Tommy Castro

Right as Rain

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Young guitar slinger Tommy Castro came back with his third Blind Pig album in early 1999, again produced by veteran Jim Gaines (Stevie Ray, Santana, Huey Lewis, etc.), and it's another bid for mainstream blues-rock success. From the opening notes of the kickoff tune, "Lucky in Love," Castro is in the driver's seat with a set of blues-rock originals that give him plenty of room to spray his Stevie Ray-inspired guitar licks in between his soul-man vocals. Dr. John makes guest keyboard appearances on "I've Got to Love Somebody's Baby" and "Don't Turn Your Heater Down," the latter also sporting a guest vocal turn from Delbert McClinton. An off-the-wall cover choice is "Chairman of the Board," sandwiched between solid originals like the ballad "Just a Man" and the funky "My Kind of Woman." There isn't much hard blues on this outing, but Castro continues to define his own spin on the form without being just another pretty-boy Stevie Ray Vaughan-abee in the process -- this being a very good thing.

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