Tommy Castro & the Painkillers
October 26, 2016 · Wednesday * 7:30pm * $25
“Funky Southern soul, big city blues and classic rock… silvery guitar licks that simultaneously sound familiar and fresh.” –San Francisco Chronicle
Over the course of his four-decade career Tommy Castro – a six-time Blues Music Award-winner – has played thousands of shows to hundreds of thousands of fans, packing seats and dance floors, always leaving them screaming for more. Hailing from the San Francisco area, Castro, along with his band, The Painkillers (featuring bassist Randy McDonald, keyboardist Michael Emerson and drummer Bowen Brown), play music that is guaranteed to fire up fans and leave critics searching for new words of praise.
Method To My Madness finds Tommy Castro & The Painkillers at their very best. It is an instant career highlight in a lifetime full of them. Tommy Castro & The Painkillers continue to break new ground while simultaneously having an incredible amount of fun.
Born in San Jose, California in 1955, Tommy Castro first picked up a guitar at age 10. He fell under the spell of Eric Clapton, Elvin Bishop, Mike Bloomfield and other blues rock players. As he got older, Castro discovered 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 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 before forming The Tommy Castro Band in 1991. He released his debut album in 1996 on Blind Pig and began his decades of relentless, year-round, touring, and picking up new fans everywhere he went. During the 1990s and into the 2000s, Castro released a series of critically acclaimed CDs for the Blind Pig, Telarc and 33rd Street labels as well as one on his own Heart And Soul label.
Castro joined Alligator Records in 2009, releasing Hard Believer to massive acclaim. He won four of his six career Blues Music Awards including the coveted B.B. King Entertainer Of The Year Award (the very highest award a blues performer can receive). His song Hard Believer took first place in the blues category of the 2012 International Songwriting Competition.
His next release, 2011’s Tommy Castro Presents The Legendary Rhythm & Blues Revue–Live! was a fiery collection of the highlights from a series of live performances anchored by Castro and an all-star collection of nationally recognized blues musicians, including Rick Estrin, Michael “Iron Man” Burks and Joe Louis Walker.
Tommy Castro And The Painkillers continue to tour non-stop, playing hundreds of dates at clubs, festivals and concert halls all over the United States, Canada and Europe. Of Method To My Madness Castro says, “I was trying to get back to my basic ingredients: blues and soul. I went for the energy of connecting with my band. We kept everything raw, capturing the feeling of playing live. I’m not about being perfect,” he says, summing up. “I’m about being real.”