There’s a difference between blending elements of blues together with country music and paying tribute to the latter’s roots in the former, and in his new single “Two Hands,” Albert Cummings wants us to know that he’s a student of the old school in every department that counts for something. Cummings doesn’t want to pillage the legacy of blues to make a smarter country song, but instead fuse the foundations of one genre with another, lending himself to the storied history of the country music model with more feeling and soul than some of his contemporaries will be able to compensate for.
Don’t get me wrong now – Albert Cummings is one heck of a good singer, and when he is putting these verses to the melodies beside them, there’s a seamlessness that you can’t beat (nor find just anywhere in the Nashville underground), but even with this being the case, his guitar parts are the real star of the show in “Two Hands.” They’re pushing and shoving their way into the forefront of this mix, and without any assistance from behind the glass, they steal a lot of love away from the lyrics through their own poetic, instrumental lashing.
If you’re going to play “Two Hands” anytime soon, you need to brace yourself for the strong kick in this single and its black and white music video feature, as it’s not the sort of thing that you see a lot of other players in the country genre toying with in 2022. Cummings wants to take us back in time to an era where country had a little more emotion and a lot more amplified warmth driving home its best harmonies, and for this critic, the ride is as smooth as I could ask for as a longtime country music aficionado and observer.