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Doors 7:30pm // Show 8:30pm // 21+ // $38 Advance & $43 Day of Show
Mystic Theatre Presents:
TOMMY CASTRO & THE PAIN KILLERS with VOLKER STRIFLER BAND
A BLUESMAN CAME TO TOWN a blues odyssey
“Castro is one of the brightest stars in the blues-soul genre. Voracious blues energy and ultimate soulpower...impassioned vocals and pure inventiveness inhis stellar guitar solos.” –Blues Music Magazine
“Sizzling, slow-burning, gritty blues and rock...shimmering, swampy, downright funky vibes drenchedwith Castro’s stinging, pure and crisp lead runs andfluid, jet-fueled solos.” –Living Blues
“Soul-baring, roadhouse-meets-church, Memphisguitar licks...gritty voice...Southern colors and rootsytextures.” –Washington Post
“The hardest thing to do,” says internationally belovedsoul-blues rocker Tommy Castro, “is be yourself, takesome chances and bring your fans along with you.”Throughout his long, constantly evolving career,guitarist, singer and songwriter Tommy Castro hasalways remained true to himself while exploring,growing and creating new music, and he has taken
his thousands of devoted fans right along with him.Since his solo debut in 1994, he’s made 16 albums—the last seven for Alligator—each its own uniquechapter in the book of Tommy Castro. Ranging fromhorn-fueled R&B to piping hot blues to fiery, stripped-down rock ‘n’ roll, each release is solidly built uponCastro’s unshakable musical foundation—a dynamicmix of 1960s-influenced guitar-fueled blues, testifyingMemphis-soaked blue-eyed soul and Latin-tinged EastSan Jose funk, all driven by Castro’s grab-you-by-the-collar vocals and passionate guitar work. BluesRevue declared, “Tommy Castro can do no wrong.”
For Castro’s new album, a roots music odyssey entitled Tommy Castro Presents A Bluesman Came ToTown, he tells a timeless story. This special projectwas composed by Castro along with Grammy Award-winning producer Tom Hambridge. Through its 13songs, A Bluesman Came To Town tells the tale of ayoung man working on his family farm who gets bittenby the blues bug. He masters the guitar and heads outon the road seeking fame and fortune, only to find whathe’s left behind is the treasure he’s been looking for.Each memorable song—from the blistering title trackto the pleading Child Don’t Go to the hopeful I CaughtA Break to the emotional Blues Prisoner—stands onits own, as well as contributing to the larger story.
“I like to keep things fresh and interesting,” saysCastro, “Tom and I have talked about making a recordtogether for a long time. Collaborating with him waseven better than I imagined. I had an outline for thestory and then Tom and I talked it out and the songsjust started to organically grow out of each other.”Castro continues, “A Bluesman Came To Town isn’ta story about me. It’s pulled from some of my friends’and my experiences though. I’ve seen first-hand for
a lot of years what it’s like out there on the road.”
The road has always been Castro’s home away fromhome. He’ll instantly ignite a crowd, turn them intoloyal fans and then keep those fans coming back for more. He has traveled hundreds of thousands ofmiles and performed thousands of gigs, leading hisbands at clubs, concert halls, and festivals all overthe world. Famed guitarist Joe Bonamassa says,“Tommy has always been top of the heap among bluesguitar players. He always puts on a great show.”
Born in San Jose, California in 1955, Tommy Castrofirst picked up a guitar at age 10. He fell under the spellof Elvin Bishop, Taj Mahal, Mike Bloomfield and otherblues artists of the day. Almost every major rock andsoul act, from Ike and Tina Turner to Janis Joplin tothe J. Geils Band to Tower Of Power, toured throughthe area, and Castro was at every show. He saw JohnLee Hooker, Albert King, and Buddy Guy and JuniorWells at the same local blues bar, JJ’s, where he oftenjammed, dreaming of one day busting out. Mixing theblues and rock and roll he loved and the soul music
he heard blasting from lowriders in his neighborhoodTommy started to create his own personal sound and
style. He honed his guitar skills and intense, grittyvocals, learning how to capture an audience as heperformed on San Francisco’s highly competitive clubscene. As his reputation spread, Tommy played in avariety of Bay Area bands, soon making a name forhimself as a hotter-than-hot live artist bursting at theseams with talent. In 1985, he was recruited to becomelead singer and guitarist for the regionally popularblues band NiteCry, gigging regularly throughoutNorthern California. Castro joined Warner Brothers’artists The Dynatones in the late 1980s, performing allover the country. He formed the first Tommy CastroBand in 1992 and has not stopped touring since. In1995, soon after releasing his first album on Blind PigRecords, The Tommy Castro Band was selected as
the house band for three seasons on NBC Television’sComedy Showcase (airing right after Saturday NightLive). The show brought him in front of millions ofviewers every week and cemented his reputation as anot-to-be-missed, nationally touring live performer.
After a series of successful releases on the Blind Pig,Telarc and 33rd Street labels, Tommy Castro joinedAlligator Records in 2009. His label debut, HardBeliever, was released to massive popular and criticalacclaim. With the album, Castro won four of his sixcareer Blues Music Awards, including the coveted
B.B. King Entertainer Of The Year Award (the veryhighest award a blues performer can receive). In 2012,Castro stripped his music down to its raw essence,creating a high-energy, larger-than-life sound with
the formation of The Painkillers. Tommy Castro &The Painkillers’ initial release, The Devil You Know,was embraced by his legion of fans and discovered
by hordes of new ones. With the current version ofThe Painkillers (bassist Randy McDonald, drummerBowen Brown and keyboardist Michael Emerson),Castro released Method To My Madness in 2015,Stompin’ Ground in 2017, and the irresistible Killin’It–Live in 2019, with critics shouting praise andadmirers cheering the group’s every move. The bandhas coalesced into one of the telepathically tightestunits Castro has ever assembled, making them one ofthe most in-demand live roots music acts performingtoday, delivering soul-shaking, muscular music.
Castro’s relentless road-dog approach—gig after gig, night after night—has won him loyal, lifelongfans everywhere he plays. The Washington Post
says Castro is “phenomenal and funky” with “soulfulvocals and inspired blues guitar.” The San FranciscoChronicle describes Castro’s music as, “funkySouthern soul, big city blues and classic rock...silveryguitar licks that simultaneously sound familiar andfresh.” No Depression says “Castro plays gritty, string-bending blues like a runaway train...a gloriousblend that rocks the soul and lifts the spirits.”
Upon release of A Bluesman Came To Town,Castro will hit the road with The Painkillers,performing fan favorites as well as songs from thenew album. “I’ve made seven albums for Alligator,”Castro says, “and I’ve never made the same recordtwice. I will always try to be my most authentic self.I give it all I’ve got every time we hit the stage!”
plus VOLKER STRIFLER
Tommy Castro and the Painkillers