Gig Alert: Tommy Castro Tonight at The Granada

Tonight's already got a pretty full plate of musical offerings with Megadeath at The Palladium, Metric at Gilley's and The Whigs at the Loft. Hell, one could attend all of those without walking 100 yards.

But for those who's tastes are more traditional, bluesman Tommy Castro makes a stop at the Granda tonight.

Hailing out of San Jose, California, Tommy Castro has been plying his soulful take on the blues since the mid-'90s. And what makes Castro stand out amongst the throng of fretburners out there is that he can actually sing and write on the same level that he plays. Sure, his guitar playing garners most of the attention, but his vocals have been compared to Otis Redding. High praise, indeed.

Castro's most recent album is Hard Believer, and it's a jumping record in its own right. But devotees of R&B-tinged blues should check out 2007's Painkiller--there's a reason that album was named as Blues Album of the Year by several media outlets. Songs like "A Good Fool is Hard to Find" and "Err on the Side of Love" are as much indebted to Wilson Pickett as they are to B.B. King.

Castro's take on the blues is as a frame of mind, not just as a form of music. And that's an important distiction. While others may be content sticking hard to the blues formula, Tommy Castro makes you feel his blues in a variety of contexts.

Tommy Castro's singing and playing may make The Granada the warmest place in town on this chilly evening.

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Darryl Smyers
Contact: Darryl Smyers