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Wednesday, Mar 3 1999
Tommy Castro
On Right as Rain, Tommy Castro's third album for local blues label Blind Pig Records, the Bay Area guitarist comes on loud and strong with the kind of high-energy performance that has characterized his house-rockin' sound for the past eight years. His Stratocaster stings with the sassiness of electric-blues legend Albert Collins and the restraint of popular contemporary Robert Cray. In other words, Castro knows when not to play, and when he does, every note hits its mark.

This frees up considerable room for both his singing -- which has matured over the years into an oddly engaging mix of white-boy soul, at its impassioned best falling somewhere between the bayou edge of John Fogerty (in his early Creedence days) and the balls-out wailing of Sammy Hagar (minus the leather-pants pretensions) -- and his songs. Sharing various compositional chores with bandmates Randy McDonald (bass), Keith Crossan (sax), and Billy Lee Lewis (drums), Castro's hip-shaking tunes "Lucky in Love," "My Kind of Woman," and "Callin' San Francisco" are fueled by tight, groove-conscious arrangements and a punchy horn section. Far from drown-in-your-beer balladry, this is fully energized music for blues fans who know how to rock out.

-- Sam Prestianni

Tommy Castro appears with Steve Lucky & the Rhumba Bums and Sy Klopps Blues Band on Saturday, March 6, at 9 p.m. at the Fillmore, 1805 Geary (at Fillmore), S.F. Tickets are $15; call 775-7722.

About The Author

Sam Prestianni


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