Tommy Castro (A/O)

The Legendary R&B Revue

Tommy Castro and his band have been the main men on several of the latest Legendary Rhythm & Blues Cruises whose voyages in the Pacific and Caribbean are truly legendary. While four of the CD’s 12 tracks were recorded during last October’s cruise, for the landlubbers in the blues community “Captain” Castro rounded up a batch of folks with whom he’s jammed on board and then traveled with them across the U.S. Of the Castro band’s four selections, only its version of Percy Mayfield’s “Serves Me Right to Suffer” is new to disc, and it’s a real rave-up! Several fellow Alligator artists are present, among them two of my special favorites: guitarist Michael “Iron Man” Burks, whose 10-minute blues, “Voodoo Spell,” is a major highlight, as is Rick Estrin’s sprightly “My Next Ex-Wife.” Castro’s band backs up the others, including soul man Theodis Ealy, guitarist Debbie Davies (who pours her heart and soul into singing and playing “All I Found,” a solid slow blues about looking for a good man), Joe Louis Walker (who gets a big lift from Castro’s horns on “It’s a Shame”) and Sista Monica Parker, whose “Never Say Never” is a big hit at her shows. The less said about “Fog,” by the trio Trampled Under Foot, the better.