Albert Castiglia & Damon Fowler

The Funky Biscuit Presents

Albert Castiglia & Damon Fowler

Friday June 30, 2017

9:00 pm

The Funky Biscuit

Boca Raton, FL

$20.00 - $30.00 General Admission $25.00 Day of Show (Under 21 + $10 at the door)

Albert Castiglia
Albert Castiglia
Big Dog will confirm that 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 youve already made his acquaintance. But by the Florida bandleaders own admission, Big Dog is the first release to truly get under his skin. I just wanted to make a record that best represented who I am, as a musician, singer, guitarist and live artist, explains Albert. With every release, Ive come close, but this time, producer Mike Zito helped me nail it. He and label boss Thomas Ruf wanted me to make a raw, rocking blues record. Thats what Im about- thats who I am.

At 46, hes 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 dont have the technical proficiency of other players, but I play whats in my heart and what I feel at that moment. When I write songs, they have to mean something.

Recorded at Dockside Studios, Louisiana, theres 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, reflects Albert, and you could feel the mojo in the recording studio. We had a studio-savvy band with an incredible amount of soul, and Mikes role as producer was the wildcard.

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 Dont 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.

Some songs cut deeper. Co-written with label mate and Royal Southern Brotherhoods Cyril Neville Somehow addresses the plight of the homeless and displaced in modern America. The poor are commonly used as tag lines in speeches by politicians seeking public office, points out Albert, but when the cameras are off, they are often ignored and scorned. The song reflects a sadness, yet hopefulness, on how we as a society treat these people.

Another poignant moment is Where Did I Go Wrong. A soul-drenched slow-blues with harp from Johnny Sansone, its taken from the iconic Junior Wells Youre Tuff Enough album, and in many ways, brings Alberts story full-circle. Born on August 12th, 1969, in New York before moving to Florida aged five Albert made his professional debut in 1990 with Miami Blues Authority, but truly hit the international radar after Wells invited the young bluesman into his solo band for several world tours. It was an incredible adventure, remembers Albert. Ever since I was a kid, I wanted to be a Chicago bluesman. Junior opened the door for me to do that. He recorded his last studio album, Come On In This House, at Dockside Studios. What a sign!

The gig was a shop-window, and though Wells died in 1998, there was no stopping Albert, whether he was joining the great Atlanta vocalist Sandra Hall for national tours in the late-90s, or holding his own in onstage jams with everyone from Pinetop Perkins to John Primer. Nobodys sideman, his own triumphant solo career began with 2002s Burn, followed up by 2006s A Stones Throw, 2010s Keepin On and 2012s Living The Dream.

In 2014, Ruf debut Solid Ground was declared smoldering and intense by blues critics. Now, Big Dog ups the ante, offering eleven new songs to get your teeth into, and supported by a full international tour that promises bark and bite.

If you thought you knew Albert Castiglia, you dont know the half of it. I think this album is a major game-changer for me, he says. No matter what happens after Big Dogs release, Ill always be proud of it. When we tour this album, you can expect a balls to the wall, rockin blues show. Expect to get what Ive always given you my 100%.
Damon Fowler
Damon Fowler
After spending much of the past year touring with the band Southern Hospitality, Damon Fowler is back with his third solo project for Blind Pig Records, Sounds of Home. Damon chose swamp blues master Tab Benoit to produce and record him at Tab's rural Louisiana home studio, and their collaboration has resulted in Damon's strongest effort to date. The tension between his measured, laid-back vocal delivery and the hallmark intensity of his guitar virtuosity has never been keener, and the stories told in his songwriting here - sometimes in collaboration with long-time writing partner Ed Wright and Benoit - exhibit a combination of depth, grace and humor very few of his contemporaries can match.

Damon sets the standard for what is to come on the first track, "Thought I Had It All." It's an introspective, brooding tale shot through with razor sharp, frenetic guitar leads. Other songs like the title cut and "Where I Belong" flow in an easy Southern groove. Damon offers up two covers, peppering Johnny Winter's "TV Mama" with slithering slide guitar runs, and doing a great version of Elvis Costello's "Alison." The country tinged "Old Fools, Bar Stools, And Me" offers a poignant take on a familiar theme. "Do It for The Love" is a sweetly contemplative ballad featuring the lyrical counterpoint of Damon's lead guitar and Tab's pedal steel. The album closes with an inspired, finger-picked rendition of the traditional gospel song, "I Shall Not Be Moved." As with Damon's legendary live performances, Sounds of Home takes the listener on a tour through the rich traditions of American roots music, presented by one of its foremost practitioners.

Alongside his solo career, Damon joined forces with fellow guitarist JP Soars and keyboardist Victor Wainwright in 2011 to form the southern roots rock group, Southern Hospitality. SoHo quickly became a strong draw on the national circuit due to their early, roof-raising live performances and their first recording, Easy Livin', on Blind Pig. Of their first show BluesWax said, "Southern Hospitality, after a single gig, has significant players in the blues world taking notice. Fowler, Wainwright and Soars share much love for the songs of the South. The hot jazz and funk of New Orleans, classic country, gospel, soul, and blues that became rock 'n' roll in Memphis and went global by way of a trucker named Elvis." Hittin' The Note called the album "a dozen potent shots of pure Southern pleasure. The roughneck, laid-back ways of this fine debut are reminiscent of the best days of Southern rock." Damon has neatly managed to balance his participation in SoHo with his own, well-established solo endeavors.

On the strength of his hybrid of roots rock, blues, and sacred steel, the Florida native started wowing audiences with his musical exploits as a teenager, building a reputation as one of the hottest young players on the scene. Adding songwriting and vocal skills to his repertoire over the years has brought him many accolades, with critics extolling his originality and maturity as well as his technical guitar expertise. In 2008's "Best of Tampa" poll, Creative Loafing magazine named him "Best Guitarist... And Slide Guitarist... and Lap Steel Player... And Dobro Player." Fowler's guitar work has been compared to Johnny Winter and Jeff Beck, while his slide guitar has a hint of the late Duane Allman. He can play fiery guitar runs with the best of them, but it's his lyrical work on lap steel and Dobro that makes him stand out among the legions of guitar heroes.

Damon's Blind Pig debut, 2009's Sugar Shack, showcased a fresh and exciting rising star coming into his own as a performer and writer. Damon's sparkling original compositions paired perfectly with well-chosen cover tunes from Billy Joe Shaver, Merle Haggard, and the Amazing Rhythm Aces. The critical reaction to its release was unanimously laudatory. The Chicago Sun Times proclaimed, "Make way for the next big-time guitar slinger, wire-walking Tampa, Fla., native Damon Fowler. This kid can play, garnering big raves for his power trio's live shows. Even better, he shows no need to kill you with pyrotechnics on his major-label debut." Hittin' The Note said, "With this album, Damon Fowler is really just starting to open up shop, and I suspect he'll be open for business for a long time to come," while Billboard noted, "He's a formidable slide guitar player, and has also mastered lap steel and dobro as well as electric guitar; his playing throughout the album is deft. Indeed, Fowler may be so skillful that he prefers pickin' tasty to larger-than-life guitar heroics."

In 2011, Blind Pig released Devil Got His Way, which went a long way toward fulfilling the tremendous potential that his acclaimed debut promised. His remarkable songwriting skills and vocal expressiveness were maturing, and his instrumental voice, by turns incendiary and deeply lyrical, got even stronger. The styles and moods of the songs on Devil Got His Way ran the gamut. The sharp title cut told a sordid tale, punctuated by furious slide guitar runs. "After The Rain" was a beautiful, meditative ballad. "Tight Rope" recalled the playful tone of Leon Russell's version, without sounding derivative. From the swampy nighttime heat of "Cypress In The Pines" to the wistful, R&B feel of "You Go Your Way" to the ironically rock anthemic "American Dream," Damon showed the uncanny ability to make all the flavors of American rock'n'roll uniquely his own. Like its predecessor, Damon's second Blind Pig release garnered high praise from reviewers everywhere. As Living Blues put it, "Devil Got His Way is full of lyrically rich, confident songwriting and shimmering Americana-laced guitar. Fowler is as expressive a songwriter as he is a singer and instrumentalist. He's preaching an otherworldly, Americana-themed gospel from a six-stringed pulpit. He is a roots guitar guru in the making."

Damon Fowler's star is on the rise. As Wade Tatangelo put it in a feature piece in March, 2013, in the Sarasota Herald-Tribune, "Damon Fowler's big, dimple grin cuts through the darkness as he stands outside the historic cottage he calls home in Bradenton Beach. It's the same endearing smile he's flashed on stages across the country and, in recent years, abroad, for nearly two decades. But these days, his smile shines just a bit brighter. In the past year Fowler has married, become a father and witnessed his music career reach new heights thanks to the formation of the super group Southern Hospitality."

And to this list of accomplishments we can now add the release of a superb new recording, Sounds of Home
Venue Information:
The Funky Biscuit
303 SE Mizner Blvd
Royal Palm Place
Boca Raton, FL, 33432
http://funkybiscuit.com/