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"Soul Shaker" reviewed by Blues Bytes e-zine

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  • Jack C.`
    It s hard when the rockers call him a blues guy and the blues guys call him a rocker but we know it s just good damn music and in our melting pot society
    Message 1 of 3 , Jun 9, 2005
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      It's hard when the rockers call him a blues guy and the blues guys
      call him a rocker but we know it's just good damn music and in our
      melting pot society putting labels on some things might not be that
      easy...keeping that in mind here's a new album review just published
      by Blues Bytes that y'all might want to take a peek at:

      --- --- --- --- --- --- ---

      "During the second half of the '90s, Tommy Castro helped to develop
      the contemporary blues sound of today. He grew up in San Jose, and
      became enthralled with the blues after realizing who influenced Eric
      Clapton and Mike Bloomfield. In 1991, Castro formed his own group. He
      sings charismatically, plays wailing guitar, and writes forceful rock
      and soul numbers. Soul Shaker is his first CD for Blind Pig in four
      years. Since leaving the swine label, he has appeared on a series of
      independent labels and one other major label. Ironically, Castro
      matured the most during his years away from Blind Pig. Now, he
      returns and presents his best CD as a peace-offering. The CD's 12
      songs were all written by Castro, who was assisted on each by other
      writers and band members. Throughout, he seems to be self-reflecting
      and soul-searching. ("This road's like another wife") states Castro
      on "Take Me Off The Road." Time and time again, the ghost of Otis
      Redding can be heard in Castro's vocals that moan, shout, scream, and
      hum. Shivers will run down your spine when hearing lyrics like: "I
      know that a time will come I don't have to worry / I can see a time
      when the future looked so bright / I can see a time when nobody got a
      reason to fight / I'm only dreaming, but I hope and I pray that I'll
      live to see that day" on "Anytime Soon." You hear thoughts of hope,
      but detect age has brought on deep cynicism that cuts into the
      enthusiasm. Although you want to feel differently, deep down you
      agree with what Castro says on the song. The emotion-drenched tune is
      somewhat modeled on Redding's "Dock Of The Bay." It gets my vote for
      song of the year, and it should be burning up the Billboard charts.
      If Castro doesn't have a hit with it, look for it to be performed as
      a duet with a diva and a pop star. If "Anytime Soon" is the dream
      crusher, then "What You Gonna' Do Now" is the reality we are left
      facing. This thought-provoking song expresses questions that many of
      us cannot or do not want to address. How often have you
      considered: "Now that the party's over / now that you're getting
      older / don't you wonder what its all about / forget all about what
      you should have done / the best just might be yet to come." "Wake Up
      Call" features a rhythm that is repetitious, but delicious. The
      song's funky groove hook motivates you while the bewildering horns of
      Keith Crossan and Tom Poole complement the guitar. "The Crossanova"
      sounds like a flashback to the Booker T & The MG's era. However,
      Crossan's flute seems out of place. "The Next Right Thing" is sleek
      and chic, and loaded with funk thanks to The New Directions robust
      backing vocals. The maestro slide of Roy Rogers is a standout on the
      title track. "Big Love" contains an urban dance club mix that reaches
      out to the computerized generation. This is a group effort with no
      one hogging the spotlight. If anything, it's Castro's electrifying
      vocals which will draw your attention the most. You won't find much
      blues here, and at times, Jim Pugh's bossy keyboards need to be more
      audible. Castro's focus has shifted to rock "Just Like Me" and
      soul "Anytime Soon," and he excels at both. In a different age,
      Castro would have been the king of FM radio."

      For a look at the whole issue of Blues Bytes and an opportunity to
      subscribe to their monthly mailings:

      http://www.bluenight.com/BlursBytes/index.html

      --- --- --- --- --- --- --- ---

      That Booker T reference is timely since I got to see Booker T Jones
      yesterday in San Francisco's Union Square at a free rainy day concert
      that was the ending to a fun run sponcered by the SF Police to
      benefet Special Olympics...Because of the weather, the event was not
      crowded but Booker T and his local MG's put on a great show and he
      was in great voice as well...what a treat...you should have been
      there!

      Who's been at the last string of TCB shows?...let's here what you
      think. I'm really looking forward to seeing the boys do their thang
      at Slim's on the 18th and have scheduled a little mini vacation that
      week so I'll be there from start to finish and hope to see a bunch of
      you then.

      Jack
    • Jack C.`
      I screwed up the link to Blues Bytes so here s it is corrected (there s a Charlie Musselwhite review and some other things you might want to check out):
      Message 2 of 3 , Jun 9, 2005
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        I screwed up the link to Blues Bytes so here's it is corrected (there's
        a Charlie Musselwhite review and some other things you might want to
        check out):

        http://www.bluenight.com/BluesBytes/index.html

        Jack
      • Brenda Peacock
        Hi Jack, Awesome review. Soul Shaker does indeed touch my soul. You go TCB!!!! Brenda Dallas,TX Jack C.` wrote: It s hard when the rockers
        Message 3 of 3 , Jun 9, 2005
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          Hi Jack,
           
          Awesome review.  Soul Shaker does indeed touch my soul.  You go TCB!!!!

          Brenda

          Dallas,TX

          "Jack C.`" <JCBluz@...> wrote:

          It's hard when the rockers call him a blues guy and the blues guys
          call him a rocker but we know it's just good damn music and in our
          melting pot society putting labels on some things might not be that
          easy...keeping that in mind here's a new album review just published
          by Blues Bytes that y'all might want to take a peek at:

                ---     ---      ---     ---     ---     ---     ---

          "During the second half of the '90s, Tommy Castro helped to develop
          the contemporary blues sound of today. He grew up in San Jose, and
          became enthralled with the blues after realizing who influenced Eric
          Clapton and Mike Bloomfield. In 1991, Castro formed his own group. He
          sings charismatically, plays wailing guitar, and writes forceful rock
          and soul numbers. Soul Shaker is his first CD for Blind Pig in four
          years. Since leaving the swine label, he has appeared on a series of
          independent labels and one other major label. Ironically, Castro
          matured the most during his years away from Blind Pig. Now, he
          returns and presents his best CD as a peace-offering. The CD's 12
          songs were all written by Castro, who was assisted on each by other
          writers and band members. Throughout, he seems to be self-reflecting
          and soul-searching. ("This road's like another wife") states Castro
          on "Take Me Off The Road." Time and time again, the ghost of Otis
          Redding can be heard in Castro's vocals that moan, shout, scream, and
          hum. Shivers will run down your spine when hearing lyrics like: "I
          know that a time will come I don't have to worry / I can see a time
          when the future looked so bright / I can see a time when nobody got a
          reason to fight / I'm only dreaming, but I hope and I pray that I'll
          live to see that day" on "Anytime Soon." You hear thoughts of hope,
          but detect age has brought on deep cynicism that cuts into the
          enthusiasm. Although you want to feel differently, deep down you
          agree with what Castro says on the song. The emotion-drenched tune is
          somewhat modeled on Redding's "Dock Of The Bay." It gets my vote for
          song of the year, and it should be burning up the Billboard charts.
          If Castro doesn't have a hit with it, look for it to be performed as
          a duet with a diva and a pop star. If "Anytime Soon" is the dream
          crusher, then "What You Gonna' Do Now" is the reality we are left
          facing. This thought-provoking song expresses questions that many of
          us cannot or do not want to address. How often have you
          considered: "Now that the party's over / now that you're getting
          older / don't you wonder what its all about / forget all about what
          you should have done / the best just might be yet to come." "Wake Up
          Call" features a rhythm that is repetitious, but delicious. The
          song's funky groove hook motivates you while the bewildering horns of
          Keith Crossan and Tom Poole complement the guitar. "The Crossanova"
          sounds like a flashback to the Booker T & The MG's era. However,
          Crossan's flute seems out of place. "The Next Right Thing" is sleek
          and chic, and loaded with funk thanks to The New Directions robust
          backing vocals. The maestro slide of Roy Rogers is a standout on the
          title track. "Big Love" contains an urban dance club mix that reaches
          out to the computerized generation. This is a group effort with no
          one hogging the spotlight. If anything, it's Castro's electrifying
          vocals which will draw your attention the most. You won't find much
          blues here, and at times, Jim Pugh's bossy keyboards need to be more
          audible. Castro's focus has shifted to rock "Just Like Me" and
          soul "Anytime Soon," and he excels at both. In a different age,
          Castro would have been the king of FM radio."

          For a look at the whole issue of Blues Bytes and an opportunity to
          subscribe to their monthly mailings:

          http://www.bluenight.com/BlursBytes/index.html

               ---      ---    ---    ---    ---    ---    ---    ---

          That Booker T reference is timely since I got to see Booker T Jones
          yesterday in San Francisco's Union Square at a free rainy day concert
          that was the ending to a fun run sponcered by the SF Police to
          benefet Special Olympics...Because of the weather, the event was not
          crowded but Booker T and his local MG's put on a great show and he
          was in great voice as well...what a treat...you should have been
          there!

          Who's been at the last string of TCB shows?...let's here what you
          think. I'm really looking forward to seeing the boys do their thang
          at Slim's on the 18th and have scheduled a little mini vacation that
          week so I'll be there from start to finish and hope to see a bunch of
          you then.

          Jack


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