Albert Cummings Submitted photo

Albert Cummings is the featured musician that the Waterville Rocks concert set for 6 p.m. Friday, July 29, at Head of Falls on Front Street in Waterville.

The Beer Garden opens at 5:30 p.m. In the event of rain, the concert will be moved to the Waterville Opera House, 1 Front St.

Cummings has nine previous albums, right up to today with the release of the album “TEN”. One of the most striking things on “TEN” is the songs themselves. Written by Cummings, the 13 tracks feel like a compelling and extremely emotional summation of what the artist has seen and done. The evocative way the lyrics capture Cummings’ life and his early days in music captures with exquisite detail how someone in his world went on to make such a strong impact on modern blues and beyond.

The lead track, “Need Somebody,” begins the album with a sonic slugfest of back-alley power. It is the sound of one who will do everything he can to stand up to the forces that attempt to take him apart. It is exactly the kind of sound that Cummings has spent his life perfecting. Blues is not a style of music that easily progresses. It takes a major effort to move into a modern age without losing all the power of its page. This is exactly what Cummings is able to do on “I Need.” It is the kind of song that makes a statement of who he is musically now, and what his desires are for the future. “Too Old to Grow Up,” is a slight sideways move musically from “Need Somebody,” but stays in the same psychic groove just enough to stand with the anthemic groove of the album.

Cummings has always prided himself on not putting limits on the music he can create. And it takes that kind of inner belief to keep growing, no matter when you start or where you go. Which is why this new album has raised the bar to a place where everything feels possible.

From that first album, the burgeoning blues world of the 2000s opened its doors for Cummings. He recorded several albums for Blind Pig Records, and on 2012’s NO REGRETS the guitarist extended the boundaries outside the blues world to include country and rock influences like he really hadn’t before. It was obvious that the musician did not want to limit himself in any way, and saw a wider possibility for where his music could go. With its release on Cummings’ own indie label imprint, Ivy Music Company, TEN is a full realization of that possibility.

For more information, visit operahouse.org.

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