Get this crazy baby off my head!


Tommy Castro

Tommy Castro - Can't Keep A Good Man Down - 1997 - Blind Pig

Musician (6/96, p.90) - "...If the various music channels would get off their ass and do a regularly scheduled blues hour with actual blues artists--Castro could be a star..."

Since that quote, thirteen years ago, Tommy Castro is now gaining the recognition he so richly deserves as one of today's great modern blues guitarists.. Tommy Castro's albums, "Exception To The Rule", "Right As Rain", and the one posted here have consistently ranked at the top of the national blues charts. The Blues Review Reader's Poll rated "Right As Rain" as one of the 40 best albums of all time. That's one huge achievement for the great Californian bluesman. "Can't Keep A Good Man Down" is a great album, and an outstanding example of Grade A rock/blues rock. Check out the superb "Tommy Castro, Johnny Nitro, & Kevin Russell's "San Francisco Blues Guitar Summit - Volume 3" album @ TCASTRO/KRUS/JNIT/SFBGS/VOL3 Tommy's "No Foolin' " album is @ TCAST/NF and his terrific Exception To The Rule" album can be found @ TCAST/E2TR


Can't Keep a Good Man Down (Castro) - 4:00
You Knew the Job Was Dangerous (Castro/Walker) - 3:37
Suitcase Full of Blues (Schuffert) - 4:10
You Gotta Do What You Gotta Do (Castro/Harris) - 3:26
I Want to Show You (Castro/Walker) - 4:01
My Time After Awhile (Badger/Geddins/Feinberg) - 5:22
Take the Highway Down (Castro/McDonald) - 4:29
High on the Hog (Castro/Walker) - 4:42
You Only Go Around Once (Castro/Gilbert) - 3:43
Nobody Loves Me Like My Baby (Castro) - 3:08
Hycodan (Castro/Walker) - 4:29
Can't You See What You're Doing to Me (King) - 4:41


Tommy Castro - guitar
Randy McDonald - bass, background vocals
Jim Pugh - piano, Hammond B-3 organ
Commander Cody - piano
Shad Harris - drums, background vocals
Keith Crossan - saxophone, background vocals


"Can't Keep a Good Man Down" is energizing Blues-Rock, with a couple of pure Rock n' Roll gems ("Nobody Loves Me Like My Baby", "You Only Go Around Once"), a bit of Soul a la James Brown ("You Gotta Do What You Gotta Do"), and a funky "High on the Hog". Tommy Castro's Stratocaster guitar and Keith Crossan's saxophone dominate the album, with inspired cheerful solos on about every track. Add a bass, drums, and subtle keyboards that pop in on a few tracks, and you know what the ingredients of this vitamins concentrate are. Castro's voice is amazingly powerful, yet proper, never forced. Background vocals, fully masculine, are took in charge by the band itself.
This album is a positive enthusiastic Blues-Rock recording ; not the kind of a record that remains forgotten on a shelf. © http://bluesroad.free.fr/English/Albums/tc_ckagmd.html

There's a clean San Francisco sheen to Tommy Castro's second album for Blind Pig, and it's not just the glossy production work of Jim Gaines (Santana, Huey Lewis and Stevie Ray Vaughan) that's responsible for it. Castro and his band have long been local favorites of the Bay area bar crowd, and his blues-rock/soul-pop synthesis with the occasional slow blues thrown in makes him another young contender for the yuppie throne of modern bluesdom. From the opening rock strut of "Can't Keep a Good Man Down" and "You Knew the Job Was Dangerous," Castro lays down lazy, in-the-pocket vocals (the only time he hits scream territory is on the closer, Albert King's "Can't You See What You're Doing to Me") pitted against in your face guitar blasts à la Stevie Ray Vaughan. These Texas-approved Stratocaster tones reach their apex on a five-minute-plus workout of Buddy Guy's "My Time After Awhile," where Castro literally wrenches every textbook tone and volume setting out of his instrument and makes this perhaps the most blues-approved moment of the set. A large quotient of varied originals abound, and the soulful strut of "I Want to Show You," "Take the Highway Down" and the funk jive of "High on the Hog" and "You Gotta Do What You Gotta Do" play off against the simplistic shuffle "You Only Go Around Once" and the low-down blues instrumental "Hycodan," an atmospheric duet between Castro's guitar and saxophonist Keith Crossan's late-night mood blowing. But the real blues moments are few and far between here -- this is blues-rock, no doubt about it, and the end result is music with crossover written all over it. If Huey Lewis & the News were to cut a blues album with a hotter guitar player in tow, it might end up sounding very much like this. © Cub Koda, allmusic.com

In a relatively short time period, guitarist, vocalist, and songwriter, Tommy Castro has gone from playing local venues to international fame. For at least two years, he has even been a part of the B.B. King Festival Tour, which this year played thirty-nine different domestic venues. He has also been the house band on NBC-TV's Comedy Showcase, for three seasons. He has won regional awards and has been featured on the cover of a national blues magazine, "Blues Revue." So the word about him is favourably spreading. Blind Pig Records has released four of his CDs, starting with their debut in 1996. This CD presents twelve of Tommy's fan's favorites from the four recordings, including two previously unreleased tracks. And the price is right, being considerably lower than the price of a regular CD. The tunes are all written or co-written by Tommy and his band members, except for two, and one of those, "Hycodan," is written by his extraordinary sax player, Keith Crossan. Many of the songs are rock based, and some are rock-blues based. There are funk traces in several tracks. ˜ Just a Man" is Tommy's soulful ballad. "Hycoden" is somewhat bluesy, and easy listening music. Even though some of the rythm tracks are repetitious, Tommy shines with his dynamic guitar playing and strong vocals. In the two previously released tracks, "The Girl Can't Help It," and "Nobody Loves My Like My Baby," Tommy fires it up with some fast rock and roll music. The latter song, recorded during a sold-out night at San Francisco's famed Fillmore auditorium, can be viewed as a CD-Rom on a home computer. These songs capture the essence of Tommy Castro's creative guitar playing, his expressive vocals, and his prolific song writing abilities. This is the essential fan-tested Tommy Castro. © Maria Bainer, © August, 2001, © 1998-2001 - BluesNews : www.blues.co.nz


b. San Jose, California, USA. Castro and his music sit squarely at the centre of an evolving tradition of rock and blues. His early heroes were Eric Clapton, Mike Bloomfield and the Rolling Stones, which led him further back to the music of Muddy Waters, Freddie King, Otis Redding and Wilson Pickett. All these artists - and more - have influenced Castro in his own writing, singing and guitar playing. Castro spent many years playing with bands in the San Francisco Bay Area, and toured for two years with the Dynatones. He formed the Tommy Castro Band in 1991, which was named Club Band Of The Year for the Bay Area in 1993, and again in 1994. Regular band members have included Randy MacDonald (bass/vocals), Keith Crossan (saxophone/vocals), Billy Lee Lewis (drums/vocals), and Chris Sandoval (drums/percussion). Castro consolidated the band's success by recording Exception To The Rule, his debut album on Blind Pig Records in 1995 (the 1993 release No Foolin' had appeared on the tiny Saloon label). The band continued to record with Blind Pig over several albums - Can't Keep A Good Man Down, Right As Rain, Live At The Fillmore, and The Essential Tommy Castro, a greatest hits collection. Overall the songs followed an upbeat, blue-collar tone, full of horns and machismo. Contrasting soulful numbers included "Just A Man" on Right As Rain. In 2001 the Tommy Castro Band moved over to 33rd Street Records for Guilty Of Love and then to Heart And Soul for 2003's Gratitude, a cover album of Castro's greatest heroes. Castro earned praise and respect from many of his idols, even getting the opportunity to play with them, opening for B.B. King on tour in 2001 and 2002. His band's music gained mainstream appeal through being featured in US network television programmes, and through a residency as the house band for NBC-TV's Comedy Showcase. The eclectic flavour of 2005's Soul Shaker, marking his return to Blind Pig, featured more original compositions from Castro, who wrote or co-wrote all the tracks. Although horns and guitars still dominated, the fusion was more varied. Notable tracks included the wistful "Anytime Soon" and "The Crossanova", characterised by Crossan's funky flute. © IPC MEDIA 1996-2009, All rights reserved


According to all the press and hype and hoopla, Tommy Castro is pegged as the next big star of the blues. Long a favorite among Bay Area music fans, Castro — in the space of two album releases — has taken his music around the world and back again with a sheaf of praise from critics and old-time blues musicians alike. His music is a combination of soul-inflected rockers with the occasional slow blues or shuffle thrown into the mix to keep it honest. His vocals are laid-back and always a hair behind the beat, while his scorching guitar tone is Stevie Ray Stratocaster-approved. Crossover success does not seem out of the question. Born and raised in San Jose, CA, Castro started playing guitar at the tender age of ten. Initially inspired by Mike Bloomfield, Eric Clapton, and Elvin Bishop, he started the inevitable journey into the roots of his heroes and discovered and quickly became enamored of B.B. King, Buddy Guy, Elmore James, Muddy Waters, and Freddie King. His vocal styling came from constant listening to Ray Charles, Wilson Pickett, James Brown, and Otis Redding. After playing with numerous Bay Area groups honing his chops, he landed a gig playing guitar for the San Francisco band the Dynatones, who were then signed to Warner Brothers. The two-year stint augured well for Castro, playing to the biggest crowds he had seen up to that point and backing artists as diverse as Carla Thomas and Albert King. Returning to San Francisco, Castro formed his own group and in 1993 released his first self-produced album, No Foolin', on the dime-sized Saloon label. That same year also saw him winning the Bay Area Music Award for Best Club Band, an honor he duplicated the following year. Working as the house band on NBC's Comedy Showcase, airing after Saturday Night Live, only boosted his visibility and name value. In 1997, he won Bammies for Outstanding Blues Musician and for Outstanding Blues Album for his debut release on Blind Pig Records, Exception to the Rule. Also in 1997 Castro and his band began a three-year stint working as the house band on NBC's Comedy Showcase, which aired after Saturday Night Live. Live at the Fillmore was released in early 2000, and with everyone from industry insiders to B.B. King singing his praises, Castro appeared to be headed for bigger and better things. It was not to be, however, as in 2001 he left Blind Pig Records and recorded Guilty of Love for the small 33rd Street label. Blind Pig closed the books on their association with Castro in 2002 by releasing the career retrospective The Essential Tommy Castro. Gratitude appeared from Heart and Soul in 2003, followed by Triple Trouble (with Jimmy Hall and Lloyd Jones) later that same year from Telarc. 2005 saw Castro return to the Blind Pig label for the release of Soul Shaker, followed by Painkiller in 2007. © Cub Koda, allmusic.com


A.O.O.F.C said...

LINKp/w aoofc

Anonymous said...

Hi Neo, I really love Tommy Castro. I'm here to say hello. How are you? Best wishes, Miles (CZ)

A.O.O.F.C said...

How are you, Miles? I haven't heard from you in a while. Rock on! TTU soon