Soul Shaker

Soul Shaker

by Tommy Castro


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Soul Shaker

San Francisco's Tommy Castro doesn't play blues so much as a brand of hard, soulful rock with a blues inflection, not unlike the J. Geils Band in the early 1980s, say, or Bob Seger (Castro's voice bears a strong resemblance to Seger's), all with a little bit of the old Stax groove tossed in for good measure. Soul Shaker reunites him with his old label, Blind Pig, and while there is nothing startling or innovative here, Castro and his band churn out a kind of meat-and-potatoes rock that is increasingly becoming an endangered species, probably not seen in these parts since Seger decided to stop making albums. While Castro is perfectly capable taking a Stevie Ray Vaughan guitar turn on the Strat, it is his vocals that give his material its real punch, and here he turns in some very credible singing performances on the Memphis-style ballad "Anytime Soon," "The Holdin' On" (which Wilson Pickett should cover immediately), the funky "Big Love," and the title track, "Soul Shaker," which features a guest spot by slide guitar ace Roy Rogers. One of the most striking tracks is "Let's Give Love a Try," which rocks wonderfully in a no-frills, bar band groove, and it really does sound like a great, lost Bob Seger single. Another highlight is the flute-led and jazzy "The Crossanova," which shows that Castro and his band have more than a couple cards up their sleeves. In the end, Soul Shaker is a solid party album, one that breaks no new ground, but sometimes that's just fine.

Product Details

Release Date: 02/01/2005
Label: Blind Pig
UPC: 0019148509429
catalogNumber: 5094
Rank: 188017

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Tommy Castro   Primary Artist,Guitar,Vocals,Group Member
Russell Branch   Baritone
Keith Crossan   Flute,Saxophone,Group Member
Armando Morales   Conga
Chris Sandoval   Percussion,Drums,Group Member
Kevin Bowe   Organ,Acoustic Guitar,Bass,Electric Guitar,Background Vocals,Drum Loop
Bryan Hanna   Percussion
Randy McDonald   Bass,Background Vocals,Group Member
Reneé Austin   Background Vocals
New Directions   Background Vocals
Steve Spirn   Guitar
Jim Pugh   Piano,Hammond Organ

Technical Credits

Tommy Castro   Producer
Edward Chmelewski   Executive Producer
Keith Crossan   Horn Arrangements
Jerry del Giudice   Executive Producer
G. Nicholson   Composer
Roy Tyler   Vocal Arrangements
Kevin Bowe   Programming,Producer
Bryan Hanna   drum programming
K.D. Bowe   Composer
J.W. Gunn   Composer
Steve Spirn   Producer,Engineer
I. Walker   Composer
Gordon Brislawn   Producer
Jim Pugh   Vocal Producer

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