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Albert Cummings – Believe – Review

Label: WMG (on behalf of Provogue Records); BMI – Broadcast Music Inc.
Release Date: Out Now
Genre: Blues
1. Hold On
2. Do What Mama Says
3. Red Rooster
4. Queen Of Mean
5. Crazy Love    
6. Get Out Of Here
7. My Babe
8. It’s All Good
9. Going My Way
10. Call Me Crazy
11. Me And My Guitar
Within the Blues community of Guitarist Singer/Songwriters, Albert Cummings is already reaching legendary status. Having performed with the likes of BB King, Johnny Winter and Buddy Guy. Often, being compared to the greats of any particular genre can weigh heavily and become a burden however, Albert Cummings seems to be positively thriving and this latest release, Believe, shows just why his stock is continually rising. This album mixes covers of Blues staples alongside original content and is deserving of a wider audience than just the Blues fans.
Kicking off with the classic 1966 Sam & Dave song Hold On, Horns blaring and Albert’s distinctive guitar sound is evident straight away . The Hammond Organ in the background builds up until the voice that could easily transcend genres begins to sing. To begin an album as a Blues artist with a classic R & B tune is a brave move and one which pays off and rewards the listener with a faithful, but fresh interpretation. Do What Mama Says is an original track with a wonderful chorus and instantly memorable backing vocals which then leads in to the classic Willie Dixon Blues track Red Rooster. This song has been covered many, many many times previously, most notably, by The Rolling Stones, Howlin’ Wolf and Sam Cooke amongst others to varying degrees of success. This version evokes memories of the first time I heard this song, even if it is a little overplayed. Queen Of Mean continues the flow of the album employing the full Band and Singers and this song will definitely be a Live highlight with a great solo ‘outtro’ when touring is resumed. The pace slows for the Van Morrison song Crazy Love. This is a beautiful and delicate version and a particular highlight of the album showcasing Albert’s ability to change his vocal style to suit a song. Get Out Of Here showcases just what a great Guitarist Albert is and the solo ending the track is proof of why he is favourably compared to the likes of Stevie Ray Vaughan and Albert King. The Little Walter track My Babe follows before 3 original compositions show why it is questionable Albert Cummings hasn’t made this an album of entirely original songs. The songwriting talent is there with each one being memorable and noted for their singalong choruses. The last track on the album is Freddie King’s Me And My Guitar. The song showcases the legendary guitar playing and vocal style which provides a perfect way to end the album.
This is an album which should rise Albert Cummings into the stratosphere and make him more widely known outside the Blues community. The covers are faithful without sounding note for note alike, and a freshness is added. The original tracks are as good as, if not better, anything Albert has done in the past. Don’t allow the Blues fellowship to keep Albert Cummings to themselves. Listen to this album and you will become a fan. Trust me!
Score 9/10
Reviewer – Simon Kneller

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