Albert Cummings: From The Heart
by Andy Aledort
The Jazz Internet
Las Vegas Jazz n' Blues
Las Vegas Blues Site
With the release of From the Heart, the stunning debut from Massachusetts' Albert Cummings, the guitarist/vocalist blasts onto the blues/rock scene armed with a rare blend of power, authority and soul. The 33-year old Cummings turned a youthful apprenticeship in bluegrass in the direction of gutsy, rocked-up blues at the inspiration of the late guitar great Stevie Ray Vaughan. It is here that Albert discovered his true voice as a musician.
"Stevie turned my life around, musically speaking," Albert enthuses. Starting on the five-string banjo at age 12, the primarily self-taught Cummings soon found himself gravitating towards the musical diversity of the guitar. "When I heard Stevie, I couldn't believe it. I didn't think it was possible to play like that! I listened to him constantly, along with other greats like Brian Setzer and Danny Gatton. The guitar was an instant obsession."
A personal epiphany occurred in 1987, when he wandered into a SRV & DT show at Boston's Orpheum Theater. "That first time I saw them play, I was riveted. I had never experienced anything that intensely powerful in my life."
Double Trouble's Chris Layton and Tommy Shannon would soon figure directly in Cummings' career. "In October of 2000, I was scheduled to play in Troy, New York. I suggested getting Double Trouble on the bill, and sent them my demo. After playing that and another show with them, they said they wanted to produce me, which was like a dream come true!" "What I like about Albert," says Tommy Shannon, "is that he plays with a lot of fire." Laytonadds, "I dug Albert because I felt I hadn't run into anyone with as much enthusiasm and excitement towards playing in a long time."
The album's title, From the Heart, stems from the Austin, Texas recording sessions, when Tommy encouraged Albert to just relax and play from the heart. "That was the best advise I could have gotten," Cummings says. "In time, I realized it was also the perfect name for the record."
In expressing his feelings about the blues, Albert says, "I love the blues because it is so real, you just can't fake it. There is something about the sound of a great blues guitarist that snaps my head around."
To be sure, many more heads will be snapping to the sound of Albert Cummings, too.
Andy Aledort, Senior Editor, Guitar World Magazine
bluesInteractive™ go to Albert Cummings: Official Website