An Evening with Albert Cummings

 

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.” – Guitar Edge Magazine

Blues-rock guitar in all its glory is headed to historic Lyric Theater, as Harrison, Arkansas enjoys “An Evening with Albert Cummings” on Friday, September 23 at 7:00 PM, for which tickets are now available.

Albert Cummings writes, plays and sings the blues like nobody else. He has played with blues legends B.B. King, Johnny Winter, and Buddy Guy.  Taken with Albert’s fire and passion bassist Tommy Shannon and drummer Chris Layton, of the band Double Trouble, the late Stevie Ray Vaughan’s rhythm section, volunteered to play on and produce his solo debut recording, 2003’s self-released From the Heart.

Albert Cummings
Albert Cummings, Live at the Lyric, 9/23/16 @ 7pm

From these blues greats to Merle Haggard to Led Zeppelin, Albert’s influences coalesce in lyrics that display a country/working man’s sensibility and the guitar virtuosity that rock fans love—a style that covers the best of hard-driving blues, slides comfortably over to intricate ballads, and comes charging right back again “with unbridled ferocity and deep soulfulness…his depth and expression are matched only by his terrifying technique and tone.”

The Massachusetts native learned the requisite three chords on the guitar from his father, but then switched to playing banjo at age 12 and became a fan of bluegrass music. In his late teens he encountered the early recordings of Stevie Ray Vaughan and was floored by the virtuosity. While in college in 1987 he saw Vaughan perform and he returned to the guitar with a new outlook and resolve.

The whiz-kid carpenter began his ascent to masterful blues rock guitarist at age 27, with his first public performance on guitar. Soon he was on the Northeast blues circuit with his band, Swamp Yankee. In 1998 he walked into a Northeast Blues Society open jam, which led to Cummings’ winning the right to compete in the Blues Foundation’s 1999 International Blues Challenge. The following year Albert released his debut recording, The Long Way. Bluesprint magazine said it was “a barrage of guitar pyrotechnics that calls to mind a grand mix of the styles of past masters like Albert King, Freddie King, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Jimmie Hendrix.”

Albert Cummings
Albert Cummings, Live at the Lyric, September 23, 2016, 7pm

That in turn opened up an opportunity for him to work with Double Trouble, the late Stevie Ray Vaughan’s rhythm section. So taken with Albert’s fire and passion were bassist Tommy Shannon and drummer Chris Layton that they volunteered to play on and produce his solo debut recording, 2003’s self-released From the Heart. Recorded in Austin, Texas, it featured Cummings fronting Double Trouble (including Reese Winans) in their first recording project since Stevie Ray’s passing. No less a giant of the blues than B.B. King dubbed Cummings “a great guitarist.”

Cummings’ soulful and explosive approach to blues and rock caught the attention of Blind Pig Records, which signed him to a multi-album deal. On his label debut, True to Yourself, released in 2004, Cummings was again joined by bassist Tommy Shannon. Recorded by producer extraordinaire Jim Gaines (Santana, Stevie Ray, Buddy Guy), the album rocks hard from start to finish. The all-original release showcased Albert’s rapidly developing songwriting chops and deeply emotional vocals as well as stunning guitar pyrotechnics, leading Guitar One to exclaim, “He attacks his axe with unbridled ferocity and deep soulfulness… his depth and expression are matched only by his terrifying technique and tone.”

 “a barrage of guitar pyrotechnics that calls to mind a grand mix of the styles of past masters like Albert King, Freddie King, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Jimmie Hendrix. – Bluesprint Magazine

Soon tours and shows with blues legends B.B. King, Johnny Winter, Buddy Guy and others brought Albert’s music to a much larger audience.

His second release, Working Man (2006), also produced by Jim Gaines, betrays a growing focus and maturity both in Albert’s stinging, incisive guitar work as well as in his fluently idiomatic songwriting. From the punchy, stomping cover of Merle Haggard’s blue collar standard “Working Man Blues” to the deeply emotive ballad “Last Dance” that closes the disc, Albert’s songs are always concise and direct, driven by his uniquely muscular yet polished guitar wizardry. Billboard said, “This recording is the calling card of a blues star who has arrived. Cummings’ guitar work is sizzling. This is one of the top blues albums of 2006.”

In 2008 Albert recorded his first live album, Feel So Good, in Pittsfield, Massachusetts at the historic Colonial Theatre, a 95-year-old “little jewel box” – that’s what James Taylor calls it – that’s hosted everyone from Will Rogers to Al Jolson. The audience was so enthralled and supportive they became part of the performance in a way that’s rarely heard. As AllMusic put it, “It sounds like it was one hell of a party that night.”

Albert Cummings
Albert Cummings, Live at the Lyric, 9/23/16 @ 7pm

Albert and his band responded with a blistering set of great originals and killer covers of Zeppelin, Little Feat and Muddy Waters tunes. With producer Jim Gaines again at the controls and Albert’s incredible display of guitar virtuosity and deep emotion, this is one live performance that is bound to become a blues rock classic.

Guitar Edge magazine said, “The blues is best served up live, with an enthusiastic audience and a killin’ band, and that’s exactly what guitarist Albert Cummings does on his new Feel So Good. 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.”

Music Connection called it “one of the best live albums recorded in a long time” and Blurt added, “Cummings’ first live album provides the perfect showcase for the fiery guitarist’s axe-handling skills and enormous onstage charisma.”

In 2011 Albert released an instructional DVD for the Hal Leonard Corporation entitled Working Man Blues Guitar. Cummings’ next CD, No Regrets, was self-released in 2012. It was a return to his true musical roots for the six-string virtuoso, poignantly capturing the core of his influences, displaying the impact that R&B, Rock, Soul, Country and the Blues have had on both his playing and writing. It debuted at #1 on iTunes music charts in the USA, Canada and France.

“An Evening with Albert Cummings” is scheduled at the historic Lyric Theater on the Harrison, Arkansas square for Friday, September 23 at 7:00 PM. Tickets are now available.

 

tickets

Jack Broadbent: Hip Flask Blues – March 17, 2017, 7:00

 

Jack Broadbent in Concert
March 17, 2017 – 7:00PM

Jack Broadbent is an incredible singer/songwriter who started his career with busking (performing in the street, sitting on a small amp with the public throwing coins into his open guitar case) and has been leaving audiences Processed with VSCOcam with p9 presetspellbound from the very first. His live shows and unique style of slide guitar (take a look at that ‘slide’ up close!) are a demonstration of what real music is: not the tools, but the musician—what the heart and hands of the artist can do with whatever media life has set before him. The key to his performance on stage is that he never forgets the need to draw a crowd on the street and he treats his ticketed-in-advance audiences today as deserving that same “I have to prove myself worthy to them” attitude that drew the crowds on the street and the millions of YouTube viewers.

The Blues has not seen such Good News in quite some time
~ Bootsy Collins

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Raised in rural England and with a musician father, Jack was brought up on a diet of music that would later be evident as his main influences, including acts such as John Lee Hooker, Peter Green, Jimi Hendrix, Robert Johnson and Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young.

With feet planted firmly in an authentic blues style, Jack Broadbent in now making waves globally as one of the most exciting modern bluesmen of our time. Jack’s slide performances are attracting millions of views online and a rapidly expanding fan base.

Experiencing Jack Broadbent live is an opportunity not to be missed!

Tickets for Jack Broadbent’s March 17 performance at the historic Lyric Theater in Harrison, Arkansas are on sale now through the Ozark Arts Council’s ticketing web site or by calling (870) 391-3504.

Many thanks to our concert sponsors, including:

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 OAC Ticketing Link

HHS Chamber Singers

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