REVIEW: Albert Castiglia Rocks the Blues on the Live Album “Wild and Free”

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If you’ve listened to Albert Castiglia’s studio albums, you know what to expect: rocking blues guitar and powerhouse vocals that are basically made for sing the blues. On top of that, you can even sense the energy he puts into recording. The good news is that with the new album Wild and Free, you have the chance to hear the energy that he puts into a live performance.

The album kicks off with “Big Dog,” and it is a tremendous introduction to what goes into a live performance by this artist. The guitar brings Stevie Ray Vaughan to mind. Meanwhile, the rhythm section will get you dancing wherever you are – including your car. The way this was recorded makes you feel like you were right by the stage for the performance of this song.

Castiglia displays some Elmore James type riffs for “Get Your Ass in the Van.” Granted, the sound is a little louder than in the hands of Elmore, but the idea is the same. This song also features some boogie-woogie piano and a rhythm that will have you looking for a dance partner.

Throughout the album, there’s no real mystery as to what you’ll hear next, and that’s not a bad thing. You hear plenty of uptempo rocking blues as well as some slow burners like “Too Much Seconal”. On top of Castiglia’s guitar licks, this one also features some organ that wouldn’t be out of place in a church service. “Too Much Seconal” is just one of the longer tunes in which Castiglia shows off his chops. Three of the final four songs on the album are longer than eight minutes. The thing is that probably no one in the audience minded. You likely won’t mind either.

This album shows that Castiglia has roots in old-time blues. More than once you’ll hear riffs that can be traced back to old blues players. However, Castiglia also infuses a lot of rock and roll into his sound. The result is a listening experience that feels like you’re in the audience watching him work. Wild and Free was released on April 3 and is available everywhere now. Score your copy here.

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