Heart & Soul (2003) 8801
12 tracks, 57 minutes.
by Craig Ruskey
Review date: July 2003
"Keeping the Blues Alive Award"|
Achievement for Blues on the Internet
Presented by The Blues Foundation
After becoming fed up with record label attitudes and short-sighted, backhanded deals,
Tommy Castro decided to strike out completely on his own with his guitar, voice, and his
own imprint. Gratitude is his latest and it's a tip of the hat to long-lasting
influences from the soul, R&B, and blues fields. While a version of Sam and Dave's I Take
What I Want is solid and searing, it's more a Curtis Salgado track with his powerful
voice out front, then when Castro takes the helm on Ray Charles' Come Back Baby,
he pulls off some sizzling guitar licks and his voice shows passion, but it also pales in
comparison to the heart-wrenching original. He sounds rather hokey and ridiculous tackling
James Brown, but to his credit, almost anyone else would, too. For the straight-ahead blues
followers, Howlin' Wolf's 44 is nicely done as are the covers of B.B. King's Bad Case
Of Love, John Lee Hooker's It Serves You Right To Suffer, Buddy Guy's When My
Left Eye Jumps and Muddy Waters' I Wants To Be Loved. But the final analysis is
that while Tommy Castro creates a few sparks and does a credible job interpreting the
work of others, he's not going to make anyone forget the grit and grime of the masters
who so heavily influenced him. And as a guitarist, he can bend with the best of them, but
his more-than-occasional over-the-top antics don't go far in the long run.
www.utrmusicgroup.com or www.heartandsoulrecords.com have more information.
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