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Albert Castiglia Band – The Funky Biscuit

Albert Castiglia Band – The Funky Biscuit 8/19/2022

Albert Castiglia – Guitar & Vocals Ephraim Lowell – Drums Mark Garabian – Bass * Groovy Pantesco Guest Guitar (1 Song)

By Audrey Michelle | Photos Chris Schmitt

It’s The Funky Biscuit in Boca Raton, FL where The Albert Castiglia Band takes the stage, “It feels great to be back home.” Castiglia says to the full house. I mean, really full house. Not an empty seat, the standing room continues jam up to the point of cut-off. Those who didn’t buy tickets ahead of time are sent to the outdoor area set-up with comfortable couches, outdoor bar & tables for larger parties. There are giant screens broadcasting an eagle eye view of the stage & house audio, a considerately designed situation for those who can’t be inside or would rather take it all in from the outside.

If you’re familiar with Albert Castiglia then you’ll know, he is a friendly guy. He is open & transparent about his life & gives folks a feeling of closeness to him that you won’t get from many other performers of his station. All it takes is one conversation with Albert to feel a bond forged with him. A talk with Albert feels as good as enjoying his music live. Well, almost. I suggest you try it. *wink-nudge*

Castiglia exclaims proudly, “I knew my friends would be here” as he scans the room, squinting through the blinding brightness of the stage lights. He gives us a swift greeting, sprinkles in few shoutouts to special folks in the audience. Adds a dash of sweet, recognizing his lady love, wife Michelle Castiglia. Seasoning the brew with in a bit of sarcastic humor and we’re off. It’s showtime!

Kicking it off right we get Big Toe from his 2013 album, “A Stones Throw.” A bass heavy prison blues track written by Iko-Iko’s Graham Wood Drout. Feels good! Up next is one of ACB’s most recognized songs, Let The Big Dog Eat from his 2016 album, “Big Dog.”

After a comical introduction we hear, Take My Name Out of Your Mouth, a PSA for “haters” on the internet. He goes into the Melvin Taylor & The Slack Band tune, Depression Blues. Both tracks from his 2022 album release, “I Got Love.”

Quit Your Bitchin’… This song touches audiences in an ultra relatable & profound way. A tribute to domestic bliss & struggle written by Gulf Coast Records label founder & best friend to Castiglia, Mike Zito. All joking aside, this song, at it’s heart, conveys a powerful message & delivers a transporting, blistering, hidden gem of a blues rock guitar solo at its climax. A perfect expression of the frustration that can be felt within the marital construct.

Now that the energy in the room is fully charged, Castiglia’s rendition of the Roosevelt Sykes tune, Dirty Mother for You, came next. Followed by the title track from his 2017 release, “Up All Night.” This song expresses woes & dynamics of interpersonal relationships under the guise of a high energy party tune.

“I was a bag-boy at Publix.” For those of you unfamiliar with the chain of grocery stores located here in the south, well, I’m sorry. Castiglia emphatically declares his love of their fried chicken, (which can rival any chicken joint, ever (Yes, even Gus’. Promise.) This leads us into, Walk The Back Streets & Crying, a song by Little Milton. This song was a comfort to young Albert after his unsuccessful attempt to court a young cashier in his time at the store. “That cashier is now a bag-lady.” Says Castiglia. This has yet to be confirmed.

Up Next the lead track off his 2019 album, “Masterpiece” Bring On The Rain. A tribute for his daughter Rayne who found him most fortuitously using one of those DNA testing services. Castiglia became a father & a grandfather quite literally overnight. If you have followed Albert for any amount of time prior to this, you’ll notice he has switched gears, becoming more fatherly, leaving those “Up All Night” days behind. He has morphed into an example, a role model. The transformation is not only obvious in his music but his person as well.

Castiglia explains, “There is a list of Kings I would like to recite for you in order of importance they are as follows: Martin Luther King, Freddie King, BB King, Albert King, Earl King, Billie Jean King & Burger King.” leading into the Freddie King tune, Boogie Funk.

With the room reeling from the Kings tune, we are hit by another funky classic from Buddy Guy, The Dollar Done Fell. Everyone in the room loves it! Albert takes his leave of the stage, promptly returning, kindly delivering spirits to his fellow band members. Dancers are at both sides of the stage bopping & grooving along to a flawless solo by bassist, Mark Garabian. Spirits are high & flowing as cheers continue on into the chest thumping drum solo by ACB drummer, Ephraim Lowell. I spotted Funky Biscuit owner, Albert Poliak getting his boogie on amongst the dancers. Good times.

Thanks & props are given to the venue staff, “Please continue to support this venue, It’s the best venue in the 3 counties & it’s an honor to play here when we come home. It’s the only place we play, really.” Says Castiglia. They close out the show with the Hop Wilson tune (My Woman Has A) Black Cat Bone. A perky familiar tune, perfectly suited as a feel good closer of the show. He was joined by surprise guest guitarist, Groovy Pantesco.

A great night for The Albert Castiglia Band & it’s attendees. It must feel fantastic to come home & play for a room of familiar faces. It felt fantastic to be there. Catch them when they come through your town. Last but not least, don’t forget, this very important diddy, “Its ka-STEEL-ya dammit!”

Setlist: Big Toe, Big Dog, I Got Love, Take My Name Out Of Your Mouth, Depression Blues, Quit Your Bitching, Dirty Mother…, Hoodoo On Me, Up All Night, Walking The Back Streets & Cry, Bring On The Rain, Boogie Funk, The Dollar Done Fell, Bass Solo, Drum Solo, Black Cat Bone (feat. Groovey Pantesco)

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