Albert Cummings

Saturday, Nov 16, 2024
at 7:00pm
  On Sale to Members Only

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, and 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.”

In 2022, Albert Cummings released his album, TEN. It’s the kind of recording that shows why all the accolades and excitement have been deserved and it comes at a time when the world is looking into what might be in store past the challenging experience of the pandemic for the past few years. Music has always had a way of bringing healing and inspiration to listeners.

One of the most striking things on TEN is the songs themselves. Written by Cummings, the 13 tracks feel like a compelling and emotional summation of what the artist has seen and done. The lyrics capture Cummings’ life and his early days in music and demonstrate how he went on to make such a strong impact on modern blues.

Albert Cummings has always prided himself on not putting limits on the music he can create. “It’s so important to stay open to all possibilities,” he said. “That’s the way I look at music. I’ve been playing a lot of years and still find new ways of expressing myself. That’s what this album is all about to me. It’s given me a new way of looking at my future, and lets me see that I am still able to do whatever I can dream of. That’s the real joy of it.”

Come share the joy of an artist who has come to understand his powers.