Now on tour, blazing soul-blues rocker Tommy Castro & The Painkillers will bring their Stompin Ground Record Release Party to SLO Blues Society ’s first show of the new year, on January 27. at the SLO Veterans Hall, Grand Avenue. The show will open at 8pm with Orphan Jon and The Abandoned, an American roots & blues band from Southern California.
Castro’s musical roots run deep. His high-energy music enjoyed by fans all over the world, is inspired by the sounds he absorbed while coming of age on the rough and tumble side of San Jose, California. During the late 1960s and early 1970s, this was Castro’s home turf—his stomping ground. It was a place where the street-tough Mexican Americans and the counter-culture hippies came together to drink, smoke, laugh, party and listen to tunes—the hippies with their blues and rock, the Mexicans with their soul music. Mixing the blues-rock he loved and the soul music he heard blasting out from the lowriders cruising the streets, along with the socially conscious message songs of the day, Tommy’s own sound was born. He honed his guitar playing to a razor’s edge on the city’s competitive bar scene, where he learned how to capture an audience with his intensely passionate vocals, stellar musicianship and dynamic performances. Almost every major rock and soul act, from Ike & Tina Turner to Janis Joplin to Elvin Bishop to Taj Mahal, toured through the area, and Castro was at almost every show. He saw John Lee Hooker, Albert King and Buddy Guy & Junior Wells at the same local blues bar, JJ’s, where he often jammed, dreaming of one day busting out.
Over the course of his career, Tommy Castro’s San Jose DNA has always inspired his music, whether he’s squeezing out the deepest blues or the funkiest soul grooves. He and The Painkillers—bassist Randy McDonald, keyboardist Michael Emerson and drummer Bowen Brown—have played hundreds of shows to thousands of music lovers, always leaving his audiences screaming for more. All of his albums are filled with original blues, soul and West Coast rock, each song showing a slightly different side of Castro’s multifaceted musical personality. Billboard says the band plays “irresistible contemporary blues-rock” with “street-level grit and soul.”
This being a Stompin’ Ground release party, Castro will open windows into both his past and his always-evolving musical future as he lets loose on original and new versions of songs he learned and played as a young up-and-comer. He’ll simultaneously look back while forging a forward trail with modern lyrics atop blistering blues-rock with The Painkillers firing on all cylinders behind him. You won’t want to miss this show