Shed away your stress and take a break from life when Tommy Castro & The Painkillers come to town Saturday. The experienced blues-rock guitarist plays at the Levitt AMP Concert Series hosted by the Brewery Arts Center at The Change Companies Stage. “It’s our job to put a good show together that lifts everybody up for a bit,” Castro said. “Music lifts people’s spirits and takes away their problems for a while.” Castro said his intention is to stay true to the blues’ roots and let people enjoy themselves as he “takes them on a nice little ride and keep them away from their troubles.” Castro is no stranger to the area, playing throughout for many years, but this will be the first time he’s playing the Levitt AMP Concert Series. “We’ve got a lot of friends up there,” he said. The show on Saturday kicks off the beginning the band’s tour. They’ve had a few shows here and there, but Castro said they’ll be getting in the full swing of things with shows lined up in Folsom, Northern California, and the Pacific Northwest afterward. He’s happy to be back at it and shake away the pandemic blues. “This pandemic came along and gave everyone a wakeup call,” he said. “It gave a whole new level of appreciation for what it is.” Castro said after 25 years, he just expected there’d be shows all the time but the pandemic changed that outlook. He appreciates his fans coming back and he said they want to put out good new music and put on the best shows they can. “We really miss playing and sometimes we really just take for granted that these things are going to be there for us,” he said. NEW ALBUM Castro’s newest album, “A Blues Man Came to Town” is set to be released Sept. 17 on Alligator Records. He worked on it with Grammy Award-winning producer Tom Hambridge, who also co-wrote most of the songs. “He’s kind of a big deal when it comes to blues,” Castro said. “He’s worked with almost everybody out there.” Castro said he did a different process for this one and he really enjoyed it. “A Blues Man Came to Town” is his version of a rock opera, but in a blues style. Each one of the songs comes together to tell a story throughout the album. “It’s tricky to put songs together that put a whole story together and still have the album flow song to song in different style and tempo and groove,” he said. THE PAINKILLERS Castro has been touring with The Painkillers for a while. “Everybody has been playing together for a solid five years, so we really have nice chemistry and groove,” Castro said. Randy McDonald has played bass with Castro for 30 years. Bowen Brown is on the drum kit. He joined about seven years ago, but he spent a lot of time touring with John Lee Hooker. Castro said he’s a seasoned musician and happy he jumped on board. “He’s got a style of his own,” Castro said. Michael Emerson is on keys, playing a piano and a B3 organ, producing traditional sounds and not a lot of synthesizers. He can play all styles of rock, blues, R&B and soul. “He’s a virtuoso of sorts,” Castro said. So come out Saturday night and let Castro take you away from your troubles, for a night of blues.
IF YOU GO WHAT: Tommy Castro & The Painkillers with opening band Carolyn Dolan and Big Red at Brewery Art Center’s Levitt AMP Concert Series WHERE: The Change Companies Stage, 449 West King St. at the Brewery Arts Center WHEN: 7 p.m. Saturday, July 24 MORE INFO: breweryarts.org https://www.tommycastro.com on Twitter and Instagram: @tommycastroband
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