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Albert Cummings



July 27, 2023

About the Artist


Albert Cummings is an American blues guitarist, singer, songwriter, and award-winning master builder. His playing style weds the chunky, rave-up R&B stylings of Albert King and Stevie Ray Vaughan to the boundary-less blues-rock improvisation of Jimi Hendrix and Freddie King's resonant phrasing. Further, he is a powerful vocalist possessed of a rich, expressive baritone. After hearing him play live, Tommy Shannon and Chris Layton (Vaughan's Double Trouble) produced and played on 2001's From the Heart. 2004's True to Yourself marked the guitarist's Blind Pig debut. 2006's Working Man peaked inside the Top Ten on the blues charts and established Cummings as a touring headliner in Europe. 2012's No Regrets peaked at five. Even as he was crafting homes and doing award-winning restoration work in Massachusetts he found time to record the 2015 number two smash, Someone Like You. Cummings left Blind Pig in 2017 and signed with Germany's Provogue for 2020's soul-blues revue-styled Believe; it also peaked at two.

Cummings was born in Williamston, Maryland. His father played guitar and fiddle in many local bands, including a 26-piece orchestra. Seeing his dad on-stage made an immense impression on the youngster. Unable to wrap his hand around a guitar's neck, Cummings took up the banjo at 12. At 15 he picked up the guitar and began learning to play from recordings by Stevie Ray Vaughan, Johnny Winter, and Muddy Waters.

After graduating from Mount Greylock Regional High School, Cummings attended Wentworth Institute of Technology, where he studied to become a builder. At the time, he still considered music more a cherished hobby than a dream. During the mid-'80s Cummings saw Vaughan and Double Trouble perform at Boston's Orpheum Theater. He quit playing banjo that night and transitioned to the electric guitar.

It would still be years before he began playing publicly. Cummings was deeply invested in his construction and design studies, and later in his work as a builder; he founded his own company at 26. At 27, while attending a friend's wedding, he was goaded to sit in with the band. That impromptu performance altered the direction of Cummings' life.

Soon he was playing on the Northeast blues circuit with his band, Swamp Yankee. He self-released The Long Way in 1999. A chance encounter with Vaughan's old band, Double Trouble, at a gig left bassist Tommy Shannon and drummer Chris Layton impressed. They volunteered to produce and record 2001's From the Heart, which was taped in Austin, Texas. The record was self-released by Cummings, but was soon picked up for distribution by Under the Radar and re-released in 2003.

Cummings' soulful and explosive approach to blues and rock caught the attention of Blind Pig, which signed him to a multi-album deal. 2004's True to Yourself was released by the label in 2004. (Shannon continued his tenure with Cummings on the date and co-wrote most of the album.) Recorded in Austin and Memphis, it was produced by Jim Gaines. On the road, he shared stages with B.B. King, Buddy Guy, Charlie Musselwhite, Susan Tedeschi, Tommy Castro, Bernard Allison, the Neville Brothers, and Duke Robillard.

2006's Working Man was his first album to chart; it peaked at number six on the blues album charts and spent a month riding the Top 20. The album sold so well it resulted in Cummings headlining his own gigs in Europe where he quickly became a festival favorite. The live Feel So Good followed in 2008 and went to number five. Cummings was now a headliner in his home country as well. Feel So Good remained on the charts for six weeks.

In 2012 Cummings released No Regrets, the first blues record for the Minneapolis-based independent hip-hop label Oarfin. Despite a lack of promotion, it went to number five on the blues album charts. After touring North America and Europe, Cummings returned to Massachusetts and resumed his building career, working on civic projects as well as homes. 2015's Someone Like You was the guitarist's final studio outing for Blind Pig. Produced and recorded by David Z, the set featured an all-star cast that included Theresa James on backing vocals, Mike Finnigan on organ, Tony Braunagel on drums, Jimmy Vivino on guitar, and Reggie McBride on bass. It marked Cummings' most successful outing to date, peaking at number two. The same year, Blind Pig digitally issued the compilation Blues Make Me Feels So Good. After touring for nearly two years, Cummings resumed a busy building schedule at Cummings General Contractor Inc. in Williamston.

The guitarist signed to Germany's Provogue in 2019 and released his label debut in 2020. Simply titled Believe, it was as much a showcase for Cummings' skill as a singer as a guitarist. Produced and mixed by Gaines, the set was recorded at the iconic FAME Studios in Muscle Shoals, Alabama. Presented in soul revue style, it included covers of tunes by Sam & Dave, Willie Dixon, Leon Russell, and Van Morrison, along with six originals. Believe peaked at number two on the blues charts and remained there for six weeks.

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