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Album Review

Tommy Castro's sixth release for the Blind Pig label, Painkiller, picks up where his 2003 set, Soul Shaker, left off. This time around, producer John Porter — who has worked with Santana, Taj Mahal, B.B. King, and Buddy Guy — positions Castro's Delbert McClinton/Southside Johnny vocal grit in front of a punchy horn section and rounds out the date with a few guest artists. Unlike many similar modern blues projects of good intentions but lackluster performances, the combinations on Painkiller never sound forced. In particular, the Albert Collins track, "A Good Fool Is Hard to Find," has Coco Montoya and Castro trading vocal jabs and guitar riffs, and Angela Strehli's passionate vocal on Freddie King's "If You Believe (In What You Do)" is likewise another highlight of this overall triumphant rock 'n' soul album.

Customer Reviews

Painkiller is the right medicine

I just saw The Tommy Castro Band last in Cleveland and what a great show it was. I went to see Majic Dick play and was treated to some new musicians playing in the traveling road show. Deanna Bogart play key boards, Ronnie Baker Brooks hopped in and added some fantastic guitar work. majic Dick added his horn to the band's great sax blower. The Painkiller CD captures the vibe from the concert better than most CDs out there. There's nothing like seeing live music, but this CD is the next best thing. What great music for a broken heart and to uplift one's soul. I'm the latest Tommy Castro band fan!

Anybody Seen Delbert?

Someone needs to call Delbert McClinton and tell him we found his missing album! Tommy Castro always makes an enjoyable and technically smooth cd. But, this time he is definitely channeling 'ol Delbert. Not that it turns out to be a bad thing. Nice touches are everywhere. Great songs with terrific beats and interesting lyrics. I'm wondering where he heard "Big Sister's Radio". Originally by The Mighty Mike Shermer Band, it has been on the Beach Music Charts in the southeast for almost a year.In fact, it was National dance song of the year for 2006. A terrific song done very well here. But, you can't top the original. That kept the cd from being a "5" star reveiw. Thanks for a great cd, Tommy!

Must see

Tommy Castro is even better live. Check him and his excellent band out. Excellent CD.


Born: 1955 in San Jose, CA

Genre: Blues

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

According to all the press and hype and hoopla for a time during the 1990s, Tommy Castro was 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 -- took his music around the world and back again with a sheaf of praise from critics and old-time blues musicians alike. His music was a combination of soul-inflected rockers with the occasional slow blues or shuffle thrown into the mix to keep it honest. His vocals were laid-back...
Full Bio
Painkiller, Tommy Castro
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Customer Ratings