- Released: May 1, 1997
- Label: Blind Pig
Down Beat - 9/97, p.524 stars (out of 5)
- "...Castro upgrades his blues status from promising talent to fully developed master....Castro can burn with the best..."
- 1.Can't Keep A Good Man Down
- 2.You Knew The Job Was Dangerous
- 3.Suitcase Full Of Blues
- 4.You Gotta Do What You Gotta Do
- 5.I Want To Show You
- 6.My Time After Awhile
- 7.Take The Highway Down
- 8.High On The Hog
- 9.You Only Go Around Once
- 10.Nobody Loves Me Like My Baby
- 12.Can't You See What You're Doing To Me
Personnel: Tommy Castro (guitar); Keith Crossan (saxophone, background vocals); Commander Cody (piano); Jim Pugh (piano, Hammond B-3 organ); Randy McDonald (bass, background vocals); Shad Harris (drums, background vocals).
Includes liner notes by Joel Selvin.
Personnel: Tommy Castro (guitar); Keith Crossan (saxophone, background vocals); Jim Pugh (piano); Randy McDonald (bass guitar, background vocals); Shad Harris (drums, background vocals).
Liner Note Author: Joel Selvin.
Recording information: Coast Recorders, San Francisco, CA.
There's a clean San Francisco sheen to Tommy Castro's second album for Blind Pig, and it's not just the glossy production work of Jim Gaines (Santana, Huey Lewis and Stevie Ray Vaughan) that's responsible for it. Castro and his band have long been local favorites of the Bay area bar crowd, and his blues-rock/soul-pop synthesis with the occasional slow blues thrown in makes him another young contender for the yuppie throne of modern bluesdom. From the opening rock strut of "Can't Keep a Good Man Down" and "You Knew the Job Was Dangerous," Castro lays down lazy, in-the-pocket vocals (the only time he hits scream territory is on the closer, Albert King's "Can't You See What You're Doing to Me") pitted against in your face guitar blasts ? la Stevie Ray Vaughan. These Texas-approved Stratocaster tones reach their apex on a five-minute-plus workout of Buddy Guy's "My Time After Awhile," where Castro literally wrenches every textbook tone and volume setting out of his instrument and makes this perhaps the most blues-approved moment of the set. A large quotient of varied originals abound, and the soulful strut of "I Want to Show You," "Take the Highway Down" and the funk jive of "High on the Hog" and "You Gotta Do What You Gotta Do" play off against the simplistic shuffle "You Only Go Around Once" and the low-down blues instrumental "Hycodan," an atmospheric duet between Castro's guitar and saxophonist Keith Crossan's late-night mood blowing. But the real blues moments are few and far between here -- this is blues-rock, no doubt about it, and the end result is music with crossover written all over it. If Huey Lewis & the News were to cut a blues album with a hotter guitar player in tow, it might end up sounding very much like this. ~ Cub Koda