Hard Believer

Tommy Castro

Hard Believer


On his Alligator debut, Castro delivers top-notch rockin’ soul music fired by his razor-sharp guitar work and urgent vocals. Songs include six typically sharp Castro originals along with some tasty covers, including Wilson Pickett’s “99 1/2 (Won’t Do)” and Bob Dylan’s “Gotta Serve Somebody.” Produced by John Porter (Los Lonely Boys, Santana, Buddy Guy, Elvis Costello) “He can do no wrong...soulful, heartfelt vocals and exquisite, stellar guitar. An inspired blend of blues, R&B, soul and roadhouse rock” –Blues Revue
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1. Definition Of Insanity 3:40
2. It Is What It Is 4:11
3. Hard Believer 4:11
4. Monkey's Paradise 4:29
5. Ninety-Nine And One Half 3:42
6. Backup Plan 4:32
7. Gotta Serve Somebody 4:56
8. Trimmin' Fat 4:10
9. Make It Back To Memphis 4:34
10. Victims Of The Darkness 3:40
11. My Babe 4:06
12. The Trouble With Soul 3:33

“He can do no wrong...soulful, heartfelt vocals and exquisite, stellar guitar. An inspired blend of blues, R&B, soul and roadhouse rock” -–Blues Revue


Tommy Castro, Vocals and Lead Guitar
Keith Crossan, Tenor and Baritone Sax, Background Vocals 
Tom Poole, Trumpet, Flugelhorn & Valve Trombone
Scott Sutherland, Bass
Ronnie Smith, Drums
Tony Stead, Keyboards
Lennie Castro, Percussion
Tal Morris, Rhythm Guitar
John Porter, Rhythm Guitar and Slide Guitar
Amber Morris, Background Vocal

Horns arranged by Keith Crossan & Tom Poole


Produced by John Porter.

Guitar Production by Tal Morris, Bonnie Hayes and Ari Rios.

Vocal Production by Amber Morris, Bonnie Hayes, Ari Rios and Gabi Castro.

Recorded at Laughing Tiger Studio (www.laughingtiger.com) and The Ice House (www.icehouserecording.com), San Rafael, CA.

Additional recording at House Of Blues Studio (www.houseofbluesstudios.com/encino), Encino, CA.

Engineered at Laughing Tiger Studio by Ari Rios, assisted by Rick Vargas. Engineered at The Ice House by Bonnie Hayes, assisted by Skip Sitkin. Engineered at House Of Blues Studio by John Porter, assisted by Doug Tyo.

Mixed by John Porter at the Dume Room, Malibu, CA, assisted by Daisy.

Mastered by Dan Stout and Bruce Iglauer at Colossal Mastering, Chicago, IL.

Technical production assistance, repairs and child-care by Steve Spirn.

Photos by Johnny Ace, assisted by Victoria Smith.

Packaging design by Kevin Niemiec.

Alligator logo by Michael Trossman.


This album is dedicated to Stephen Bruton, with thanks for his friendship and inspiration.

The Tommy Castro Band thanks all of our families, Elvin Bishop, Roger Naber and The Legendary Rhythm & Blues Cruise (www.bluescruise.com), The Blues Foundation  (www.blues.org), Blind Pig Records, Delta Groove Records, Henry Heistand of Red Plate Amps (www.redplateamps.com), Darryl Anders of Jim Dunlop Manufacturing (www.jimdunlop.com), Eminence Speakers (www.eminencespeakers.com), GHS Strings (www.ghsstrings.com), Fender Guitars (www.fender.com), Lectrosonics (www.lectrosonics.com), Reunion Blues (www.reunionblues.com), Linda and Charles, Tom Cougar, and Bill Wax of XM/Sirius Radio.

John Porter thanks Tommy Castro, the musicians, Becky Scott at AAM, and also Chris Johnson at Mackie, Randy Fuchs at Artist Direct and Ryan Smith at Shure.

John Porter is represented by Andy Kipnes at Advanced Alternative Media, New York, NY.

www.tommycastro.com