Tommy Castro: A Bluesman Came To Town Review

WARNING: The blues bug is highly infectious and contains an addictive chemical. Sadly, this advanced disclaimer isn’t depicted on the cover of this blues odyssey about a young man that masters the guitar and heads out on the road in pursuit of fame and fortune.

Inspired by some of his friends’ experiences, as well as his own exploits undertaking a grueling touring schedule year-on-year, A Bluesman Came To Town is unshakeably the impassioned, gravelly vocals and gritty, string-bowing guitar work that make Castro the authentic and admired artist he is within the blues community.

Alongside his backing band ‘the Painkillers’, this concept album of soul-drenched blues-rock would certainly be prescribed as a healing medicine rather than a sedative agent. The recipient of numerous Blues Music Awards throughout his career including the prestigious B.B. King Entertainer Of The Year accolade, Castro is as bona fide as they come for reeling off a tale that captures the sincerity of the genre from its melancholic nature to the realisation of treasured elation.

No matter how you like your blues served, Castro and his brilliant band can serve up a little something for everyone in this town. Lead single “Somewhere” features some terrific harp playing by Jimmy Hall and immediately showcases the production ability of Tom Hambridge (two-time Grammy-award winner and Susan Tedeschi’s “secret weapon”).

The title track follows with Castro’s stinging lead and lyrical ode to the Devil’s crossroads (‘Mr Johnson told him, you want my advice’). “Hustle” is horn-fuelled and irresistibly funky, before lighting the way for “I Got Burned” which ignites with some SRV-esque bends as the longing for prominence goes up in smoke.

“Blues Prisoner” will hold you captive as Castro squeezes the deepest emotion from his Fender Strat in this sublime incarceration. “Women, Drugs and Alcohol” aptly covers the temptations of life on the road with its voracious delivery and street-level tenacity.

“I Wanna Go Back Home” deserves a mention purely for the spellbinding saxophone work, while penultimate song “Bring It On Back” brings the listener full circle as the young lad realises what he had left behind is what he’s been looking for all along.

Castro and his defiant troops remain the epitome of blood, sweat, and tears in their field and with their legion of loyal fans bound to be impressed with this latest release, there is certainly no need for either party to seek greater riches elsewhere.

The Review: 8/10

Can’t Miss Tracks

– Bluesman Came To Town
– I Got Burned
– Blues Prisoner
– I Wanna Go Back Home

The Big Hit

– Blues Prisoner

Buy the album: Amazon | Amazon UK

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