Albert Cummings,
Feel So Good: Live
(Blind Pig, 2008)

When a guy creates a medley out of Willie Dixon's "Hoochie Coochie Man" and Little Feat's "Dixie Chicken," you know you're not dealing with a traditional bluesman. Albert Cummings knows his rock and he knows his blues, but most importantly he knows how to blend them into something unique and purely his.

Feel So Good opens with a guitar riff that might have come from Aerosmith. In the opening song, he and bandmates Daniel Broad on bass and Aaron Scapin on drums charge through the invitation "Party Right Here," a song that sets the tone for the evening. From there, the set ranges all over modern blues-based music, from Delbert McClinton to Muddy Waters to B.B. King to Led Zeppelin. Along the way, Cummings tosses in several originals, such as the gorgeous flamenco inflected "Sleep."

Don't think of it as an album of mostly covers, though, because everything is filtered through Cummings' particular perspective. His soaring, tough and brilliant guitar work, along with his weathered, friendly voice, makes it all new again. Recorded in Pittsfield, Massachusett's Colonial Theater before a bouyant and adoring audience who enthusiastically sing along on "Dixie Chicken," this album is a delight.

Fine music, a heightened performance, well recorded by producer Jim Gaines, listening to this one will make you wish you were there.

review by
Michael Scott Cain

22 November 2008

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