TOMMY CASTRO AND THE PAINKILLERS Stompin’ Ground Record Release Tour
Award-winning guitarist/vocalist/songwriter Tommy Castro is famed for his signature brand of tough, rocking rhythm and blues, thrilling fans around the world with his incendiary live performances. Born in San Jose, Tommy Castro first picked up a guitar at age 10. He came under the spell of Eric Clapton, Elvin Bishop, Mike Bloomfield and other blues rock players early on. Later, Tommy moved forward, falling in love with the blues guitar work of Muddy Waters, B.B. King, Buddy Guy, and Elmore James. By his late 20s he was playing in a variety of San Francisco-area blues and soul bands.He formed The Tommy Castro Band in 1991 and soon won Bay Area Music Awards for Best Club Band. During the 1990s and into the 2000s, Castro released a series of critically acclaimed CDs for Blind Pig, Telarc and Alligator Records; and began relentless touring, continuing to this day. His 2009 Hard Believer album helped him win four 2010 Blues Music Awards including Entertainer of The Year Award (for the second time). In 2011, he released Tommy Castro Presents The Legendary Rhythm & Blues Revue–Live! The album is a fiery collection of the highlights from live performances anchored by Castro and an all-star collection of nationally recognized blues musicians.
After years of playing guitar-driven blues and R&B backed by a tight horn section, Castro introduced The Painkillers in 2012, creating a lean, mean four-piece lineup. The Painkillers include bassist Randy McDonald, keyboardist Michael Emerson, and drummer Bowen Brown. Castro views the harder-edged sound of the Painkillers as a natural extension of the music he’s been making since he was a teenager. “The Painkillers really get me back to my roots. It feels to me a lot more like it did when I first started playing with my friends as a kid.” In 2014’s The Devil You Know (Alligator), Castro and the Painkillers stripped his music down to its raw essence. The album received a 2014 Blues Blast Music Award for Rock Blues Album of the Year. Method To My Madness (Alligator, 2015), the second release from the Painkillers, created a more relaxed, comfortable sound, with a strong undercurrent of Memphis soul. In the Painkiller’s newest release, Stompin’ Ground (Alligator, 2017), Castro both looks back with autobiographical originals and performs cover songs that inspired him, melding contemporary lyrics with blistering blues-rock. No Depression says, “Castro plays gritty, string bending blues like a runaway soul train…a glorious blend that rocks the soul and lifts the spirits.”
ORPHAN JON AND THE ABANDONED
Orphan Jon and The Abandoned are an American roots & blues band from Southern California. Blues is their lifeblood, showing in the mixture of originals and covers they bring to every show. They are a unique band that captures the traditional fan of the blues, as well as a younger audience. OJATA puts on a show that is both energetic and captivating. Front man Jon English can be moving, emotional, heartfelt and intense, and then soothing, soulful, lustful and desiring in his body language, lyrics and vocals. Guitarist Bruce Krupnik creates a flowing, rhythmic sound that invites your soul on a cosmic expedition to places you might never have been. The rhythm section includes Tony Jack Grigsby with his steady driving bass and Mike Malone with his energetic drumming. Orphan Jon and The Abandoned are a band that captures the essence of what Americana Music is all about; hard work, rough life, grinding days, moving souls, touching hearts and heartfelt love, day to day, and all the time.