Blues Rocker Albert Cummings to Perform at The Egg on Saturday

I knew the moment I first heard Albert Cummings more than 20 years ago that he would be The Northeast Blues Society’s biggest find. I don’t take credit for being prescient about any artist’s potential. It’s simply that Albert has a God-given talent. Buddy Guy has the same quality, and it took me writing Buddy’s biography twice and 20 subsequent years of reflection to come to the simple conclusion that Buddy was a monster talent. 

The trick of the tail is to turn that inborn gift into a career that communicates to millions of people so fundamentally that it becomes the earworms of humanity. Buddy Guy had the mojo at age three when he tore his mother’s broom apart and nailed the wire from that broom to the side of his family’s shotgun shack in the cotton fields of Lettsworth, Louisiana, and began to strum the sounds he heard in his head.  

It would take Buddy almost half a century to pound that talent into a vehicle that would cause enough people in the world to even speculate whether or not B.B. King’s passing would cause his crown of King of The Blues to be passed on to Buddy. It didn’t, perhaps for the simple reason that B. B.’s last name was King, but Buddy was just a Guy. 

Being as good as Buddy Guy or Albert Cummings does not necessarily translate into mass acceptance. Buddy Guy was poor and black, two strikes against him in 1954 when he caught the train to Chicago to find his fortune as the best blues guitarist in the world. Albert Cummings has the reverse conundrum. He’s white and the fourth-generation head of a company that builds homes so magnificent they’ve been featured on the covers of home builder trade magazines. That said, he’s encountered as many blind alleys on his way to stardom in the last two decades as Buddy did. 

He’s performed and recorded with Stevie Ray Vaughan’s Double Trouble Band. He’s been told by virtuoso guitarist Vince Gill that he’s amazing. He’s adored by all blues-rock fans regionally and some nationally. He has recorded his yet-to-released 10th album in Nashville with some of the best studio musicians in the world. That said, his original record label Blind Pig was sold out from under him to an outfit that for all intents and purposes ceases to exist. His latest album on Provogue came out at the dawn of the pandemic and immediately dropped out of sight.  

I’ve heard the next album tentative titled Ten, and it has the potential to break huge. It has his patented blues guitar riffs that make his concerts a rollercoaster of utter abandon. It also features songwriting that has the kind of everyman appeal that could cross over into mainstream country and Americana charts.  

The elephant in the room is Albert’s career as a builder. It was in fact the fairy tale elephant Dumbo who thought he needed a feather in his trunk to fly.  When he dropped the feather, he discovered he could still soar. Albert has been threatening to drop his feather, his construction company, for years. With his two sons out of the nest, he may just do that. If he does, flying could become soaring that sends him like a rocket into the space that Joe Bonamassa controls right now. 

While we wait for that to happen, we get to see him perform Saturday night at The Egg. From Clapton to Walter Trout, we’ve heard blues rockers set their guitars on fire. Albert is in that class. He’s a bonafide guitar slinger who performs without a net. See him Saturday so you can tell your grandchildren you saw the great Albert Cummings when. 

Albert Cummings at The Egg at Empire State Plaza, Albany, at 8 p.m. Saturday, December 11. Tickets are $29.50. 

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