released in 2000 from BLIND PIG RECORDS
available at >>

Recorded in March of 1999 in front of a sold-out house at the famed auditorium, Live At The Fillmore showcases Tommy's command of blues, southern soul, and roots rock. The enhanced CD (with interview and performance excerpts) features live performances of tracks from Tommy's previous Blind Pig releases, along with two cuts Tommy has never recorded before ("The Girl Can't Help It" and "Sex Machine"). In addition, his usual quartet is augmented by Jimmy Pugh of the Robert Cray band on keyboards and Tom Poole on trumpet.

Live At The Fillmore is a multi-format release from Blind Pig. In addition to the enhanced CD, this "take no prisoners" performance is available on both VHS videotape and Digital Video Disc (DVD). The video programs vary slightly from the CD: the videos contain complete interview footage while the CD has four tracks not available on the videos.

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Within the space of a few short years, The Tommy Castro Band has gone from being San Francisco's most popular bar band (and best kept musical secret) to international acclaim as one of the most compelling acts on the scene, with weekly appearances on national network television, headline slots at major festivals, and as arena openers for artists such as Robert Cray, John Lee Hooker, and Etta James.

As evidenced on Live At The Fillmore, it is Castro's ability to command a stage that has won him fans around the world. Tommy has wowed and won fans in every town he has played in and every stage he's performed on. His riveting and remarkable stage presence grows stronger by the tour. Considering his innate charisma and his skills as a supremely talented guitarist, gifted vocalist, and engaging songwriter, it is easy to see why Tommy Castro stands on the verge of a major breakthrough to mainstream popularity.

Born and raised in San Jose, California, Tommy Castro expressed interest in learning to play the guitar at age ten. Young Castro was initially inspired by the likes of Eric Clapton, Mike Bloomfield and Elvin Bishop. Later, wanting to know who their influences were, Tommy became enthralled with the guitar playing of B.B.King, Buddy Guy, Muddy Waters, Elmore James and Freddie King, as well as the vocal stylings of Ray Charles, Otis Redding, Wilson Pickett and James Brown.

Castro went on to play with many Bay Area bands. "When I was a kid, music was something I did for fun. Later, it became obvious to me that playing music was the thing I was meant to do so I made a decision to pursue it as a career." Far two years he toured the U.S. extensively with Warner Brothers recording artist, The Dynatones.

In 1991, he formed The Tommy Castro Band (which included current members rhythm mainstay Randy McDonald on bass and saxophonist extraordinaire Keith Crossan), and they quickly became one of the hardest-working and most popular groups in the Bay Area. In 1993 they were named "Club Band of the Year" at the Bay Area Music Awards, an especially prestigious honor since it is a write-in category that includes all musical genres. They won the distinguished award, regarded as an indicator of future success, again in 1994. Previous recipients of the award include Chris Isaak and Huey Lewis and the News.

Tommy's first major release, 1996's stunning Blind Pig debut, Exception to the Rule, garnered near unanimous raves from blues and mainstream publications around the world as the press took notice of a great new artist on the scene.

Industry trades took notice as well. Calling him "an up-and-coming blues phenom,"Billboard said, "Castro combines the earthy soulfulness of Albert Collins and B.B.King with the polish of Robert Cray." And importantly, the radio industry trade's insider "bible,"The Gavin Report, said of the album: "Castro has etched one of those rare blues records that rises above the usual cliches of the genre. Castro is the awesome exception to the blues rule...the next blues rock hero."

The largest-selling blues magazine in the world,Blues Revue, stated, "Castro's energy and charisma leap right out of each and every one of the cuts on the album. Castro's clearly got the goods and knows how to use them. All in all, this album does justice to a gifted performer."Living Blues, perhaps the most respected blues publication in the world offered, "Castro's stinging, clean guitar tone shines. A talented guitarist who shows much promise, Tommy Castro can play with both scorching power and restraint."

Even mainstream music magazines were lavish in their praise, withMusician magazine exclaiming, "Castro could be a star," whileGuitar magazine noted, "It's straightforward, grooving blues that'll get your feet moving."

Castro released his second album for Blind Pig Records in 1997, Can't Keep A Good Man Down. It was produced by talented Jim Gaines, (known for his production with Stevie Ray Vaughan, Santana, and Huey Lewis, among many others), and offered listeners a heady mix of Tommy's trademark slashing guitar work and his commanding vocal skills.

The radio tradeAlbum Network said "this recording burns through a mixture of blues, rhythm & blues and a splash of rock & roll. Castro is the real deal." The CD soon received continuous airplay and regular fan requests on well over 400 radio stations nationwide. Castro was featured on the cover ofBlues Revue with a highly laudatory feature article. Another national publication,Blues Access, highlighted Castro's burgeoning appeal: "If you're looking for driving blues-rock with soulful vocal can a Souther accent, your search is over. This is party music, good-time music and music with the potential to appeal to an audience outside of the blues crowd."

One recognition of this mainstream appeal came with the selection of the Castro group byHBO Productions as the house band forNBC-TV's "Comedy Showcase," airing after that network's legendary "Saturday Night Live." The band was recently re-signed for their third season on the show. Castro's music has also been featured in network television programs such as "Nash Bridges" and "The Young and the Restless."

Prominent observers of the blues such as B.B.King and Carlos Santana have all along extolled Tommy's dynamic musicianship and pointed to him as being among a small few that represent the future of the blues. Santana offered, "The blues is in good hands. This is the person who has the voice, the sound, and the right intentions to touch everybody's heart."

While Castro's fame and reputation were spreading across continents following the release of his two studio albums, his popularity in the Bay Area continued unabated. In 1997 Tommy won a BAMMIE award as the Bay Area's "Outstanding Blues Musician," and another for "Outstanding Blues Album" for his first Blind Pig release Exception to the Rule. In early 1998, The Tommy Castro Band, with the added rock n' roll punch of new drummer Billy Lee Lewis, sold out San Francisco's legendary Fillmore Auditorium in the midst of a huge El Nino hailstorm, turning hundreds more away at the door. Later in the year Castro and his band won the honor of being recognized and voted 1998's "Best Local Band" among any genre by readers of Northern California's most popular and respected independent weekly, theSan Francisco Bay Guardian. And in September of 1998, Tommy made a triumphant return to the oldest, and one of the most prestigious, blues festivals in the country, theSan Francisco Blues Festival. His dynamic appearance there promptedBlues Revue to exclaim that even among blues heavyweights playing there such as Taj Mahal, Irma Thomas and Robert Cray, "it was guitar ace Tommy Castro who garnered the loudest cheers."

Castro's next recording, Right as Rain, was once again produced by Grammy-award winner Jim Gaines. His third album for Blind Pig Records and his strongest release to date, the CD showcases Castro's electrifying blue-collar rock'n'soul music. The result is an engaging twelve-tune presentation that features guest appearances by roots rock legends Dr.John and Delbert McClinton, along with Jimmy Pugh, Robert Cray's masterful keyboardist. Castro also received back-up vocal assistance on several selections from the Bay Area's world-class modern gospel choir, The Glide Ensemble.Guitar magazine said, "With soulful, non-nonsense vocals and a prevalent horn sound, Castro creates an accessible, Stax/Volt vibe. The guitar soars any time he decides to cut loose, but the songs also benefit from his ability to play with tasteful restraint."Playboy added, "Worshiped for his guitar virtuosity, Castro throws a bit more rock and two bits of soul into his basic blues mix on Right as Rain. He has the voice, the band, and the guitar to pull it off." And readers ofBlues Revue voted the CD one of the best 40 albums of all time!

1999 also saw Tommy and the band getting even greater visibility on television. They were spotlighted in a segment of "Evening Magazine" on the CBS-TV affiliate in San Francisco, and local rock radio station KFOG produced a TV special that featured live performances by Castro's band as well as Dave Matthews. Nationally, the Direct TV cable network repeatedly ran an interview and feature on The Tommy Castro Band on their "In Tune" program. And internationally, Tommy was seen around the world on CNN's "the Shelf" show.

Entering the 21st century, Tommy Castro and his explosive band, with their mesmerizing and unique blend of rock, blues, and Memphis soul, are sure to further solidify their hold on a legion of worldwide fans and continue their astonishing capture of both critical acclaim and dedicated new believers.