AUBURN – Less then 10 years ago, guitarist Albert Cummings was busy constructing award-winning custom houses in the Berkshires of western Massachusetts. Today, he is one of the hottest properties in blues music – thrilling fans across the country with his high-energy live shows in support of a highly-successful new album.

Cummings will return to the Twin Cities on Sunday, April 24, as part of the Midnight Blues Club and Restaurant’s 2005 Sunday Night Blues Series.

A native of Williamstown, Mass., Cummings is the fourth in a long line of skilled carpenters. “We’ve been building houses for more than a hundred years around here,” he explains. “I never thought there could be any other career for me.”

His commitment to the family tradition took priority over any desire to play music. “It wasn’t until I was 27 that I finally got up with a band to play a Chuck Berry song at a friend’s wedding. I guess that’s when I got bit,” he says.

He learned his first three guitar chords at an early age, but switched to five-string banjo when he was 12. The transition from banjo to guitar began when he was 17 and a brother-in-law gave him tapes of Stevie Ray Vaughan during the Texas Flood period.

His first solo album, “From The Heart,” came out in 2001 and featured the 36-year-old guitarist backed by Vaughan’s full Double Trouble lineup of Chris Layton, Tommy Shannon and Reese Winans.

Albert has enjoyed a rapid rise in popularity following his national debut on the Blind Pig label, “True To Yourself,” released in August of 2004.

In the short time since he shifted gears from a builder who played part-time to a full-on musician, he’s come a long way. He has shared bills with some true blues legends, including Buddy Guy, Charlie Musselwhite, and Duke Robillard – and he’s opened for B.B. King 19 times. Tickets for all Sunday Night Blues Series shows are $15 and offer $3 off any entree. Shows start promptly at 7 p.m. and conclude at 10 p.m. FMI, go to www.3clubs.com


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