Review: Tommy Castro (and others) – The Legendary Rhythm & Blues Revue

Posted on: Monday, Jul 18, 2011

Blues Revue 2010 CD Cover

“The Legendary Rhythm & Blues Revue”
(Alligator Records ALCD 4043)

Produced by Tommy Castro and Bruce Iglauer, this album is a mixture of live performances on the Legendary Blues Cruise of 2010 and on a tour, which was a land-based representation of the cruise. Four of the twelve tracks were recorded on the cruise and the other eight on the tour. The Tommy Castro Band provides the backing on most of the tracks and comprises the following personnel: Tommy Castro on guitar, Keith Crossan on sax, Tom Poole on trumpet, Tony Stead on keyboards, Scott Sutherland on bass and Ronnie Smith on drums.

Tommy Castro sets the ball rolling with his hard-edged vocals on a couple of soulful rockers, Wake Up Call” and “Gotta Serve Somebody”, followed by Michael Burks on the slow shuffle, “Voodoo Spell”, adding a trademark guitar solo to his mellow vocals. Joe Louis Walker rocks it up with “It’s A Shame” before Sister Monica Parker belts out “Never Say Never”.

Rick Estrin then lifts the mood with his customary touch of humour on “My Next Ex-wife”, delivering some great harp, which is matched by a splendid guitar solo from Chris ‘Kid’ Andersen. “Fog”, performed superbly by Trampled Under Foot, is arguably the pick of the tracks, boasting the terrific raw vocals of Danielle Schneberlen and the fine guitar playing and excellent drumming of her brothers, Nick and Chris respectively.

Tommy Castro takes no prisoners on “Painkiller” and Janiva Magness projects great vocals on the funky-edged “Think” while “This Time I Know” features the singing and guitar playing of Theodis Ealey. The slow blues, “All I Found”, is brilliantly executed by singer/guitarist Debbie Davies and well contrasted with the final track, a vibrant rendition of Percy Mayfield’s “Serves Me Right To Suffer” which includes an exuberant, extended guitar solo from Tommy Castro to round off the selection.

In short, this a marvellous programme from an array of artistes that would grace any cruise or tour.

Alligator Records Website

Lionel Ross

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