RANDY McDONALD (Bass)
Randy McDonald was born in Harrisburg, PA but he moved to San Diego at the age of 1o and immediately adapted to “that” lifestyle. By the age of 15 he had the urge to begin performing as his father had done throughout his younger years. When asked why he chose to play the bass, Randy replied, “I was just anxious to perform/jam and get onto the stage. Since Peter Wolf already stole my spot fronting the J. Geils Band, I decided my quickest path was to pick up the bass and become one of the few players around. There must have been ten guitarists to every bass player. I was soon jamming with several different Blues and Rock bands. To this day, bass has always allowed me to find my groove.”
Randy was influenced by many styles of music, from his father’s straight-ahead jazz to the hard rock and blues bands of the 1970s. In 1982 and again in 1983, Randy was totally captivated by a performace of The Dynatones. “My appreciation for soul music was growing. Then I heard this sound from San Francisco. It was The Dynatones, a six-piece Blue Eyed soul band kickin’ out 60s soul and blues with amazing enthusiasm. And they could dance too!” Bandleader Big Walter Shufflesworth was impressed by Randy’s enthusiasm and asked him to join the group. “Suddenly I was touring the country, tearing up the club circuit, and getting a thorough education,” says Randy. Throughout his ten years with the group, Randy recorded four albums and met and played with countless legends.
In 1992, after one million miles on the road, he was ready for a break. With a growing family at home, Randy said goodbye to the ‘Tones and their guitarist at the time, Tommy Castro. “In parting, I casually mentioned to Tommy that we should stay in touch.” Eight months later Randy got a call from Tommy, who was now ready to start his own band; his first recruit was Randy McDonald. Together they formed The Tommy Castro Band. This sixteen year relationship generated seven releases and worldwide acclaim as one of the tightest bands performing anywhere.
In 2007, Randy reluctantly left the TCB after sixteen years of “soulful service” for personal reasons. Now, in 2012, after a five year hiatus, he’s bringing his style and sound back to the TCB. “He had been with me from the beginning as a major contributor to the music we were playing. And as road manager, his strange gift for logistics and routing kept the band on the move around the clock,” says Tommy. “Randy was a big part of the Tommy Castro sound; I’m excited to have him back.”
BYRON CAGE (drums)
Anthony Byron Cage, a young native of Syracuse NY, grew up heavily influenced by gospel and jazz music. With no official training, what sparked his interest in music was watching his family members play instruments in the church. Performing in national acts since late 2009, he looks forward to continued success in the years to come. Byron proudly endorses Viper Drums, Soultone Cymbals and Los Cabos Drum Sticks. (photo by Pedro Waddington)
JAMES PACE (keyboards)
I spent my early twenties touring with a jam band, “Rebus” and my mid-twenties working with Australian Artists and Blind Pig Recording Artist, Harper, for about 2 years as his bass player (running left hand bass on a B3 Organ) and keyboardist.
Somewhere around twenty-nine I started touring with a Serbian born blues woman named Ana Popovic, a gig I continued for three years. The opportunity afforded me the chance to live in Amsterdam, Holland and tour throughout Europe during the summer of 2011. We had some great shows thoughout Europe and even got to open for B.B. King a couple of times in Germany.
After returning to my home town in Roanoke, VA for a few months and performed around town with one of my favorite artists Hoppie Vaught and my brother Cyrus Pace. I’m excited to relocate to San Francisco to start working with Tommy Castro, an incredible blues and soul artist.
Over the years, I have had the pleasure of recording on over 30 albums with some great bands and musicians. I have been hired by or shared the stage with such great performers as B.B. King, Buddy Guy, Robert Cray, Los Lobos, Los Lonely Boys, Blue Note Recording artist Rodney Jones, Wayne Krantz (of Steely Dan), Janiva Magness, Blues Travelers, John Popper and many others who have inspired me to continue to do what I do and to get better at it.