Method to My Madness

Tommy Castro's first album, No Foolin', came out 22 years ago, and since thenhis band's gone through a couple of changes—no more sax or trumpet. The current edition of his stripped-to-the-bone band—featured on his latest album, Method to My Madness—includes Michael Emerson, keyboards; original sidekick Randy McDonald, bass; and Bowen Brown, drums. Castro says he's “trying to get back to my basic ingredients: blues and soul” and as thousands of fans who've attended his global gigs can attest, that's what keeps them coming back. “Shine a Light” (“So I can find my way”) and “Got a Lot” are the hottest dance-oriented numbers on the new album, while the sinuously throbbing “Ride” is also guaranteed to pack the floor. Castro and Joe Louis Walker co-wrote “Lose Lose,” a solid slow blues that looks at the other side of a win-win situation. Another slow blues, “Bad Luck,” by B.B. King (a major influence) wraps up this terrific CD. Stunning guitar, soulful vocals—what more can anyone want?

Tommy Castro & The Painkillers will perform at the Feather Falls Casino on Thursday, Dec. 3, 8 p.m.