Killin’ It Live
Tommy Castro has been playing rockin’ blues for the last thirty years. He has released fifteen albums and been nominated for twelve Blues Music Awards winning six times. Two of those BMA trophies are for the “B.B. King Entertainer of The Year” award, the highest and most coveted award a blues musician can receive.
Tommy Castro fans have been asking for this album for quite awhile. Fans wanted a recording that captured the energy and excitement of his live performance. During the past year Castro recorded his live shows and chose ten songs that complete this retrospective. However this live album is much more than a greatest hits compilation.
The Painkillers were formed in 2012 as Castro decided to do away with his horn section and concentrate more on playing guitar, and songwriting. The band includes his long-time bassist Randy McDonald, keyboard wizard Mike Emerson, and in the pocket drummer Bowen Brown. All but two of the songs were written by Castro.
Four old chestnuts are from Castro’s earlier years. Castro originally recorded “Can’t Keep A Good Man Down”, the title track to his Blind Pig Records album, in 1997. Two years later he waxed “Calling San Francisco” and it appears on his “Right As Rain” follow-up. “Shakin’ The Hard Times Loose” appears on 2001’s “Guilty of Love” on 33rd Street Records. Then in 2005 Castro released “Soul Shaker”, also on Blind Pig and containing the track “Anytime Soon”, and received his first two BMA nominations. Two years later Castro won his first “Entertainer of the Year” award.
In an unprecedented move Castro decided to switch labels and sign with Alligator Records. His Alligator debut “Hard Believer” included the song “Make It Back To Memphis”. As a direct result Castro won four more BMA’s including his second win as “B.B. King Entertainer Of The Year”. The often requested “She Wanted to Give It to Me” was recorded in 2014. Both “Lose Lose” and “Two Hearts” appear on Castro’s 2015 Alligator album “Method To My Madness”.
Also included are two fabulous covers. Buddy Miles’ “Them Changes” was first covered by Castro on 2017’s “Stompin’ Ground”. The other cover is Sleepy John Estes’ “Leaving Trunk” popularized when it was recorded by Taj Mahal in 1968; Castro has been including this in his live shows for the last five years but has never before recorded it.
The power and passion that Castro conveys in his live performance is captured here. If you miss his show this is the next best thing to being there. You can enjoy this recording, again and again, whenever you please. Thank you, Mr. Tommy Castro.