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We Speak With Blues Legend Albert Cummings About His Music, His New Single ‘Need Somebody’, And His Favourite Guitar

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American blues musician Albert Cummings’ reputation goes before him. He started playing the five-string banjo at the age of 12, and got into bluegrass. He then discovered the music of Stevie Ray Vaughan, started a band, and has since played alongside the likes of B.B. King, Johnny Winter, and Buddy Guy. What an incredible résumé! Albert Cummings has just released his latest album, ‘TEN’, along with new single, ‘Need Somebody’, and with that in mind, we dropped him a few questions. You can read his answers below.

Hi Albert, thank you so much for speaking to us!

We’re loving your song, ‘Need Somebody’. You sing that we all need somebody to love, but do you feel that there is somebody for everyone out there?

I sure do hope there is somebody for everyone! My song is coming from the point of wanting to find that person. I think that having someone to love is just as important as having some to love you. Maybe I should write a follow up update on when that person finds somebody! (Wait I already did that with a song called Finally in Love J).

Albert Cummings - Need Somebody (Official Music Video)

You’re certainly an accomplished musician and singer, how did you get into music in the first place? If you were given the opportunity to start all over again, would you follow the same career trajectory, or would you do anything differently? And if so, what would that be?

My musical journey has been quite different from most. I didn’t know I had any interest in music until I was 27 years old. I was at a friend’s wedding reception and my friends encouraged me to get up and play with the band. Reluctantly I did and my life changed at that very moment while a new force came over me. I was a builder my whole life and music was a hobby. Well my hobby took off and I followed what felt the best to me. I’ve been asked if I wish I started sooner and the answer for me is simple. My music is all about my life, my feelings and my experiences. I didn’t have the proper amount of any of them when I was younger so for me my path was made for me and I followed it. The only thing I wish is that I didn’t miss all of those years of playing music when I was younger.

Who have been your biggest influences in your music? What about in your life in general?  In what ways do you wish to be an influence yourself?

My first and biggest influence was Stevie Ray Vaughan. Of course I think he is the greatest guitar player that has ever lived but I see something more. I see a man who was not “not going to make it”. He had conviction that matched his passion for his music. That’s where I live! Because Stevie was so influential on me, I wanted to find out who his influences were. That’s where I learned about BB King. BB also had that conviction. He came from driving a tractor to becoming the world’s greatest influence on the electric guitar. Not one guitarist alive can deny that they have been influenced by BB King whether they know it or not. Somewhere in their guitar player family tree you will find BB King in everyone’s tree. Even after all he endured and came thru he remained the most humble beautiful human being I have ever met in my life. My main goal is to carry on the dignity that BB King was so gracious with.

We seem finally to be reaching the end of the Covid-19 pandemic. It’s affected us all badly all over the world, but for musicians, the impact has been felt quite keenly, with the closure of venues meaning a large income stream has been unavailable. How have you fared during this time, and how has it affected your music?

I can’t think of a more damaging thing to happen to the music world than the pandemic. I think the bar has now been raised. What I mean is that entertainers  have to offer something that isn’t ordinary now that we’ve gone thru that. People have become accustomed to staying home and its harder to get them to come out. You have to give even more than you did before the pandemic when it comes to your performance. On the other hand it gave everyone the opportunity to stop taking things for granted especially when it comes to music. When people could no longer have live music they began to miss it more and more. Music is a healer and I hope more people will go out and enjoy the human connection of sharing an experience listening to live music.

You’ve got a mean shred on ‘Need Somebody’. Do you have a favourite brand and type of guitar, and if so, how did you settle on that?

Yes I sure do. I play a Fender Stratocaster. That’s the only guitar I have ever played. It not as easy to play as some of the other major brand name guitars but its sound makes up for that. It’s also a tough guitar. I’ve dropped it, watched it get blown over etc. It is built very strong. I put Dunlop strings on it and I plug it into a Fender amplifier with Eminence speakers. I feel as though I play much better when I hear a sound that is pleasing. All of these companies help me sound better!

What’s next for Albert Cummings? Where can fans expect from you and when and where can they see you perform?

My next major goal is to tour this record. I am so proud of these songs and I can’t wait to bring them to the world. Our schedule is blowing up again and I am so excited tour. If anyone would like to come to a show they can find out where I’ll be at www.albertcummings.com.

Finally, what question do you wish someone would ask you in an interview, but nobody ever does? And what’s the answer to that question?

You got me….

Find out more about Albert Cummings and his music online on his official website, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. ‘TEN’ is out now and can be streamed and downloaded here.



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St. Vincent Covers “Funkytown” For Minions: The Rise of Gru

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Some things in life are inevitable. For a while, that inevitably was a new Shrek movie with an updated pop cover like “I’m a Believer” from Smash Mouth. These days it’s a new Despicable Me movie, this time in the form of spinoff Minions The Rise of Gru. And just as we all predicted, the new Steve Carrell led film comes stacked with a loaded soundtrack headlined by St. Vincent.

For her contribution to the Minions: The Rise of Gru soundtrack, St. Vincent covered “Funkytown” by Lipps Inc. Her version was produced by Jack Antonoff and continues a run of luck for the musician that earlier this year saw her win a Grammy for Best Alternative Music Album.

Antonoff also gave St. Vincent a shout-out for her album Daddy’s Home when he won Producer of the Year at the Grammys.

Announcing the release of her funky cover, St. Vincent took to Twitter and wrote, “Excited to say the @Minions (including @jackantonoff) and I have just released our version of ‘Funkytown’ from #TheRiseofGru soundtrack. Shout out to Gru and them…” Included with the post was a graphic of St. Vincent as a minion.

Joining St. Vincent on the Minions: The Rise of Gru soundtrack are Tame Impala, Kali Uchis, Brittany Howard, Thundercat, Caroline Polachek, Diana Ross, and Weyes Blood, just to name a few.

The album will be released on July 1, coinciding with the film’s theatrical release. You can listen to St. Vincent’s cover of Lipps Inc. “Funkytown” below!



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Parmalee Shares The Music Video For Their Top Five US Hit ‘Take My Name’, A Musical Marriage Proposal.

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Back in October of 2021, Parmalee released ‘Take My Name’ as the second single from their third studio album. It was written with and produced by David Fanning, producer of the massive hit ‘Carolina’ that introduced me to the band back in 2008, Ashley Gorley and Ben Johnson. Robyn Collins of ‘Taste of Country’ described the song as “a musical marriage proposal” and lead singer of the band, Matt Thomas, says it was inspired by the marriage of brother Scott; he says “it made me think about what I would want to say to my future wife.”

Some songs almost become bigger than themselves when they tap into the lives and moods of everyone and this is very much one of those songs. It’s not difficult to see why this song has been adopted by fans all over the world irrespective of their taste in music; its words conjure all the romance and love that you’d hope to feel when you ask someone to marry you. It’s lyrically a shopping list of everything you feel at the moment you realise you’ve met the one, even if that’s after only a short time. I remember proposing to my wife after just 8 weeks and if I try to remember what I was feeling at the point I proposed and tried to put it into words I would hope it was very similar to this song. Now over 31 years later and still happily married I listen to this song and it brings all those feelings back in a rush so why wouldn’t it be the perfect song to overlay a proposal, sing at the wedding or just be part of the moment; it’s how I’d love my sons to feel when they propose to their partners. 

Parmalee are very aware of their fans needs and were quick to record a wedding version for such occasions with a less catchy percussion and a softer piano focussed vibe than the original version. There have even been brilliant occasions where the band has turned up to “crash” a wedding and sing this song to the happy couple reminiscent of Maroon 5 and their song ‘Sugar’. None of those guests will forget that wedding in a hurry!

With all the interest in the song and the brilliant videos and messages the band have received, they felt the time was right to make their own narrative video to accompany the song as an addition to the previously released visualizer. The ‘Wedding Version’ video of the romantic song was filmed in Gallatin, TN and directed by Shane Drake. The heart-warming story follows the journey of the protagonist through middle school and all the way to adulthood featuring kids from a local school, an original 1968 Mustang Shelby GT350 and appearances from the band with the lead being played by frontman Matt Thomas.

Matt says:

“From the jump, the fans have really latched onto this song in such an amazing, life changing way- our fans have been the reason for so many of our own major milestones, so it means that much more to us that folks are using our song for their proposals and weddings and allowing us to be a part of those major moments in their lives. We wanted to pay tribute to the fans who have been on this journey with us since the beginning so in the music video you’ll see a story of love and loyalty unfold across the years-but don’t expect to see any weddings or proposals – the fan created videos far exceed anything we could depict. We love watching them.”

With over 135 million global on demand streams, the song has raced up the Country charts, outpacing the band’s previous single, the multinational Number 1 smash ‘Just The Way’ with Blanco Brown and has been popping up all over TikTok with creators playing the song over proposal and wedding videos and even sparking a trend of using the sound of the song and writing “if your man doesn’t make you feel this way then what are you doing?” over the video. 

Parmalee - Take My Name (Official Music Video)

Coming from their recently released album ‘For You’, an album that has garnered critical acclaim with American Songwriter calling it “authentically real, genuinely inspired” and Billboard saying that “Parmalee find itself in the enviable position of being able to tap into multiple audiences”. What is very clear is that Country music is slowly starting to find a new, younger audience in the UK to stand alongside the existing fans of the genre. Zack Bryan has recently found himself high on the Spotify album charts and UK stars like Ed Sheeran have appeared alongside Country stars like Luke Combs at the Country2Country festival. Even Tom Odell has found himself headlining the British Country Music Festival in the Summer. Parmalee may be the band to really break down the barriers between Country music and the UK Charts with this song as the musical genre of this release is far less important than the honesty and emotion of the lyrics and Romance will always break down all of the barriers, or at least I would hope it would.

‘For You’ is out now and can be streamed and downloaded here. Find out more about Parmalee and their music online on their official website.

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Mercedess Releases debut album ‘Casa Fantasia’ along with lead single ‘Summers Already Gone’

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This Copenhagen DIY pop artist has managed the difficult task of mixing her soulful voice with vibrant dreamy production and lyrics with real streetwise attitude. The result is something that has given her the hit single ‘Obvious’ which Danish radio loved and the internationally acclaimed single ‘Back to Business’. Now she is releasing the excellent lead single ‘Summer’s Already Gone’ which sounds very modern Bond in its lo fi production but tells an unusual love story. Not a story about falling in love with a person, but about the love affair that always ends; the affair with Summer.

She says:

“I wanted to write a song that could represent both the fearlessness of the magical Summer days and the truly blue sadness of the re occuring love story it actually is when Summer eventually comes to an end. I know it’s a heartbreaking, melancholy feeling but it’s also everything I love about Summer.”

The song was written in Mercedess’ living room with Danish indie superstar Goss and the guitarist Søren Breum and is produced by the critically acclaimed artist Vera. It allows the velvet of the artist’s voice to tumble over the muted trumpets, break beats and flirty acoustic guitars and strings bringing to life the seasonal heartbreak. 

The fact that it is about the love and anticipation felt for Summer is almost more poignant this year as we embark upon the first free Summer for a few years. The affair with Summer this year promises to be a torrid passionate affair as we’ve been apart so long but the heartbreak of its end will be felt more keenly. This song will be the soundtrack to the affair for sure.

The single is released on the same day as the debut album from this exciting new talent. Mercedess says of the album: “Casa Fantasia is an album about longing for closeness and honesty. These songs are an escape from reality-a place to feel free and be yourself. Writing it was a personal journey and process to me that hopefully will make space for creativity, art and emotions for others too”

The album promises to do just that with the artist’s melancholy and yet warm and dreamy vocals and marks an exciting new chapter for an artist destined to find international acclaim  with this collection of music. Summer may come and go but I’m sure the appeal of Mercedess will be perennial. 

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