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Tommy Castro

Tommy Castro has been quietly earning his reputation as a blazing contemporary blues guitarist for some time now, and is finally coming into his own. He has been recognized for several years now by the Blues Music Awards, and his Alligator Records release “Hard Believer,” has been received with much approval.

Joining Alligator Records is a new high point in Castro’s career. “I feel that in signing with Alligator I’m making a major step forward. I’m excited about the new release and grateful for the opportunity to record for a label with such a rich history in blues and American roots music.

Born in San Jose, California in 1955, Castro first picked up a guitar at age 10. He came under the spell of Eric Clapton, Elvin Bishop, Mike Bloomfield and other blues rock players early on. As he got older, Castro moved forward by investigating the past, falling in love with the blues guitar work of Muddy Waters, B.B. King, Freddie King, Buddy Guy, Elmore James and singers like Ray Charles, Wilson Pickett and James Brown. By his late 20s he was playing in a variety of San Francisco-area blues and soul bands.

Castro joined Warner Brothers artists The Dynatones in the late 1980s. The much-loved rocking soul band had a huge fan base and toured the U.S. constantly. He honed his chops with the band on the road for two years, performing live all across the country and backing major artists like Carla Thomas and Albert King. He formed The Tommy Castro Band in 1991 and won the Bay Area Music Award for Best Club Band in both 1993 and 1994. With his local fan base quickly expanding, he released his debut album, “Exception To The Rule,” in 1996 on Blind Pig. He began touring nationally with his band, picking up new fans everywhere he went. The album won the 1997 Bay Area Music Award for Outstanding Blues Album, and Castro also took the award for Outstanding Blues Musician that same year.

In the mid-1990s The Tommy Castro Band served as the house band for three seasons on NBC Television’s Comedy Showcase (airing right after Saturday Night Live), bringing him in front of millions of viewers every week. During the 1990s and into the 2000s, Castro released a series of critically acclaimed CDs for Blind Pig, Telarc and 33rd Street Records as well as one on his own Heart And Soul label. In 2001 and 2002 the legendary B.B. King asked Castro to open his summer concert tours. Castro received an open invitation to join the King Of The Blues on stage for the nightly finale.

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Album Review

Tommy Castro & The Painkillers: Method to My Madness

Read "Method to My Madness" reviewed by Jim Trageser

Few have epitomized the workingman nature of the blues as much as Tommy Castro. A popular staple of blues festivals and cruises, and steadily in demand since he issued his debut in 1994, Castro nevertheless has always somewhat resided in the second tier of blues artists: Popular, well-liked, kept working steadily, but not considered one of the greats. And yet, even as he heads into his 60s, the Bay Area resident keeps growing, keeps pushing --continues to show ...

Album Review

Tommy Castro/Jimmy Hall/Lloyd Jones: Triple Trouble

Read "Triple Trouble" reviewed by C. Michael Bailey

Backed by the newest star rhythm section, Double Trouble, three rather disparate characters get together and discover what they have in common. While this underpinning might suggest otherwise, this is not strictly a blues album. It might be a rhythm and blues, but this is not the regular stuff. Tommy Castro, for example, has been playing in roadhouses for the past decade on other labels. No, this is a bit like an updated Wet Willie, the band for whom Jimmy ...

Album Review

Tommy Castro: Live at the Fillmore

Read "Live at the Fillmore" reviewed by Ed Kopp

With his swarthy good looks and ever-smiling visage, Tommy Castro is perhaps the most telegenic blues dude going. NBC realized as much when the network appointed Castro music director of its program Comedy Showcase. Blind Pig realized it when the label released a concert video to accompany Castro's new CD, recorded live at the Fillmore Auditorium in his native San Francisco.

Castro is more than a pretty-boy charmer, though. He's also a soulful singer, a fleet-fingered Strato-blaster, and a talented ...

Album Review

Tommy Castro: Right as Rain

Read "Right as Rain" reviewed by Ed Kopp

Originally pegged as the Bay area's answer to Stevie Ray Vaughn, Tommy Castro is an ace guitarist and supremely soulful singer. However, his music is more evocative of Memphis-style soul and roots-rock than Vaughn's Texas blues. Right As Rain features flaming guitar solos, slick backup vocal choruses, jumping Memphis horns and famous guest stars (McClinton and Dr. John). It's a crossover album sure to garner the artist widespread attention beyond the blues world. Still, this one seems overly ...

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Performance / Tour

Blues/Roots Guitarist & Vocalist Tommy Castro to Perform in Sellersville

Blues/Roots Guitarist & Vocalist Tommy Castro to Perform in Sellersville

Source: Chris M. Slawecki

"Tommy Castro can do no wrong...soulful, heartfelt vocals, and exquisite, stellar guitar work. A seamless blend of blues, gospel-flavored R&B, soul and roadhouse rock." —Blues Revue Blues/roots guitarist and vocalist Tommy Castro will perform at the Sellersville Theater in Sellersville on Wednesday, August 24, 2011. Castro will be performing songs from his Alligator Records debut, Hard Believer. Castro won four 2010 Blues Music Awards—more than any other artist—including, for the second time in his career, the coveted B.B. King Entertainer ...



Peekskill NY - Jazz & Blues Festival Starring Blues Music Award winner Tommy Castro Band

Peekskill NY - Jazz & Blues Festival Starring  Blues Music Award winner Tommy Castro Band

Source: floyd kitty

Fifth Annual Outdoor Peekskill Jazz & Blues Festival 2011 presented by the Peekskill Business Improvement District and D. Bertolini & Sons. Saturday, July 30, 2011 3pm-10:00 PM. Free and Open to the Public Located near Gazebo on Division Street in Downtown Peekskill Featuring FREE Live Performances by JAZZ and BLUES GREATS: Tommy Castro Band The Curtis Brothers Chris Massey Nue Jazz Project Akoya Afrobeat Ensemble Gary Walker, WBGO ...


Award / Grant

Tommy Castro Collects Four Blues Music Awards

Tommy Castro Collects Four Blues Music Awards

Source: All About Jazz

Singer-guitarist Tommy Castro scooped up four Blues Music Awards at the non-profit Blues Foundation's annual ceremony, held in Memphis on Thursday. During the Cook Convention Center fete, journeyman Castro received the B.B. King Entertainer of the Year Award, and also took home honors for band of the year, best contemporary blues male artist and best contemporary blues album (for “Hard Believer," on Chicago indie Alligator Records). Singer-guitarist Joe Louis Walker's “Between a Rock and the Blues," issued by Canada's Stony ...


Performance / Tour

Tommy Castro & Coco Montoya to Perform at Keswick Theatre (Glenside, PA)

Tommy Castro & Coco Montoya to Perform at Keswick Theatre (Glenside, PA)

Source: Michael Ricci


Sunday, November 22nd, 7:00 p.m. Keswick Theatre: 291 N. Keswick Ave. Glenside, PA 215-572-7650 keswicktheatre.com $27.50 - $33.50

Tommy Castro Tommy Castro, winner of the 2008 Blues Music Award as Entertainer Of The Year, will celebrate the release of his Alligator Records debut, Hard Believer, with a live performance in Glenside on November 22, 2009. Blues Revue says, “Tommy Castro can ...

“Phenomenal and funky…soulful vocals and inspired blues-rock guitar.” —Washington Post

“Funky Southern soul, big city blues and classic rock…silvery guitar licks that simultaneously sound familiar and fresh.” —San Francisco Chronicle



Recordings: As Leader | As Sideperson

Method to My Madness

Alligator Records


Hard Believer

Alligator Records


Triple Trouble

Telarc Records


Live at the Fillmore

Blind Pig Records


Right as Rain

Blind Pig Records




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