Gratitude

Gratitude

by Tommy Castro

CD

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Overview

Gratitude

As its title suggests, Tommy Castro's seventh album is a note of thanks to the artists who inspired the West Coast guitarist/vocalist. While rocking R&B and blues greats like B.B. and Albert King, Chuck Berry and Buddy Guy are obvious choices, Castro digs deep into their catalogs. He covers B.B. King's "Bad Case of Love," Albert King's "Everybody Want to Go to Heaven," Berry's "Tulane," and Guy's version of Willie Dixon's "When My Left Eye Jumps." More interesting, though, are Castro's '60s soul roots which he acknowledges in versions of songs made popular by Wilson Pickett (a powerful "I Found a Love"), Sam & Dave (Curtis Salgado joins in on a duet of "I Take What I Want"), Otis Redding (a thumping "Lovey Dovey" with Sista Monica Parker taking the Carla Thomas part) and James Brown (a swinging "I Feel That Old Feeling Coming On," which is a departure from Brown's usual funky work). Less successful are Castro's takes on Howlin' Wolf's "44" where his direct approach loses the original's voodoo marching vibe. John Lee Hooker's "Serve You Right to Suffer" sounds more like the J. Geils Band's cover than Hooker's spooky approach, with an ill-advised rocking middle section that misses the song's intent. Much better is Castro's succinct, sharp cover of Muddy Waters' "I Wants to Be Loved" where he toughens up the attack but maintains the tune's defiant drive. Pianist John Turk helps fatten the sound, keeping it raw with his work on the album's slow blues workouts such as Guy's ."..Left Eye" and Ray Charles' "Come Back Baby." Castro is loose and tough, with his gritty voice and thick, clean guitar lines sounding confident and assertive. More than just a holding pattern until he writes new tunes, Gratitude is not only an enjoyable peek inside Tommy Castro's influences but a fascinating compilation of generally underexposed material from blues, soul and R&B greats.

Product Details

Release Date: 03/18/2003
Label: Oarfin Records
UPC: 0786984986324
catalogNumber: 49863

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