Those familiar with
's frenetic local live performances generally get the impression that the guitarist only operates in a playful mode, whether he's segueing into a string of obscure oldies or wandering out to the curb while flailing away undeterred. However, his recorded offerings reflect a different side, one better suited for larger audiences and those for whom the blues is the ultimate musical mantra.
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Castiglia's muscular treatments show him immediately taking command, from the fluid fretwork of "Cadillac Assembly Line" and the guttural growl of "Keep On Keepin' On" to the hasty shuffle of "Do You Love Me?" and the brash boogie of "Goin' Upstairs." Gritty and irascible -- with authority and authenticity -- he purveys a no-holds barred delivery that melds his throaty vocals with a dazzling display of instrumental virtuosity. His technique effectively emulates the masters who mentored him: Junior Wells, Ronnie Earl, Eddie Clearwater and Otis Clay among them.