BY TOM CALLAHAN
Tommy Castro is back with a brilliant, hard rocking blues album. Besides being a road warrior for decades, when people think of Tommy Castro they think of his soul tinged vocals and soaring guitar licks anchored by a red hot horn section. But then in 2012, he introduced live “The Painkillers,” a lean, mean four person band. The result on CD is The Devil You Know which marks a stripped down return to the basics for Castro.
The Devil You Know is full of Castro’s screaming guitar and loads of funky rhythms. Castro is aided by a wide array of talented guests, including Tab Benoit, Marcia Ball, Joe Bonamassa, Samantha Fish, the Holmes Brothers and Magic Dick from J. Geils fame.
Whether the Benoit swamp influenced “When I Cross the Mississippi” to the Ball aided barrelhouse piano on “Mojo Hannah” to the gospel/revival inspired beautiful vocals of the Holmes Brothers on “Step Forward” this is a great album. And then top it off with “Greedy”–a hard rocking politically inspired rant against those who closed our factories and put people out of work forever.
Tommy Castro was great with the horns. He is just as great stripped down. This is one of the best CDs of the year. And it has one of the coolest cover artworks around.
DOWNLOAD: “The Devil You Know” “When I Cross the Mississippi” and “Greedy.”