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 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.

12/2/2017 Nikki Hill / Code Blues



North Carolina-bred and New Orleans-based Nikki Hill was raised in the church choir and steeped in R&B and garage rock rumble. Nikki transcends easy categorization- a spitfire with the soul-drenched voice of Etta James and the tattooed, untamable aura of a punk rocker. Just a few years ago, Nikki was a bartender with an affinity for punk and a deep love for classic R&B. At her husband Matt’s behest, she stepped out from behind the bar and onto the stage. The response was instant and electric, stunning audiences with the band’s muscular sound and Nikki’s voice and inimitable charisma.

Hill and her band have been touring extensively following the independent 2015 release Heavy Hearts Hard Fists and debut album Here’s Nikki Hill, released in 2013. With a no-filter energy and explosive live show, they deliver a sound that will make you believe in the power of rock ‘n’ roll again. Nikki’s unique voice—raw rock and soul dynamics mixed with the passion and honesty of blues shouters of the past—steers driving guitar and a tight rhythm section to create a breath of fresh air for the blues. The band includes Matt Hill on guitar, Nick Gaitan on bass, Chuck Cotton on drums, and Laura Chavez on guitar. (Chavez, lead guitarist for the Candye Kane band for many years, is a blues guitar master from California who’s been compared to everyone from Stevie Ray Vaughan to Freddie King, yet commands a playing style and sound that are truly unique.)

“It would be easy to just be a blues shouter; that’s a lot of fun,” Hill said. “But it’s always important and a challenge to get your point across when you’re not shouting. I credit learning that vocal control to being in gospel choirs, because that’s where you have to be soft or be harsh.”

Those who have seen Carolina girl Nikki Hill sing her ass off agree—this isn’t just another newcomer on the scene. Where did this fireball come from? Why haven’t I heard of her before? If you haven’t heard of Nikki Hill yet, you soon will, and once you see her perform, you won’t forget her.

“If Tina Turner and Little Richard had a daughter and raised her with the help of uncles James Brown and Chuck Berry, she’d be like Nikki Hill.”— Minneapolis Star Tribune

“Channels such rhythm and blues greats as Etta James and Ruth Brown–with a little Sam Cooke and Solomon Burke thrown in for good measure. Hill is the real deal…steeped in gospel and soul, wrapped up in a punk rock DIY ethic.”— Time Out Los Angeles


Code Blues was founded by Rick Munoz to provide a home for his soulful harmonica playing and emphatic vocal style, forged in a blues furnace and road tested on stages over the last 20 years. Joining him on the front line is Craig Louis Dingman, aka “Big Daddy”, on guitar and vocals. Big Daddy brings a jazzy touch to the proceedings with guitar and vocal incitement, and maybe a laugh or two. The bottom end is held up by Bud McCabe on bass and Mike Smothers on drums, who both bring wide ranging professional experience to the business of providing the glide to the ride. To learn more about Code Blues visit http://www.codebluesband.com/

Posts navigation

1 2 3 4 10 11 12
Scroll to top