TOMMY WINS INTERNATIONAL SONGWRITING COMPETITION
May 2012 - Tommy’s song and title track of his acclaimed album Hard Believer won the Best Song in the Blues Category for the 2011 International Songwriting Competition
LRBR Live! CD NOMINATED FOR A BMA
Award-winning blues and R&B guitarist/singer/songwriter Tommy Castro has become the honorary Captain of The Legendary Rhythm & Blues Cruises, where famous blues stars perform together on the open seas of the Pacific and the Caribbean. Inspired by the thrilling, no-holds-barred jam sessions on the ship, Castro decided to bring the excitement and musical spontaneity of these gigs on the road. Leading the Revue, he brings the spirit and energy of the onboard jamming to audiences all across the country.
This album is a white-hot collection of the highest highlights from the Revue’s recent live performances. In addition to Castro’s stellar fretwork and blue-eyed soul vocals, the album features harmonica master Rick Estrin, charismatic vocalist Janiva Magness, guitar giant Michael “Iron Man” Burks, award-winning string-bender Debbie Davies, soul manTheodis Ealey, R&B belter Sista Monica Parker, acclaimed singer/guitarist Joe Louis Walker and the 2008 International Blues Challenge Award winners, rising stars Trampled Under Foot.
Tommy Castro is on a non-stop mission to bring his blistering blues, soulful vocals and stellar band to as many people as possible. Between his fiery shows—supported by his Blues Music Award-winning band —and his leading role in The Legendary Rhythm & Blues Revue, Castro is succeeding beyond all expectations. In May 2010, he won four 2010 Blues Music Awards—including his second B.B. King Entertainer Of The Year Award (the highest award a blues performer can receive) plus Contemporary Blues Male Artist Of The Year and Contemporary Blues Album Of The Year (for his latest Alligator studio CD, Hard Believer).Blues Revue says, “Tommy Castro can do no wrong…soulful, heartfelt vocals, and exquisite, stellar guitar work. A seamless blend of blues, gospel-flavored R&B, soul and roadhouse rock.”
TOMMY CASTRO BAND WINS FOUR BMAs
Band of the Year!
BB King Entertainer of the Year – Tommy Castro
Contemporary Blues Artist of the Year – Tommy Castro
Contemporary Blues Album of the Year – Hard Believer
I’m sitting here in my hotel in Memphis, trying to think of what to say about last night.
All I really was hoping for was to win Band Of The Year, because my band works so hard and brings their best to the stage night after night. We backed up several artists throughout the year as the Legendary Rhythm & Blues Revue, many times without rehearsals. They do their homework and always make me proud.
We all did our part in the making of Hard Believer. The rest of the awards did surprise me. I’m humbled, honored and full of gratitude today. Thanks to all of you who voted for us. Thank you for your support, encouragement and all the very nice comments on my Facebook wall, congratulating us.
I really couldn’t do any of this without all of you in my corner.
TOMMY CASTRO FEATURED ON COVER OF 20th ANNIVERSARY ISSUE OF BLUES REVUE.
Tommy is on the cover of this month’s 20th anniversary issue of Blues Revue Magazine.
This will be the third time Tommy has been on the cover of Blues Revue.
TOMMY CASTRO FEATURED IN EDGAR AWARD WINNING NOVEL
Bruce DeSilva has a new crime novel, Rogue Island, which was published in hardcover on Oct. 12, 2010. The hero of the story is a big Tommy Castro fan who spends time listening to his music while driving around in his beat-up Ford Bronco.
The book is getting huge pre-publication buzz with rave reviews in Publishers Weekly, Kirkus Reviews and Booklist, and advance praise from 14 big-name thriller writers.
For more information on this novel, please visit the author’s website: http://www.brucedesilva.com
HARD BELIEVER AWARDS & NEWS
– “Hard Believer” has been on the Billboard Blues Chart for over 30 consecutive weeks!
– Tommy Castro Band wins 4 Blues Music Awards: Band of the Year, BB King Entertainer of the Year, Contemporary Blues Artist of the Year, Contemporary Blues Album of the Year (Hard Believer).
– Tommy’s feature on The House of Blues Radio Hour aired on 3/13 & 3/14. The HOB Radio Hour airs on 200+ stations across the U.S. and Canada. You can listen to or download the podcast of Tommy’s interview here:
– The 2009 House of Blues Listener Poll has placed Hard Believer at #2 on their top 10 CDs of 2009 list.
– Hard Believer is listed # 1 of the Top 5 Blues albums in Guitarist Magazine in France.
– “Hard Believer” was the #93 Top Seller out of all CDs sold in the San Francisco Bay Area during the first full week of the new year.
– In international news, Tommy was nominated for a 2009 Maple Blues Award in the Best International Artist category. The Maple Blues Awards are Canada’s national blues awards program. Their goal is to promote blues music across Canada, and to recognize outstanding achievement in the field.
– “Hard Believer” is number 3 on Mojo’s Best of 2009 Blues chart.
– “Hard Believer” is #11 Roots Music Report Blues Chart
HARD BELIEVER DEBUTS AT #2 ON BILLBOARD BLUES CHART
The Tommy Castro Band’s new CD is getting rave reviews and topping the charts:
#2* Debut Billboard Blues Chart
#9* Debut Billboard New Artist Chart (Heatseeker Chart)
#28* Debut Billboard Indie Artist Chart
A fantastic debut week for Tommy scanning 2,000+ units on his Alligator debut’s first week in stores. A strong start on the digital front as well as with online retailers. It was a busy blues week with new releases from Delbert, Robert Cray and Robben Ford – all of which were beat out by Tommy! Congrats!
A stellar review in Blurt (9 out of 10)
Tommy Castro’s first release for the Alligator label might just be the best yet from this veteran Bay Area blues artist. Castro has long been known for his mixture of blues, soul and rock. His world-wide touring earned him a 2008 Blues Music Award as Entertainer of the Year. But Hard Believer showcases Castro’s soulful voice, searing guitar and excellent song writing ability as it reaches new heights. Castro pays homage on this CD to the Memphis sound while not being afraid to update it for a new century.
Read the full review here — http://www.blurt-online.com/reviews/view/1392
Debuts #46* Streetpulse Weekly Independent Retail/Independent Artist Sales Chart
#2 Roots Music Report Blues Chart (#15 Debut LW)
#82 CMJ Indie-Only Radio Select Album Chart (#94 Debut LW)
#57 FMQB Non-Comm Chart (#95 Debut LW)
#141 FMQB Top 200 Airplay Chart (#167 Debut LW)
Nationally Syndicated Radio:
The House of Blues Radio Hour (TBS)
The single “It Is What It Is,” from Tommy’s Alligator debut, Hard Believer was the lead track on Blues Deluxe (8/23 – 29). You can listen to Blues Deluxe anytime by going to http://www.rootsmusicreport.com
Tommy’s single “It Is What It Is,” was featured as the House of Blues Radio Hour Blues Breaker (8/8 – 9)
“HARD BELIEVER” DEBUTS AT #1 ON AMAZON.COM’s CONTEMPORARY BLUES CHART AND #2 on iTunes Blues Chart
The new CD, “Hard Believer” from the Tommy Castro Band debuted at number one on the Amazon.com Contemporary Blues chart on August 11, 2009 as well as number 5 on the Blues chart and has risen to #170 on the overall sales rank chart of all CDs on Amazon.com. The CD also debuted at #2 on iTunes Blues chart.
ALLIGATOR RECORDS SETS AN AUGUST 11 STREET DATE FOR
TOMMY CASTRO’S HARD BELIEVER
Alligator Records has set an August 11 street date for Hard Believer, the label debut from blues, rock and R&B singer, songwriter and guitarist Tommy Castro. Castro, winner of the 2008 Blues Music Award for Entertainer Of The Year, is famed not only for his hard-hitting, impassioned vocals, soaring guitar work and his blues-infused, rocking R&B sound, but also for his striking, original songwriting and exhilarating stage show. According to The San Francisco Chronicle, “Castro navigates seriously funky Southern soul, gritty big city blues and scorching rock…his silvery guitar licks simultaneously sound familiar and fresh.” Castro, booked by the famed Rosebud Agency, will be hitting the road hard — kicking off his Hard Believer tour on August 9 in Duluth at the Bayfront Blues Festival — playing festivals and clubs all across the U.S. and Canada.
Hard Believer was produced by John Porter (B.B. King, Elvis Costello, Buddy Guy, Keb Mo, The Smiths, Otis Rush, Billy Bragg, Roxy Music) and recorded in Castro’s hometown of San Rafael, CA. The album is anchored by Castro’s soul-baring songs, filled with profound emotion and fueled by Castro’s soulful vocals, powerful guitar, and propulsive rhythms. But what really drives the songs home is Castro’s telepathic interaction with his band. The group operates as a single engine, firing on all cylinders, sometimes pushing the pedal to the floor, other times slowing things down for a simmering ballad.
Born in San Jose, California in 1955, Castro first picked up a guitar at age 10. He came under the spell of Eric Clapton, Elvin Bishop, Mike Bloomfield and other blues rock players early on. As he got older, Castro moved forward by investigating the past, falling in love with the blues guitar work of Muddy Waters, B.B. King, Freddie King, Buddy Guy, Elmore James and singers like Ray Charles, Wilson Pickett and James Brown. By his late 20s he was playing in a variety of San Francisco-area blues and soul bands.
Castro joined Warner Brothers artists The Dynatones in the late 1980s. The much-loved rocking soul band had a huge fan base and toured the U.S. constantly. He honed his chops with the band on the road for two years, performing live all across the country and backing major artists like Carla Thomas and Albert King. He formed The Tommy Castro Band in 1991 and won the Bay Area Music Award for Best Club Band in both 1993 and 1994. With his local fan base quickly expanding, he released his debut album, Exception To The Rule, in 1996 on Blind Pig. He began touring nationally with his band, picking up new fans everywhere he went. The album won the 1997 Bay Area Music Award for Outstanding Blues Album, and Castro also took the award for Outstanding Blues Musician that same year.
In the mid-1990s The Tommy Castro Band served as the house band for three seasons on NBC Television’s Comedy Showcase (airing right after Saturday Night Live), bringing him in front of millions of viewers every week. During the 1990s and into the 2000s, Castro released a series of critically acclaimed CDs for Blind Pig, Telarc and 33rd Street Records as well as one on his own Heart And Soul label. In 2001 and 2002 the legendary B.B. King asked Castro to open his summer concert tours. Castro received an open invitation to join the king of the blues on stage for the nightly finale.
Publications across the country, from The Washington Post to The San Francisco Examiner, have sung Castro’s praises. Guitar Player called Castro “the hardest working bluesman on the scene today.” The Philadelphia Inquirer declared, “Castro plays infectious, roaring roadhouse romps with incendiary licks and a touch of New Orleans soul.” Carlos Santana, with whom Castro has performed, said, “Tommy Castro has the voice and the sound to touch everybody’s heart.” With Hard Believer and plenty of high-profile tour dates to follow, believing in the prodigious talent and unbridled energy of Tommy Castro is anything but hard.
KEITH CROSSAN NOMINATED – INSTRUMENTALIST OF THE YEAR (HORN):
Keith Crossan has been nominated for a Blues Music Award for Instrumentalist of the Year – Horn.
TOMMY & “PAINKILLER” WIN BLUES MUSIC AWARDS:
At the Blues Music Awards on May 8, Tommy won BB King Blues Entertainer of the Year and Painkiller won for Contemporary Blues Album of the Year!