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December 17, 2021 @ 8:00 pm - 11:00 pm$18.00
Albert Castiglia is a different breed from the lightweights and arrivistes who dominate the modern music scene. After five acclaimed albums and decades of blazing blues-rock shows, you might argue that you’ve already made his acquaintance. But by the Florida bandleader’s own admission, Big Dog is the first release to truly get under his skin. He just wanted to make a record that best represented him, as a musician, singer, guitarist and live artist. With every release, he’s come close, but this time, producer Mike Zito helped him nail it.
At 46, he’s slugged his way into contention the old-fashioned way: writing from his heart, bleeding into his performances, eating up the road. “I have no illusions about what kind of guitar player and singer I am,” he states. “My style is raw, unadulterated, crude and heavy. I don’t have the technical proficiency of other players, but I play what’s in my heart and what I feel at that moment. When I write songs, they have to mean something.”
Recorded at Dockside Studios, Louisiana, there’s not an ounce of fat on Big Dogs eleven tracks, with Albert darting between self-penned originals, cherished covers and co-writes with some of his closest compadres. You could smell the mojo in the sweet Southern air, and you could feel the mojo in the recording studio.
Albert describes Big Dog as a “driving along the highway with the top down” kind of record, and Let The Big Dog Eat sets the pace (complete with breakneck riffing and improvised barks). Other foot-down cuts include the call-and-response Don’t Let Them Fool Ya, the searing Where The Devil Makes His Deals (written with Graham Wood Drout) and the observational wit of Get Your Ass In The Van. That song was a response to all the poor, pampered souls, grins Albert, who think that music is one big American Idol episode.