Albert Cummings – Working Man
Raw, funky, and lyrical, Albert Cummings' guitar playing has been compared with the likes of Stevie Ray Vaughan, and he's also received accolades from legends like B.B. King. His third album is a vibrant set that blends the country of Merle Haggard's "Workin' Man Blues" with Cummings' own attention-grabbing style on self-penned songs like the percolating James Brown style funk of "Girls to Shame," the rocking "Party Right Here," and the sensitive, regretful "Feeling End," the latter recalling the more down-tempo work of Eric Clapton. Cummings' pleasing tenor voice and his stinging guitar work are a lethal combination, while the proceedings are admirably anchored by a sensitive, swinging rhythm section.
1. Workin' Man Blues - 3:57 2. Say You Love Me - 4:29 3. I Feel Good - 3:46 4. Girls to Shame - 4:48 5. Let Me Be - 5:32 6. Feeling End - 4:26 7. Party Right Here - 3:13 8. I'm Free - 5:00 9. First Day - 3:29 10. I'm on My Way - 4:46 11. Rumors - 4:53 12. Please - 3:31 13. Last Dance - 4:18
Albert Cummings (vocals, guitar) , Dave Smith (bass) , Steve Potts (drums)
1. AllMusic - Megan Frye
Often compared to Stevie Ray Vaughan for the tone and explosive improvisation style the two share, Albert Cummings' Working Man sees the artist including more of his country music roots to the mix. Cummings played banjo for years, before he began playing the guitar in public. His understanding of bluegrass and country music shines through on the album's sentimental closing note, "Last Dance," and Cummings' voice is at its finest on "Feeling End," a song that's blues-rock with country tones. "Party Right Here" sounds like it's straight out of Nashville. A contemporary country song with a blues edge, from the lyrics, one can't help associate it with Hank Williams, Jr.'s "All My Rowdy Friends." The album's title track is a blues version of country icon Merle Haggard's "Workin' Man Blues," a song that was a number one single for Haggard in 1969. For fans of the original version, Cummings' vocals might seem a bit forced, but his guitar playing is impeccable, with a tone that's impossible to ignore. The rest of the songs on Working Man were penned by Cummings himself and performed with his phenomenal rhythm section: bassist Dave Smith and drummer Steve Potts. Smith and Potts add a unique, modern feel to the album, far more funky than Double Trouble ever was backing Vaughan. Working Man is an incredibly upbeat and well-mixed album. Songs like "First Day" are light and uplifting, with lyrics like "Just trust in yourself/If you do that your life will take care of itself/With each day/That you live/Give more of yourself than you think you can give/Just relax, it'll be alright/Because tomorrow is the first day of the rest of your life." Cummings is a promising talent. He's a strong songwriter, and he becomes more appealing the more he's listened to. Working Man isn't the type of album that will hit the top of the charts (most blues albums don't), but musicians will appreciate the immense talent possessed by Cummings, and lovers of contemporary blues will be happy to have another blues guitar virtuoso to follow.