News

Tommy Castro & The Painkillers' KILLIN' IT LIVE Set For Release

[12/10/2018]
"Castro’s aggressive, inspired attack on vocals and guitar is phenomenal."
–Washington Post


"Tommy Castro & The Painkillers showcase the power of the blues, soul and down-and-dirty rock ‘n’ roll...rousing and infectious. This is energizing, scorching, soul-shaking music….pure pleasure."
–Living Blues


Alligator Records has set a February 1, 2019 release date in Europe and the UK and a March 1, 2019 date in the US and Canada for Killin’ It Live, the blistering new live album from Tommy Castro & The Painkillers. Killin’ It Live is a nonstop, spirited mix of blues, rock and soul, with rollicking, hypnotic grooves fueled by Castro’s fervent vocals and the band's muscular musicianship.

Guitarist, vocalist and songwriter Tommy Castro has released 15 albums ranging from horn-fueled soul and R&B to piping hot blues to fiery rock ‘n’ roll. He’s performed all over the world, earning countless fans with his legendary, sweat-drenched, exhilarating live shows. The Painkillers—bassist Randy McDonald, drummer Bowen Brown  and keyboardist Michael Emerson—have now been playing together over four years. After hundreds of live shows, they have coalesced into one of the telepathically tightest units Castro has ever assembled, making them one of the most in-demand live roots music acts performing today.

With the group firing on all cylinders, Castro knew the time was right to answer his fans’ demands for a live album. Killin’ It Live captures the band at the peak of their creative and improvisational powers, and features one unforgettable, unpredictable performance after another. “This is the best band we’ve ever had,” says Castro. We really got something going on beyond just being good musicians. Every song we play live now has that right feel—all the dynamics. It allows us to jam out more on stage. Killin’ It Live is what you hear when you see us live.” Featuring songs from throughout Castro ’s career, Killin’ It Live was produced by Castro and engineer/songwriter Ron Alan Cohen and recorded at venues in Texas, New York, Michigan and California during 2018. The album includes eight Castro originals spanning his entire career and two Castro-ized covers, each showing a slightly different side of his multifaceted musical personality.

Born in San Jose, California in 1955, Tommy Castro first picked up a guitar at age 10. He fell under the spell of Eric Clapton, Elvin Bishop, Taj Mahal, Mike Bloomfield and other blues-rockers. Almost every major rock and soul act, from Ike and Tina Turner to Janis Joplin to Elvin Bishop to Taj Mahal, toured through the area, and Castro was at every show. He saw John Lee Hooker, Albert King and Buddy Guy and Junior Wells at the same local blues bar, JJ’s, where he often jammed, dreaming of one day busting out. Mixing the blues-rock he loved and the soul music he heard blasting out from his Mexican friends’ lowriders, Tommy started to create his own personal sound and style. He honed his guitar skills and intense vocals, learning how to capture an audience as he performed on San Jose&r squo;s highly competitive bar scene.

As his reputation spread, Tommy played in a variety of Bay Area blues and soul bands, soon making a name for himself as a hotter-than-hot live artist bursting at the seams with talent. He joined Warner Brothers’ artists The Dynatones in the late 1980s, gigging all over the country. After forming the first Tommy Castro Band in 1991, Castro released a series of critically acclaimed CDs for Blind Pig, Telarc and 33rd Street Records, as well as one on his own Heart And Soul label. He signed with Alligator Records in 2009, releasing Hard Believer to massive acclaim.

Castro formed the first incarnation of The Painkillers in 2012 and released The Devil You Know. By 2014 (with Brown and Emerson taking over drums and keys respectively) they had become a lean, mean four-piece lineup. The current band released Method To My Madness in 2015 and Stompin' Ground in 2017, with critics shouting praise and admirers cheering the group’s every move. Blues Revue said simply, “Tommy Castro can do no wrong.”

Tommy Castro & The Painkillers will perform in Germany, The Netherlands, Belgium, Switzerland and France throughout February 2019 before touring throughout North America beginning in the Spring. European dates are below. US dates will be announced shortly.

February 2019 European tour:
13 Meisenfrei Blues Club - Bremen, GERMANY
14 Kulturwerkstatt Buer e.V. - Melle, GERMANY
15 Q-Factory - Amsterdam, NETHERLANDS
16 Groene Engel - Oss, NETHERLANDS
17 Musiktheater Piano - Dortmund, GERMANY
18 Die Kantine - Yard Club - Cologne, GERMANY
19 Spirit of 66 - Verviers, BELGIUM
20 Nachtleben - Frankfurt , GERMANY
21 Kofferfabrik - Fürth, GERMANY
22 Bürgerhaus Zum Vorfuß - Vollmersbach, GERMANY
23 Strandbar51 - Winterbach, GERMANY
24 Mühle Hunziken - Rubigen, SWITZERLAND
25 New Morning - Paris, FRANCE