Gulf Coast Records
Albert Castiglia’s credentials include apprenticeships with Junior Wells and Sandra Hall. He recorded his debut album in 2002. He signed with Bluesleaf Records in 2006 and released four albums including 2008’s “These Are the Days”; the lead off track “Bad Year Blues” resulted in his first Blues Music Award nomination. In 2014 Castiglia switched labels and signed with Ruf Records releasing four more albums including two produced by Mike Zito. Castiglia’s album “Big Dog” garnered him two more 2017 BMA nominations in the categories of “Rock Blues Album” and “Contemporary Blues Male Artist”.
Friends have been family to Castiglia and when Zito decided to start his own label he was the first to sign on. Unexpectedly Castiglia also discovered he had a daughter he never knew he had resulting in additional artistic inspiration. “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…along with my wife, they were my muses.”
Castiglia’s psyche now infused with the discovery of his daughter resulted in a flurry of songwriting. The album co-produced by Zito was recorded at Marz Studio in Texas and released on Zito’s new Gulf Coast Records. Nine new songs were written by Castiglia including two with Zito. All of the instruments including guitars, keyboards, bass and drums were played by them. The front cover artwork is by Graham Wood Drout.
The original songs are raw emotionally. For the title track Castiglia reflected “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.” The opening track “Bring on the Rain” co-written with Zito expresses the unexpected emotions which were overwhelming him at the time. On “Keep On Swinging” Castiglia reminds young people “that they are special and can accomplish anything their heart desires if they only put their minds to it”.
Castiglia also touches on the disappointment and disconnect that is gripping the nation. “Heavy” was inspired by people who feel alienated and under appreciated including the homeless, immigrants and vets. “Love Will Win the War” deals with the violence and mass shootings that are all too prevalent. Castiglia says the album is not an opinion piece but an observation and asks “What goes through my daughter’s mind when she drops her kids off at school?”
These are among Castiglia’s best written songs. It will be interesting to see how they are performed live when he is reunited with his band. “Masterpiece” is award winning Contemporary Blues.