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Albert Cummings - No Regrets

Ivy Music Company, Inc. and SKH Music

12 songs; 50:20 minutes

Styles: Blues Rock, Rock and Roll, Country-Influenced Blues

We all want to live our lives with “No Regrets,” and this is how Massachusetts bluesman Albert Cummings plays on his newest CD. Released in August of this year, his sixth collection takes no prisoners! The musician and master house-builder candidly shares, “This album is really who I am, as an artist and a man. It’s a return to my true musical roots and the first step in really defining my identity as a mature artist. I am a Blues man, and I will always be one, but inevitably that foundation now reveals a couple of other floors being constructed as the house rises.” For blues fans, this means that Cummings’ blues is not of the traditional sort. Country and rock suffuse all twelve tracks on “No Regrets”-- eleven originals and one cover (the Bo Diddley penned, Muddy Waters popularized “Mannish Boy”). The three Cummings exclusives that shine the most highlight his mastery of electric guitar:

Track 04: “Checkered Flag”--This rocking low-down, throw-down ode to automobile racing is “No Regrets’” first earworm. On the chorus, our narrator cunningly taunts his opponents: “Well, you won’t catch me; this ain’t no game of tag. I’ll see you at the finish line--I’m ready for the checkered flag!” One can almost smell the gasoline fumes and see the smoke billowing off of the racers’ car tires as Cummings lets his Stratocaster rip. Rick Steff pounds the piano powerfully as the lead guitar engine revs, especially at the end of the song.

Track 05: “She’s So Tired”--After the adrenaline rush of the previous track, it’s time for a poignant and mellow, countrified blues ballad. “She’s So Tired” fits the bill perfectly, featuring Vickie Adkins, Kimberlie Helton, and Kevin Paige on background vocals. Albert Cummings’ songwriting skills can hardly be underestimated here: “She’s always been the one to pick up the pieces. She’s always been the one to make things right. She’s tired of thinking about everybody else, but that’s all going to change tonight...”

Track 08: “Drink, Party and Dance”--Employees at a loss for what to do on Friday night should heed this shuffle’s title. “We ain’t coming home till our blues are all gone!” Cummings exclaims. His posse pulls no punches, including bassist Dave Smith and drummer Steve Potts. Also notable are Steff’s keyboards, sounding like a Hammond B-3 organ. The highlight is Cumming’s bluesiest guitar work propelling the song. Without a doubt, when listeners “Drink, Party and Dance” along, workday blues are banished.

This album was produced by Jim Gaines, who has had a long-standing alliance with Albert Cummings since 2004. “At the end of the day,” Albert says, “you have to be yourself or you don’t have anything to offer as an artist.” He has “No Regrets” about this release, and neither will rocking blues fans!

Reviewer Rainey Wetnight is a 33 year old female Blues fan. She brings the perspective of a younger blues fan to reviews. A child of 1980s music, she was strongly influenced by her father’s blues music collection.

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