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Albert Cummings

17 Oct 2024


90 minutes
In the trajectory of watching great musicians develop, there is no set timetable. Some appear full-blownright from the start, and others can take a whole career to get to that elevated place. Albert Cummingsarrived strong right at the beginningand has kept growing over a course of endless tours and nineprevious albums, right up to today with the release of the album TEN. It’s the kind of recording that showsexactly why all the accolades and excitement have been deserved. Now, it’s an irrevocable truth that themusician has made his full-on breakthrough. And it comes at exactly the perfect time, when the world islooking into what might be in store past the challenging experience of the pandemic for the last two years.Music, being one of the world’s tried and true joys of life, has always had a way of bringing healing andinspiration to listeners, and at no time in recent decades has it been needed more than now. 

When Albert Cummings started making plans for the sessions that would become TEN,his first sign thatthis would be a turning point for him was when he connected with producer Chuck Ainlay. With Ainlay’scredits working with Mark Knopfler, both solo and with Dire Straits, and George Strait, Miranda Lambert,Emmylou Harris and many others, it was immediately obvious that this new album would be one for theages. Cummings knew a new vista for his music was right in front of him. “When you walk into a roomwith a producer like this, it feels like there is a whole new world of possibilitiesready to open up,” he says,“and I felt like things were really turning in an exciting new direction.” 

It didn’t take long for exactly that to happen. A dream team of musicians quickly became involved in theTEN sessions, including drummer Greg Morrow, bassist Glenn Worf, keyboardist Michael Roujas andguitarist Rob McNelley. “There was a moment when I looked at the players in the studio with me,”Cummings says, “and I felt giddy. I knew immediately this was exactly the band that I needed to have withmeto take my new songs where I wanted them to go. The music that started to be played in the studiosounded like it was being created on a whole new level. I knew in a flash we were onto something.“ 

One of the most striking things on TEN is the songs themselves. Written by Cummings, the 13 tracks feellike a compelling and extremely emotional summation of what the artist has seen and done. Theevocative way the lyrics capture Cummings’ life and his early days in music captures with exquisite detailhow someone in his world went on to make such a strong impact on modern blues and beyond. 

The lead track, “Need Somebody,” begins the album with a sonic slugfest of back-alley power. It is thesound of one who will do everything he can to stand up to the forces that attempt to take him apart. It isexactly the kind of sound that Cummings has spent his life perfecting. Blues is not a style of music thatAlbert Cummings - BIOS.docxeasily progresses. It takes a major effort to move into a modern age without losing all the power of itspage. This is exactly what Cummings is able to do on “I Need.” It is the kind of song that makes astatement of who he is musically now, and what his desires are for the future. “Too Old to Grow Up,” is aslight sideways move musically from “Need Somebody,” but stays in the same psychic groove justenough to stand with the anthemic groove of the album. 

Albert Cummings has always prided himself on not putting limits on the music he can create. And it takesthat kind of inner belief to keep growing, no matter when you start or where you go. Which is why this newalbum has raised the bar to a place where everything feels possible. “At one point Chuck Ainlay saidVince Gill was interested in meeting with me. And before the sessions had been completed, Gill was abletoadd background vocals on the song ‘Last Call.’ I figured then it was a sign that anything can happen,and it’s so important to stay open to all possibilities. And that’s the way I look at music. You can surpriseyourself in so many ways with things that atone point seemed so far away. I have been playing a lot ofyears, and still find new ways of expressing myself. That’s what this album is all about to me. It’s givenme a new way of looking at my future, and lets me believe that I’m still able to do whatever I can dreamof. And that’s the real joy of it.” 

For someone with the kind of background Albert Cummings has, that kind of confidence about his newmusic says it all. This is a singer and guitarist who has played with many of the greatest players of themodern era, and received the kind of awards and recognition that few others do. Raised inMassachusetts and self-taught on the banjo, it was a 1987 concert by Stevie Ray Vaughan and DoubleTrouble that opened Cummings to a new world of modern blues and inspired him to take up the guitar. Itdidn’t take long from there for him to find his way to the front of the pack. In fact, Albert Cummings’ veryfirst album FROM THE HEART (2003) was produced by Double Trouble’s Chris Layton and TommyShannon and included the group’s Reese Wynans on keyboards. That had not happened beforeCummings’ release. 

From that first album, the burgeoning blues world of the 2000s opened its doors for Albert Cummings. Herecorded several albums for Blind Pig Records, and on 2012’s NO REGRETS the guitarist extended theboundaries outside the blues world to include country and rock influences like he really hadn’t before. Itwas obvious that the musician did not want to limit himself in any way, and saw a wider possibility forwhere his music could go. With its release on Cummings’ own indie label imprint, Ivy Music Company,TEN is a full realization of that possibility. 
"Albert Cummings’s ability to push forward through challenging times and spin his experiences into lyricalhonesty make him a captivating listen"-The Hype Magazine 

“It was immediately obvious that this new album [TEN, (2022)] would be one for the ages”-The Sound Cafe 

"....this is a special album [TEN, (2022)]. It’s strong songs and thoughtful guitar that transcends genre.Cummings sounds locked in and he seems to know it."-Blues Rock Review 

"Every note he plays is rooted in the blues. With every song, he reminds us, all over again, of theessentials."-Music Existence 

"No wasted notes here, vocally or instrumentally, in a conceptually sound project [TEN, (2022)] from an artistascending to ahigher aesthetic plane with each new outing."-The Absolute Sound


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Thu 17 Oct 24

Key Information

90 minutes
17 Oct 2024
Standard | Safonol: £22.00, HYNT: £0.00
Production Company
Midnight Mango
Suitable For


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