Curtis Salgado has been doing his thing for 40 years now from co-fronting The Robert Cray Band to fronting Roomful Of Blues to leading his own band, Curtis Salgado & The Stilettos, and finally recording nine solo albums. This powerful singer-songwriter also helped the late John Belushi develop his “Joliet” Jake Blues character and toured around the country with Steve Miller and Santana. His latest album, “The Beautiful Lowdown,” which Blues Blast Magazine named the 2016 Blues Album Of The Year, is the first of his solo releases to contain 11 songs that he either wrote or co-wrote making it a very personal and fearless musical statement. He will be celebrating and supporting that CD when he hits the Time Out Pub at 7 p.m. Monday, March 6, in Rockland, and to that end, I recently placed a call to find out what’s been happening to him lately.

Q: Where am I calling? Are you at home in Portland, Oregon?

Salgado: Well, the tour is going to start tomorrow in Topeka, Kansas, and I’m driving the van with my road manager, and then I’ll fly in my band. The weather’s nice, and we left Portland day before yesterday, and we’re going to be in Topeka in about two hours. We’re in Lincoln, Nebraska, right now.

Q: Have you played in Rockland before?

Salgado: I think I have. I’ve been in Maine before.

Q: Maybe at the North Atlantic Blues Festival?

Salgado: Yes, sir, I’ve done that. Is that the one promoted by Paul?

Q: Yup, it is, and this time around you’re at his club, The Time Out Pub.

Salgado: Yes, indeed. I’ve played there. I know where I’m at now. You just put it all together for me.

Q: Who are you bringing to that club that evening?

Salgado: Well, every night out on the road, I have the basic same band, excellent musicians. I have a new guitar player for the last year since last summer. He’s a guitar teacher in Portland who’s phenomenal, and I convinced him. I suckered him to come out on the road with me, and he took to it like a duck to water. And his name is Alan Hager. And then on bass, I’ve got a guy who’s been with me for 21 years now, and his name is Tracy Arrington and he’s from Seattle. And then on drums, I have a young man from the island of Guam, and he’s a multi-instrumentalist and his name is Shawn Wolford. Oh, and the keyboard player is Brian Harris. He’s from Portland. I don’t want to leave him out.

Q: I’ve been enjoying your new Alligator Records CD, and I’ll tell you why: I like an album that surprises me. You don’t know what’s coming next. Sometimes with some albums all the songs sound pretty much the same. This album of yours is not like that at all.

Salgado: No, and none of my records are. You are a pro. You’ve been listening to music and paying attention. That is the biggest compliment to me and I appreciate that. A lot of the blues that you hear these days, it’s almost like they go in, they set up, they push “play” and they don’t touch anything, which is cool and it works depending on the engineer and stuff. But I want every song to have a personality to itself and sonically also. I’m about songs with a melody, and I’m trying, really trying to do songs that have different melodies to them. I think the songs that work, from “The Thrill Is Gone” to “When I Lost My Baby” to something by Percy Mayfield, are about melody, strong melodies. Am I talking too much?

Q: Sir, there is no such thing as talking too much during an interview.

Salgado: Well, you just gave me a very high compliment, and you’re hearing the same thing I’m hearing. And that sameness that’s out there is like nails on a chalkboard to me: I so don’t want to have that. I’m doing that on purpose, trying to make soul songs, blues songs with a hook and a melody, and well-crafted.

Q: With this CD you did just that.

Salgado: Well, that’s good. I’m learning, man. I just find the whole process of anything dealing with music and entertainment fascinating. And I’m a big history freak, too.

Q: Is there anything you’d like to pass on to the folks reading this article?

Salgado: Well, they’re going to be highly entertained. We don’t come around and mess around. We’re coming there to entertain and put on a show for people coming out and paying money for your babysitters, parking and whatever. I know where I’m playing there. I just have an amazing band, and they’re going to be high-in-class musicianship. And the folks coming might even learn something if they’re not careful. But they will be entertained, and the band is very good.

Q: Is there anything else you’d like to add?

Salgado: Well, just to advertise the record. And, Lucky, to what you’ve already hit on: That no two songs on it are the same. That was the idea. The CD and what my show’s always been about is I play everything that’s underneath the Rhythm & Blues umbrella. It’s all connected — jazz, blues, soul, gospel, funk, rock ‘n’ roll — it’s all connected, gospel being the mothership. But basically “The Beautiful Lowdown” is everything that’s underneath the Rhythm & Blues roof.

Lucky Clark has spent more than 45 years writing about good music and the people who make it. He can be reached at [email protected] if you have any questions, comments or suggestions.

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