Albert Castiglia- Roadhouse blues review of I Got Love recording to release on March 25th

Albert Castiglia is the consummate contemporary bluesman and with the release of his new album, I Got Love on March 25th, he confirms his place among the great artists of the blues. His style is a vibrant mesh of the guitar energy of Elmore James and Stevie Ray Vaughan, the low down blues vocals and six string mastery of Luther Allison, and a touch of the funkiness of James Brown. His music is meant to be played loud in a way that Howlin’ Wolf and Hound Dog Taylor would appreciate. And the lyrics to the songs on the recording are intense personal vignettes of the highs and lows of his everyday life during what has certainly been the Great Depression for music performers.

The new album is produced by another of my roadhouse blues favorites, Mike Zito, and will be released on Gulf Coast Records. Albert is backed by an impressive group of musicians including Justine Tompkins (bass and vocals), Ephraim Lowell (drums and vocals), and Lewis Stephens (Hammond B3 organ and piano). There are 10 originals on the recording and one cover of the Melvin Taylor tune, Depression Blues.

My favorite song on the album is Take My Name Out of Your Mouth. It will give you a great overall glimpse of his vocal talent, his songwriting ability, and, oh my lord, his guitar playing. Other badass blues rockin’ tunes on the album include What’s Wrong With You?, Double Down, and Burning Bridges. The title cut, I Got Love, is loud and brash and has hit single written all over it. For a glimpse of the harshness of life down on the streets during the pandemic, give a listen to Freedomland and You Don’t Know Hell.

We are starting to kick our way out of the harsh cocoon of Covid regulation and just in time it has been announced that Albert will be touring with Mike Zito for the upcoming “Blood Brothers” tour. Twenty dates have been scheduled starting on March 24th in Omaha Nebraska. (Tour Promo). I can’t envision a better representation of the current state of the roadhouse blues than these two artists on the same stage together. Get your tickets soon…..I just don’t believe they will last that long. I am going to try to make the last announced show on April 16 in Fall River, Massachusetts. Leave me a comment if you plan to attend a show…..and once you do, post a comment with your thoughts.


#blues #roadhouseblues #bluesrock

Ben Vee started out spinning songs on terrestrial radio and at nightclubs back in the 1970’s in his home state of Louisiana. After a career in the construction business, he returned to DJing in 2011. He now hosts two shows each week on http://www.bluesmusicfan.com and writes about the blues at http://www.benveeblues.com from his home in Connecticut. He also has a personal 24 hour stream devoted to the Roadhouse Blues… WRHB

The Big Easy Sound of Ricci/Krown on City Country City

Any album that starts with a Hammond B3 organ intro has my attention. One that then integrates some Big Easy style harmonica is just plain badass.The new Jason Ricci and Joe Krown collaboration, City Country City on Gulf Coast Records, starts just that way with the title cut and is infused throughout with the rhythms of a bluesy fall day in the French Quarter roamin’ down Royal Street and then perhaps eating beignets out by the mighty Mississippi in New Orleans.

Jason has long been considered one of the premier harmonica players of the blues genre and Joe Krown, an established piano and organ player in New Orleans, is also a member of the Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band. Together with monster drummer Doug Belote, they lay down a sound that reflects the city in which they all reside. In parts funky and soul infused, the recording is a very enjoyable listen.

Besides the title cut, I also enjoyed the instrumentals Down n’ Dirty, My Mama Told Me So, It Starts with Me, and Upshot. I was particularly impressed with their reinterpretation of the Bobby Gentry classic Ode to Billy Joe as a blues funk instrumental. Jason’s work on the harmonica on the song takes the tune to a whole new level.

On Badger the Witness, Jason and Joe channel Doctor John to perfection. Feel Good Funk is just that and my favorite song on the album is Down At the Juke. It’s just a perfect “down the bayou” tune reflective of some places I used to frequent while growing up and working in southern Louisiana. If you enjoy the low down blues, you won’t find much better than the trio’s rendition of Charles Brown’s Drifting Blues with Joe’s haunting organ setting just the right vibe and counterpoint to some sweet harmonica playing. Listening to Jason on this song will help you to understand why blues music lovers rave about his talent. I also enjoyed their cover of Sonny Boy Williamson’s Just a Playboy with Joe pounding those ivories.

The textures and rhythms of this album embody the city of New Orleans and are reflective of the powerhouse talents of Jason, Joe, and Doug. Though they all have busy schedules with other bands, it is my hope that they will carve out some time to tour a bit together. I think people world wide would enjoy some of their Big Easy blues.

Ricci Krown – City Country City (Gulf Coast Records 2021)


Ben Vee started out spinning songs on terrestrial radio and at nightclubs back in the 1970’s in his home state of Louisiana. After a career in the construction business, he returned to DJing in 2011. He now hosts two shows each week on http://www.bluesmusicfan.com and writes about the blues at http://www.benveeblues.com from his home in Connecticut. He also has a 24 hour stream devoted to the Roadhouse Blues… WRHB

Dave Kalz – The blues with rock RELISH on the side!

I absolutely love artists that play a mean guitar. And Dave Kalz does just that on his debut release for Gulf Coast Records, RELISH. The album is packed with original songs that celebrate the insistent tones of a guitar with blues rock gusto.

I suggest you listen to Route 666 first. It is a raucous upbeat tune with undertones of ZZ Top dripping from the music. You can just tell Dave is havin’ a blast as his fingers fly over the neck of the guitar. Next give She’s Got A Hemi a listen with it’s great rock and roll rhythm and those fabulous tones that bring back memories of LInk Wray. Up next focus your ears on a song about the bane of many musicians, the Taxman; it’s another blues rocker with a funky starting beat that shifts into some of the loud late night jammin’ that I have always associated with the Allman Brothers. It should be an audience pleaser when Dave hits the road to support the album which was officially released on June 25th.

Just these three tunes alone will help you understand why Dave’s long time friend, Mike Zito (they are both from St. Louis) signed him to a record deal for Mike’s label, Gulf Coast Records. Mike also sits in for one tune, Werewolf Blues. Dave just absolutely tears it up on another of my favorite cuts of the album, I Can’t Quit Ya Baby. It is a song he played with Devon Allman over two decades ago while Dave was a member of the Devon Allman’s Honeytribe and I am damn glad he included it on the album. I also enjoyed Playing the Blues (with some Jimi Hendrix riffs towards the end!), the title cut Relish, and Flying High.

For the recording, Dave has Kevin McDonald on drums, and Greg Hulub on bass and backing vocals; both of whom also attack the blues….forgive the impending pun…. with relish!! Tony Campanella sits in on guitar for Playing the Blues and Lewis Stephens provides the keyboards on the cut Mexico.

As a debut album, RELISH, is simply stellar. If you often love your blues loud and upbeat (and I do!), then you will enjoy this joyful celebration of the electric guitar.

Dave Kalz – RELISH (2021 Gulf Coast Records)


Ben Vee started out spinning songs on terrestrial radio and at nightclubs back in the 1970’s in his home state of Louisiana. After a career in the construction business, he returned to DJing in 2011. He now hosts two shows each week on http://www.bluesmusicfan.com and writes about the blues at http://www.benveeblues.com from his home in Connecticut. He also has a 24 hour stream devoted to the Roadhouse Blues… WRHB