn, a song called "Teasin' The Trains" along with the title track, "Burn" and another of my favorites, "The Day The Old Man Died." Along with the tracks from Burn, Albert performed a number of other fine songs including Johnny Taylor's classic, "Last Two Dollars," "Little Red Rooster," "The Thrill Is Gone" and "Everything's Gonna Be Alright." On "Everything's Gonna Be Alright," Albert ripped through an extended guitar solo, walking through the audience on the patio, out to the parking lot and back around through the bar, playing his guitar and mugging for the crowd. With the fine backing of his band including Dennis Rico (guitar), Judah Shkolnik (drums), Steve Gaskell (bass) and Jerry Mascaro (keyboards), Albert put on a fine show and an excellent finish to my "Chicago-Style" blues weekend.

- Blues On Stage

"Sandra Hall's guitarist burns bright on his own"

This is the debut album of Albert Castiglia who previously had played with Melvin Taylor, Junior Wells, and recently with Sandra Hall & the Empress of the Blues Band. I can see why he felt the need to get this off his chest. This is a damn fine Blues album.
I already knew he was a dangerous guitar man, but this disc gives the world a long listen to his excellent singing. His voice possesses a soulful, world-weariness that belies his youthful, "kid-next-door" look. After all, he is actually 32 years old and has been playing guitar for half his life.

There are eight originals here, all written or co-written by Castiglia and his bassist, Graham Drout. They are both from South Florida; Drout and rhythm guitarist, Larry Williams are both from the band, Iko-Iko, along with drummer Cameron Robb who last played with Little Mike and the Tornados. The songs are generally in a Soul/Blues mode with a nice mix of traditional and contemporary elements. Albert passes the tough test of tackling the R&B ballad of "Since You've Been Gone." This type of song invariably will show any weakness in the vocal department, but Castiglia has good pitch control and his voice is smooth or raspy as needed. He doesn't fare quite as well on the minor key Blues of "No One To Blame," but it's a well-written tune. The title track is a gritty and funky song with lyrics and a vocal to match. Also featuring some nice guitar, it is one of the highlights of this release. "Teasing The Trains" rocks hard in addition to being catchy. "The Day The Old Man Died" conjures up some eerie Blues vibe, with its lyrics and tremolo-laden rhythm guitar. Howard Laravea's keyboard work throughout the album adds some serious depth.

"Closing Time" is a bit of a departure from the rest of the album with acoustic guitars as the only accompaniment, except for some subtle percussion-rubbing going on. The melancholy feel of the song is reinforced with the lyrics: "Hey bartender, it's almost the break of day / Just call me a taxi and I'll be on my way / Goin' to see my baby, gonna try and make things right / If things turn out wrong, Lord, I'll be back tomorrow night."

Castiglia pays homage to some heroes with three cover tunes. He demonstrates that he can do a down-home acoustic Blues by doing the old Muddy Waters tune, "Can't Be Satisfied." This guy shows he can play authentic Delta-style slide guitar, in addition to having a true Blues voice. The other covers are both live tracks with some especially tough-sounding electric guitar - "Cadillac Assembly Line by Sir Mack Rice, and "Hoodoo Man Blues" by his old boss, Junior Wells.

Albert Castiglia, in addition to being a nice guy, is a fresh force to be reckoned with. Listen up and take note.
- BluesWax Magazine

"Live From The Legendary Rhythm & Blues Cruise"

This is T-Bone writing from the Zuiderdam somewhere in the Caribbean Sea, with more than 1,500 Blues fanatics and a 24/7 floating party absolutely filled with almost non-stop music and fabulous times.

Our experience actually began on Friday night with the Pre-cruise Party at the Ft. Lauderdale Airport Sheraton Hotel with Albert Castiglia and Deanna Bogart. I have to hand it to the South Florida Blues Society for booking two of the artists that I consider near the top of my list for deserving more recognition. Albert has an outstanding soulful voice and plays the piss out of his guitar.
- Blueswax Magazine

"Albert Castiglia- Burn"

Albert Castiglia is a South Florida Guitarist with an impressive resume'. Stints with the Sandra Hall and Junior Wells bands have taken him into the heart of the blues, and that shows on "Burn", a mixed bag of electric,acoustic, studio recordings, and live songs.

Castiglia and Bass player Graham Drout penned 8 of the 11 tunes. They work the blues from every angle, from the enjoyable opener, "I Didn't Know," which combines Castiglia's mellow guitar with Howard Laravea's keyboards, to "Burn," which features Castiglia's razor-sharp guitar. The soulful blues groove of "Since You've Been Gone" recalls the days when R&B was fresh and kids did the stroll on American Bandstand. There are places where Castiglia's vocals seem subdued, such as on "No One To Blame," but he only falls for a short moment.

Covers include two live songs that show off the energy audiences witness when Castiglia tours. The funky, foot tapping "Cadillac Assembly Line" provides all the solo room he needs to burn lick after lick, and "Hoodoo Man Blues" closes the out with 10 high-powered minutes of tribute to Wells. His other cover is Muddy Waters' acoustic warhorse "Can't Be Satisfied," which Castiglia does justice by refusing to affect Waters' vocal and instrumental mannerisms. This is a young guitarist to watch out for. - Blues Revue Magazine


Burn (2002)
Bittersweet Sessions w/ Graham Drout (2005)
A Stone's Throw (2006)
These Are The Days (2008)


Feeling a bit camera shy


Albert Castiglia was born on August 12, 1969 in New York during the weekend of the famous (infamous) Woodstock music festival. At the age of 5, his family moved to Miami. With a Cuban mother and an Italian father, he is an example of the melting pot of culture that is Miami. He learned to play guitar at the age of 12 and soon realized that the passions in his heart were expressed best by his music. He realized too that he could sing as well as he played. Upon completion of his high school and college education, he worked for four years as a social service investigator for the State of Florida. During that time Albert continued to hone his musical skills playing nights and weekends with local bands around South Florida. In 1990 he joined The Miami Blues Authority. After performing with the group as lead guitarist and vocalist for more than 7 years, and developing a very exciting and dynamic musical style, Albert won the award for “Best Local Blues Guitarist for 1997” by the Miami New Times Magazine and soon after, decided to pursue his lifelong dream of “hitting the road” as a blues performer.

Though a mutual friend and music promoter, Gloria Pierce, Albert got an audition with international and Chicago blues great Junior Wells, and so impressed Wells with his playing and vocal style, that he was asked to work in the band as a fill-in lead guitarist for a 3 city mini-tour in clubs from Cleveland, Buffalo and Detroit. He performed so well on the tour, that he was asked in 1997 to become the permanent lead guitarist in the Junior Wells band playing both guitar and vocals. With Junior and his band, Albert performed in major Chicago clubs as well as clubs and blues festivals all over the US, Canada and Europe including France, Switzerland and Italy winning rave reviews for his performances along the way. Unfortunately, Junior Wells became ill and passed away in 1998. As well as playing with Junior, Albert has performed and jammed with important blues artists and bands such as Sandra Hall, Pinetop Perkins, Mitch Woods, Ronnie Baker Brooks, Sugar Blue, Melvin Taylor, Ronnie Earl, Billie Boy Arnold, Phil Guy, John Primer, Lurrie Bell, Joey Gilmore, Lee Oskar, Michael Coleman, J.W. Williams, Little Mack Simmons, Eddy Clearwater, Jimmy Burns and Otis Clay.

Albert, living in Chicago at the time of Junior’s death, stayed with Junior’s band for awhile as the lead singer and guitar player in the “Hoodoo Man’s Band.” During this time the band started touring with Sandra Hall, nationally known as the “Empress of the Blues.” Albert opened the shows for Sandra and the touring continued for the next several years.

In 2001, Albert decided to work on his own material and began writing and working in a recording studio. He returned to his hometown of Coral Gables, Florida. Using his exceptional writing skills and some collaboration with Graham Drout, from the Miami-based band IKO IKO, Albert finished his own debut CD entitled “Burn,” produced and recorded by Clazzy Studios in Nashville, TN.

He is poised now to step out under his own name and light up the stages again throughout the US, Europe and beyond with his own exciting and unique musical style.

Castiglia continues to show off his growth as a guitarist and vocalist on his follow-up CD "A Stone's Throw" on Blues Leaf Records. To quote Art Tipaldi in Blues Revue April/May 2006 issue "His partnership with Miami Songwriter Graham Drout continues: In Castiglia's hands, Drout's song "Big Toe" and "Ghosts Of Mississippi" become emotionally resonant pieces of cultural history. "Ghosts Of Mississippi" could be the blues song of the year: As Castiglia sings about the place where "southern crosses the dog/Where the ghosts of Mississippi meet the gods of Africa," his acoustic slide evokes life in the hot, back breaking Delta. Castiglia's own originals, "Hurricane Blues", "Speed On", and "Someone Else's Problem" show off his blues-rock side. A Stone's Throw confirms that Castiglia is among the next generation of hot young blues-committed guitarists."

Albert Castiglia (pronounced “ka-STEEL-ya”) was born on August 12, 1969 in New York. At the age of 5, his family moved to Miami. With a Cuban mother and an Italian father, he is an example of the melting pot of culture that is Miami. He learned to play guitar at the age of 12 and soon realized that the passions in his heart were expressed best by his music.

Castiglia has a blues history. In 1990, he joined The Miami Blues Authority and later on won "Best Blues Guitarist" from New Times magazine in 1997. The legendary Junior Wells discovered Castiglia and immediately hired him as his own guitarist/vocalist on several world tours. After Wells' passing, Castiglia toured with Atlanta blues singer Sandra Hall, then ventured out on a solo career and released his debut album in 2002, Burn, working with his longtime friend, Graham Wood Drout of Iko-Iko. In 2006, he released