Album Reviews

Music You Don't Know You Like Yet

Tommy Castro

Painkiller

2007-01-25

TOMMY CASTRO Painkiller Blind Pig, 2007 Continuing his metamorphosis from full time bluesman to one of the finest soul and R & B artists taking the stage today, Tommy Castro has crafted a disc that you could easily slip into your Delbert McClinton collection without missing a beat. Always a good singer, Castro ups the ante this time around with expert takes on everything from bouncy, R & B that could have come straight from a McClinton disc, I Roll When I Rock and Goin’ Down South, to pop, Big Sister’s Radio, to slick 70’s style soul, Err On the Side of Love. He also holds his own against one of the gold standards of blues vocalists, Angela Strehli, on the Freddie King cut, If You Believe (In What You Do). A listen to the lyrics reveals why Castro can sing with such conviction here. This is a disc about being dumped and looking for a way to get back in the love game. Virtually every track finds Castro trying to figure out his relationships. The lyrics are delivered with a passion that lets you know that Castro isn’t a mere outsider to heartache; the break in his voice on Lonesome and Then Some speaks volumes. While big brassy horns, keyboards and sassy background vocals are sprinkled liberally across nearly every track, Castro nevertheless unleashes enough guitar to keep his core blues fans along for the ride. The Albert Collins classic, A Good Fool Is Hard To Find, features Castro and special guest Coco Montoya ripping off dueling leads that will bring smiles to the faces of blues guitarists everywhere. Love Don’t Care and Painkiller rock with a fervor that recalls Castro’s harder hitting tracks on his classic disc, Right as Rain. A terrific release that you need to own. Smitty

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