Albert Castiglia

“It may be a bit premature to crown Albert Castiglia America's newest King of the Blues, but there's little doubt that he at least deserves the title of heir apparent.” -- Miami New Times

As most artists will attest, the most unexpected circumstance can spark artistic inspiration. That’s a fact that hasn’t been lost on singer, songwriter and guitarist extraordinaire Albert Castiglia. With his latest album, the aptly named Masterpiece, he celebrates an unforeseen triumph -- a connection with a daughter he never knew he had. The result is a work that’s both personal and provocative all at the same time.

Castiglia calls this the most meaningful album he’s ever made. “My daughter finding me and opening up my world to an additional family, including two grandchildren, brought out the deepest material I’ve ever created,” he notes, “along with my wife, they were my muses.” Indeed, songs such as “Keep On Swinging”, “Masterpiece” and “Bring on the Rain” address the unexpected emotions that infused his psyche with the discovery of a family he never knew.

“Prior to my daughter finding me, my entire adult life felt incomplete,” Castiglia reflects in the song “Bring On the Rain.” “I never knew why I felt that way. I could never put my finger on it. Then when I discovered my daughter, my heart was suddenly overflowing.”

The title track echoes the same sort of sentiment. "After my daughter and I connected for the first time, I submitted my DNA sample to the lab to confirm that I was indeed her father,” Castiglia recalls. “I knew she was my kid the second I saw her picture, but my daughter wanted closure and by me taking the test, it would put all the speculation to rest. On the day my results came up positive, I wrote a letter to my daughter telling her how happy I was to be her father. At the end of the letter I wrote, ‘I've been an artist for thirty years, but you're my masterpiece!’ I ran with that line and made it the perfect song to express my love. As the lyric says, I loved her before I even knew her.”

Co-produced by longtime friend and colleague Mike Zito, and released on Zito’s own label, Gulf Coast Records, on May 24th, the album also finds Castiglia reflecting on the disappointment and disconnect that’s gripped the nation in the past several years. Several songs, “Heavy” and “Love Will Win the War”, deal with the dilemma that has impacted the those forgotten as the result of this modern malaise. “Heavy” brings those ideas to the fore. “It was inspired by people who live in this country and feel alienated, unappreciated, demonized and shunned by society,” Castiglia reflects. “The homeless, the vets, immigrants, people of color, teachers, the LGBT community...they were on my mind the whole time I wrote this tune.” “Love Will Win the War” goes even deeper into the horrors and violence that have shaken the very pillars of the nation’s faith and fortitude. Castiglia says it was inspired by the mass shootings that were all too prevalent in recent years. “Those horrific events got me thinking, ‘What goes through my daughter's mind when she drops her kids off at school? Does she think the worst or hope for the best? I really have a hard time playing this song without choking up, because I have my grandchildren in mind when I play it. It's sad, but I believe it's also hopeful.

The tone of the album underscores both its mood and its message, from the forthright stance of “Bring on the Rain,” the frenzy and fury of “Keep On Swinging” and the driving determination of “Catch My Breath,” “Thoughts and Prayers” and “Red Tide Blues,” to the rustic reflection of “Love Will Win the War,” the confidence and contemplation of the title track and the somber and sobering “I Tried To Tell Ya.” By Castiglia’s own admission, the sound is raw and unfiltered, little wonder since he and Zito play all the instruments between them.

“I think blues is a wide open net,” Castiglia once told a reporter. “There are a lot of different ways to do it...I’ve taken a lot of heat for what I do. Some people think I’m too edgy to be considered a blues artist. On the other hand, I don’t think that people like Muddy Waters and Howlin’ Wolf would have wanted me copying them and redoing their stuff. There’s no point in doing that. They would want me to do my own stuff.”

Of course, Castiglia should know. The Miami-raised musician served an apprenticeship while backing legendary blues musician Junior Wells. He later went on to work with singer Sandra Hall. Never content to allow himself to be confined to any particular category, he embarked on a solo career that’s yielded eight critically acclaimed album and consist kudos for his exceptional instrumental prowess, his searing vocals, and live performances that have dazzled audiences from coast to coast. It’s little wonder that Miami’s New Times lauded him as South Florida’s “Best Blues Guitarist” or that USA Today was inspired to remark “It's a revelation to discover the thrilling retro-electric blues from this astonishing young guitarist.” Likewise, BluesABout.com called Castiglia “one of those mid-tier artists that is just one album away from breaking big and becoming a household word in the blues world.” Or, as M Music & Musicians once noted, “His back-to-basics approach follows in the footsteps of those who fostered the blues in the Mississippi Delta and the smoky late-night haunts of Chicago.”

For now anyway, Castiglia is content to celebrate a new chapter in his life and what has become an added incentive for making music. That philosophy is perhaps best expressed in another song on the new album, a track called "Keep On Swinging." “It’s about advice I would have given my daughter had I been around when she was a kid but which I'm now able to give to grandchildren,” Castiglia says."’Keep on swinging, don't let the haters get you down.’" I always try to remind them that they are special and can accomplish anything their heart desires if they only put their minds to it. They’re the ones that give me hope for the future.”

Gulf Coast Records to release Masterpiece on May 24, 2019

Not every blues artist can create a cohesive sound in the genre by weaving in a diversity of other influences, but guitarist and vocalist JP Soars is obviously not just any blues artist. A 2009 winner of the International Blues Challenge in Memphis, TN with his band the Red Hots (and the festival's Albert King Award winner as best guitarist to boot), the Arkansas native toured extensively through the United States, Canada, South America and Europe with metal bands after relocating to South Florida, and is one of the few guitarists also capable of adding nuances of his long-standing, Django Reinhardt-inspired "Gypsy jazz" side project.

It all coalesces on Soars' upcoming fourth CD, Southbound I-95, recorded at the familiar Studio 13 in Fort Lauderdale, FL. Dotted with special guests, its sessions reveal hints of soul, R&B, surf, reggae, roots and country music on both Soars originals and a sprinkling of surprising covers -- all of which enhance and modernize, rather than take away from, the disc's traditional blues undercurrent.

"I like T-Bone Walker, Wes Montgomery, Django Reinhardt, Pete Fountain, Louis Armstrong, Guitar Slim, Muddy Waters, and Howlin' Wolf," Soars says. "But at the same time, I also love Willie Nelson, George Jones, Tito Puente, Black Sabbath, and old Metallica. If it moves me, I dig it."

JP Soars

Soars got bitten by the blues bug via a legendary source in 1988, when he won a guitar and two tickets in a raffle to see B.B. King in concert. Meeting the iconic guitarist and singer further enhanced the young musician's quest to learn more about the timeless power of the music. Soars started his blues recording career a decade ago with the 2008 release Back of My Mind, followed by More Bees With Honey (2011) and Full Moon Night in Memphis (2014). Collectively, his catalog has received extensive airplay on the XM Radio programs of Little Steven ("Underground Garage") and B.B. King ("Bluesville"); Top 50 status on the "Living Blues" charts, Blues Music Award nominations for "Best Contemporary Male Blues Artist of the Year," and "Best Blues CD" and "Album of the Year" accolades from the Palm Beach Post.

A gritty and expressive vocalist, Soars elicits signature tones from hollow-body guitars, plus a home-made two-string cigar box guitar for his incendiary slide guitar playing. All of which has helped him earn dates at the Baltic Sea Festival in Germany, the Liberation Day Festival in Holland, and other shows in France, Switzerland, Luxembourg, Austria, and Colombia as well as road work throughout the United States and Canada.

In the past two years, Soars and the Red Hots have also played the Peer Blues Festival in Belgium, sharing the stage with Buddy Guy, Joe Bonamassa, Brian Setzer, and Larry Graham, and the Mississippi Delta Blues Festival in Caxias do Sul, Brazil before 10,000 people. After being discovered by the Brazilian festival's presenter while playing with his "Gypsy jazz" project at a South Florida venue, Soars and company played the side stage in that format, then headlined the main stage with full blues intensity at its ninth annual event.

For the past several years, Soars has additionally been part of the regional all-star blues act Southern Hospitality. Also featuring Tampa vocalist/guitarist Damon Fowler and Memphis vocalist/keyboardist Victor Wainwright, plus Red Hots drummer Chris Peet and Fowler's bassist Matt Walker, the Blind Pig recording artists earned a Blues Blast Award for "Best New Artist Debut Release" for their 2013 CD Easy Livin,' and have toured worldwide in-between the three bandleaders' own schedules. Southern Hospitality appears with a host of international blues icons on the Legendary Rhythm & Blues Cruise sailing out of Fort Lauderdale, FL in February.

Soars prides himself with having one of the tightest bands on the scene, with Red Hots bassist Cleveland Frederick and longtime drummer Chris Peet. The trio has extensive touring scheduled through the United States and Europe during the first half of 2018, in addition to appearances by popular demand at blues venues on both coastlines of South Florida, all in support of Southbound I-95. Both his all-star band and new Red Hots CD may have names framed in southern trajectory, but Soars' career is clearly on a northward upswing.

Famous Frank Ward

Famous Frank Ward is one of the premier band leader/blues musicians in the talent rich South Florida area. His band The Nucklebusters has performed at every major blues club and festival since 1988. Frank is a respected bandleader, guitarist, singer, songwriter and producer.

$0.00

Tickets

Reserve Seats for this event are subject to a $15 food or beverage minimum (Happy Hour Menu not available during this event). Entire party must arrive no later than 7:30pm or reserved seats will be released

(Award Winning Pig-Sty BBQ Menu Available Exclusively For This Event)

Who’s Going

Upcoming Events
The Funky Biscuit