Photo by Norma Hinoyosa

The world has gone through a lot of transformations, in the last half a century. Economic, political and social changes that, day after day, impact our lives and often create those many twists and turns happening on some stage of our existences, sooner or later.

With that in mind, the last 12 months of one of the most respected and talented American Blues-Rock guitarists and singer/songwriters, Albert Castiglia, have certainly been a real emotional roller coaster, with the artist discovering to have a daughter he never knew existed and even two grandchildren. To an event like this, which would change the dynamic of anybody’s life, the Florida-based artist could just respond to such enormous joy using the only imaginable vehicle for a musician like him, speaking with his soul through music and songs.

Photo courtesy of Rick Olivier

There are not many meaningful music genres in the world as the Blues. A genre immediately associated to the history and tradition of a great country like the United States Of America but also to the tribulations and the hard times that the originators of said genre have been through in almost a century since the birth of Blues.

From Son House to R.L. Burnside, from Muddy Waters to Howlin' Wolf, from Leadbelly to Elmore James right through the three legendary King, Albert, B.B. and Freddie, Blues has gone through many different stages and evolution, during the last century but fundamentally, Blues at its very core always remains strictly linked to those artists that have lived and breathed the genre all the way, throughout their whole lives.

If there is one essential thing at the core of any music artist's organizational skills, that it is time. The right time when to record a new album, when to plan to go on Tour to support the record and how to find the right time to do extra appearances as well at special occasions, such as Festivals, for example or collaborations with other fellow artists.

In the case of Irish Guitar Virtuoso Gerry Leonard, all the above get multiplied at least by ten, given the time that Leonard spends in co-writing songs, playing either as a studio and/or as a live musician and being the musical director of artists such as Suzanne Vega, Rufus Wainwright, Laurie Anderson and the late great David Bowie, among others.

Photo by Patrick Strauke

It must be a wonderful feeling, for any musician, to be able, at a certain point of their careers, to release music without any form of compromise, letting the instinct and the inspiration to fly free and allowing the artists in question to express in full their musicianship. 

This is, in many ways, the kind of feeling that Chicago-born Guitar Prodigy JD Simo is in right now. With a new album under his belt just released and called Off At 11, previously reviewed by our website and already obtaining high praises by the whole of the worldwide Music Press, it's really a magic moment for the guitarist and singer/songwriter.

It is mesmerizing how, often, music that speaks directly to the heart of people like the Blues, it does not get the right recognition and appreciation for all that the genre always stood for and still stands nowadays.

It maybe not a Popular Music chart-friendly genre but, fundamentally, if there was no Blues, there could have been no Rock And Roll, something that it is so undisputed and the majority of Rock artists openly admit.

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