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Tommy Castro: Right as Rain

From the first notes to “Lucky in Love,” the opener from his Right As Rain (Blind Pig 5051; 49:16), it’s easy to know where guitarist Tommy Castro is at. This chugging, Stones-ish blues-rocker and the Creedence Clearwater Revival flavored “Like an Angel” that follows it both announce Castro’s intentions loud and clear. He’s a blues rocker with an accent on the rock. The guy can play, as he demonstrates on the minor key title track, the menacing slow blues “If I Had a Nickel” and the closing shuffle “Kickin’ In.” And he does have a way with Memphis-style soul like Steve Cropper’s “Don’t Turn Your Heater Down,” which features guest vocalist Delbert McClinton, or his own soulful “I Got to Change.” But Castro is not about to knock Johnny Lang off his white blues-rock pedestal. And his heavy-handed approach is not likely to win over the hardcore blues crowd.

Originally Published