Albert Castiglia

The Funky Biscuit Presents

Albert Castiglia

Markey Blue Band

Friday May 26, 2017

9:00 pm

The Funky Biscuit

Boca Raton, FL

$15.00 - $30.00 General Admission $20.00 Day of Show (Under 21 + $10 at the door)

Albert Castiglia
Albert Castiglia
Up All Night. It’s an apt title for Albert Castiglia’s seventh album: nobody sleeps when this man is in town. After 27 years of house-rocking studio albums and smack-in-the-mouth live shows, the Florida bandleader is the acknowledged master of red-raw, sweat-and-hair blues that gives it to you straight. Now, the visceral riffs and bruised soul of Up All Night make everything else sound like a lullaby. “I’d describe the musical vibe of this new album,” says Castiglia simply, “as heavy.”

Released in 2017 on Ruf Records, Up All Night finds Castiglia in a creative swagger after last year’s acclaimed Big Dog. What wasn’t broke then hasn’t been fixed now, with the bluesman once again recording at Dockside Studios, Louisiana, and capturing a warts-and-all mix alongside producer Mike Zito. “I figured since the Big Dog session went so well there, why change studios?” he reasons. “I’ll probably record there for the rest of my life.”

Dockside might be home-turf, but any notion of a comfort zone was dispelled by an edgy new lineup who pushed their bandleader to the wire. “Putting my new band together was a pivotal moment and this recent incarnation has really upped my game,” says Castiglia. “My drummer, Brian Menendez, is very dynamic and gives me that extra spark. He's along the lines of a Ginger Baker or Mitch Mitchell. Jimmy Pritchard is my bass player and he’s solid as a rock. His tone is fat and he's right on time. When I hear him, I think of Bill Wyman or Calvin ‘Fuzz’ Jones. It’s a power trio with no boundaries or restrictions. It’s a pretty amazing sound to me and it’s reflective in Up All Night.”

Up All Night is what happens when fist-tight chemistry meets a songwriter firing on all cylinders. Flying out of the blocks and bottling ten songs on the first day, Castiglia shook the Dockside walls with the most powerful songs of his career. There’s the stinging Hoodoo On Me. The strutting garage-band vibe and scream-it-back chorus of Three Legged Dog. The punchy call-and-response bar-room brawler that is Knocked Down Loaded. “That song was written with my frequent collaborator, Graham Wood Drout,” says Castiglia, “and it brings me back to when I was a young musician and felt like I was ten feet tall and bulletproof.”

Other high-velocity cuts include 95 South’s travelogue, decorated by the inimitable slide-guitar fairydust of Sonny Landreth (“That’s about having to drive from Washington D.C. to my home in South Florida in the middle of a tropical storm”), while Chase Her Around The House splices an early rock ‘n’ roll vibe with an age-old male need (“It’s about coming home and wanting to devour your significant other after being on the road for a long time”).

He’ll pummel you with the rough stuff, but Castiglia can also shift gears to more contemplative moments, whether that’s the rolling and contented acoustic blues of You Got Me To That Place, or its thematic opposite-man, Unhappy House Of Blues. “That song was co-written with Cyril Neville,” he explains. “Cyril wrote the lyrics but I completely relate to them, because they bring me back to unhappier times when I was a struggling musician and I had no support from who I was with. I think anyone can relate to these tunes.”

This isn’t Castiglia’s first time around. Born on August 12th, 1969, in New York – before moving to Florida aged five – he made his professional debut in 1990 with Miami Blues Authority, but truly hit the international radar when Junior Wells invited him into his solo band for several world tours. “It was an incredible adventure,” recalls Castiglia. “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. What a sign!”

The gig was a shop-window, and though Wells died in 1998, there was no stopping Castiglia, 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. Nobody’s sideman, his own burgeoning solo career began with 2002’s Burn, followed up by 2006’s A Stone’s Throw, 2010’s Keepin On and 2012’s Living The Dream. In 2014, Ruf debut Solid Ground was declared “smouldering and intense” by The Blues Magazine, while last year’s Big Dog was the thrilling culmination of a lifetime’s craft, championed by Blues Blast’s Kim Derr as “the best album I’ve listened to this year”.

That back catalogue is a high bar, but Up All Night raises it, defying you to sleep until you’ve worn out its 11 magnetic tracks. “You’ll rock out and dance like nobody’s watching,” concludes Albert. “If you’re sad, this record will lift you up. If you’re already happy, this album will make you happier. You can listen to this album anywhere, anytime…”
Markey Blue Band
Markey Blue Band
When the duo Markey Blue was first formed to “write a few songs” and do “a few club dates” this musical pair had no idea what a fast riding journey it would become.

The Nashville based duo of Markey and Ric Latina have a combined performing/touring history that reads like a “who’s who” in the entertainment industry. In late 2012 while both performing with other artists as “side men”, they found themselves booked on the same show at a small theater in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. After the show Latina reached out to Markey and suggested they join forces and possibly write a few songs for an EP to sell at venues. The Ric Latina Trio consisted of several different “top of the list” touring musicians and Markey jumped at the chance to work with such accomplished performers.

Soon it was apparent this was fast becoming more than a weekend project and the Markey Blue band was formed. The duo soon landed a small booking agent and started to gather a local following. It was when Latina and Markey started to write their first song, they knew they were on to something. Markey says, “It’s a rare thing to find, but the writing process comes so easily for us. The ideas just flow.” And they kept flowing until Markey and Latina completed the raw material for their first album Hey Hey. Randy Chortkoff, CEO of Delta Groove Records, signed Markey Blue as its first project to their new artist promotion department.

Hey Hey was released at #1 on the Debut Blues Chart, reached #1 on both the Tennessee Roots Music Chart and Blues 411, held Top 10 on National Roots Music Chart and Top 25 on the Living Blues Chart. The band was named one of the Top 10 Emerging Blues Artists to Watch in 2015; Markey was named One of the Top 10 Blues Women to Soar in 2014. The album was nominated for the Blues Blast Awards Best Blues Debut Artist, the NIMA Awards Best Blues Artist and Best Live Performance, and was featured in blues/roots magazines world-wide. The Duo was signed to both a national booking agency, Blues Pros Talent, and signed a TV/Multimedia Publishing deal for song placement in movies and television.

With three songs picked up for TV placement from the new album, The Blues are Knockin’, Markey Blue takes a diving approach into the different worlds of Blues. The album explores Delta, Texas, Memphis, Kansas City, Rock and a touch of Soul Blues. The creativity and craftsmanship of this duo shines throughout this entire musical journey. The Blues are Knockin’ has something to offer even the most discriminating blues pallet. From the swampy Delta slide work of Ric Latina on “I’ll Wait for You”, to the traditional Kansas City slow blues of “Worries” and featuring the only track that was recorded live at Ocean Way Recording Studio Nashville, the rockin’ blues song “That Ain’t Good Enough”, this compilation keeps you waiting for what’s around the next blues corner. The album includes two tribute songs written for two Blues masters that have passed on. “Lay Down Lucille” was written for Mr. B.B. King and his beloved guitar, Lucille, and “Be My Train” in honor of Little Milton. Markey Blue takes a more serious approach with a song titled “Nobody’s Fool” that reflects the growing unrest we have all been watching unfold on TV during the morning news.

Even apart, Markey and Latina have impressive resumes. Markey had accumulated a wealth of experience performing before she became a songwriter. Her career ignited as a showgirl in Las Vegas, which led to appearances around the world. Next, she turned to acting in film and television before embracing stand-up comedy. By the time Markey turned to music as her full-time artistic outlet, she had become one of the country’s top female impressionists and received the honor of accepting for Gracie Allen when The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show was inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame. The down-to-earth songstress was on a small Country label when she relocated to Nashville. Once on the Blues path, Markey quickly became a rising talent in the roots music world — performing with Taj Mahal, Candye Kane, Walter Trout, Delbert McClinton, Anson Funderburgh and Bobby “Blue” Bland — before joining with Latina to form Markey Blue.

Latina has a longstanding reputation as an inspired studio and stage guitarist, as well as a songwriter and studio craftsman. Besides his session credits, his extensive history of performing with and touring includes Waylon Jennings, Hank Williams III, Clint Black, Collin Raye, Suzy Bogguss, Billy Dean, John Berry, Vern Gosdin, Kirk Whalum, Sherrié Austin, Gary Puckett and Rhonda Vincent to name a few.
Venue Information:
The Funky Biscuit
303 SE Mizner Blvd
Royal Palm Place
Boca Raton, FL, 33432
http://funkybiscuit.com/