Albert Cummings is the complete package. He’s not just the guitar player or the bluesman or the singer or the songwriter. Though he is a master of all of that, he is so much more. He is the complete package, with an approach to blues and rock that has been described as soulful and explosive.
The Massachusetts native learned the necessary three chords on the guitar from his father, but switched to playing banjo at 12 when he became a fan of bluegrass. In his late teens, he heard the early recordings of Stevie Ray Vaughan and when he saw Vaughan perform, he returned to the guitar, determined to master it.
A master builder, Cummings did not make his first public performance on the guitar until he was 27. Soon he was on the Northeast blues circuit with his band, Swamp Yankee. In 1998, he walked into a Northeast Blues Society open jam and won the right to compete in the Blues Foundation’s 1999 International Blues Challenge. In 2000, his debut recording, The Long Way was released to rave reviews, with Bluesprint magazine calling it “a barrage of guitar pyrotechnics that call to mind a grand mix of the styles of past masters like Albert King, Freddie King, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Jimmie Hendrix.”
His success opened doors and he was able to work with Double Trouble, the late Vaughan’s rhythm section. Bassist Tommy Shannon and drummer Chris Layton were so taken with Cumming’s fire and passion that they produced his first solo recording, From the Heart. They performed on it, as well, marking the first recording either had done since Vaughan’s tragic death. Cummings, who originally picked up the guitar when he heard Stevie Ray Vaughan, had come full circle.
The guitar player caught the attention of Blind Pig records, which produced for Muddy Waters, Jimmy Vivino and Elvin Bishop. His label debut, True to Yourself, established him as a singer and songwriter of note, as well as a great guitar player. Tours and shows with B.B. King, Johnny Winter and Buddy Guy brought him to a larger audience and his 2006 album, Working Man was said by Billboard to be “the calling card of a star who has arrived.”
Guitar Edge magazine summed up Cummings’ reach this way: “The blues is best served up live, with an enthusiastic audience and a killin’ band and that’s exactly what guitarist Albert Cummings does…Cummings effortlessly shifts from chimney subdued stylings to raucous roadhouse raunch to soaring yet stinging lead lines, driving his audience to frenzy in all the right places.”
Cummings recently signed with Provogue Records, joining the ranks of guitar virtuosos such as Joe Bonamassa, Walter Trout and Eric Gales. He is looking forward to bringing new music to his loyal fans. With his mesmerizing extended guitar jams, tight pristine tone and strong vocals to match, he has incorporated the influence of his idols while maintaining a distinct, genre-bending style and sound that is all his own. His upcoming album will thrill his fans and make him an army of new ones. Don’t miss a chance to hear him up close and personal at The Lyric.