Pittsfield, MA – Right here in the Berkshires is a guy, a blues singer, songwriter and guitarist extraordinaire whose feel for the blues is exceptional. So local fans have a lot to look forward to when Albert Cummings rocks the Colonial and soothe the soul on October 27 at 8pm with his exceptionally expressive, lyrical and deep grooving music. His strong roots in the blues go back to the legendary Stevie Ray Vaughan and being backed by his rhythm section, Double Trouble, on his first album. Cummings brings street cred along with a sophisticated approach to poetic, topical subject matter that speaks to the heart while his music moves the body.
An intense period of wood shedding resulted Albert sharing a bill with Double Trouble, the late Stevie Ray Vaughan’s rhythm section. So taken with Albert’s fire and passion were bassist Tommy Shannon and drummer Chris Layton that they volunteered to play on and produce his debut recording, the aptly-titled From the Heart (Under the Radar), with the awesome power of a Nor’easter and the soul of a natural born artist. In an era of cowboy-hatted poseurs, Cumming delivered the goods straight from the heart and shoulder with a wallop generated by his talent rather than his wardrobe.
A year later Double Trouble joined Cummings again as he signed with Blind Pig Records to create True to Yourself. This time they brought in legendary producer Jim Gaines to control the sessions. The all-original release further showcased Albert’s rapidly developing songwriting chops and deeply emotional vocals as well as stunning guitar pyrotechnics that put the metallurgical properties of his strings to the test. Tours and shows with blues legends B.B. King, Johnny Winter, Buddy Guy and others brought his music to an audience grateful for the opportunity to be rocked hard by a man possessed to play every song like his life depended on it.
Working Man (Blind Pig), Albert’s summer of 2006 blockbuster release, is the culmination to date of a guitar hero’s career just taking off. A punchy, stomping cover of Merle Haggard’s blue collar standard ‘Working Man Blues’ brings it all home for the master builder and musician. The swinging Texas blues of ‘Please,’ the instant barroom boogie classic ‘Party Right Here,’ the snaky slow drag ‘Rumors’ and the rousing rocker ‘Feeling End’ show variety well beyond the typical slow blues and shuffles of so much contemporary music. The deeply emotive ballad ‘Last Dance’ that closes the disc is so evocative that a Hollywood movie could be written around it.
Albert Cummings is a man of his times and the man for the times. As he has done with his innovative homes, he has taken tradition and built his own musical edifice that expresses his thoughts and dreams. It is a vision that alternately excites and soothes while also clearly providing a glimpse of his unlimited future. The best is yet to come.
Tickets to Albert Cummings are $15-$25. Contact the Colonial Ticket Office at 111 South Street, Pittsfield by calling 413-997-4444. Tickets can also be bought online at www.berkshiretheatregroup.org. The Ticket Office is open Monday-Friday 10am-5pm, Saturdays 10am-2pm or on any performance day from 10am until curtain.