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We're All Crazy Here 

Tommy Castro's mad skills drive new record

click to enlarge musiccc-fda93c45deb8b88c.jpg

Few artists can combine the meticulous musicianship and fiery passion of the blues like guitarist and bandleader Tommy Castro. The Bay Area resident and frontman of the recently formed Tommy Castro & the Painkillers throws a party to celebrate the release of his latest full-length album, Method to My Madness, with a concert on Oct. 16 in Napa.

The follow-up to 2014's musically varied release The Devil You Know, Castro strips down the sound on Method and lets his backing band, keyboardist James Pace, bassist Randy McDonald and drummer Bowen Brown, shine with raw blues rhythms and Texas-style soul.

Recorded at Laughing Tiger Studio in San Rafael, Method to My Madness is Castro's first foray into producing, and on tape he sticks to the basics of playing it live and having fun. Castro also wrote or co-wrote 10 of the 12 tracks on the new record, and borrowed from B. B. King and Clarence Carter on the album's two covers.

Method to My Madness comes out on Oct. 23, though copies will be on hand for the official record release party this Friday. Opening the show is guitarist Mark Karan, best known for his time in Bob Weir's RatDog.

Tommy Castro & the Painkillers go mad on Friday, Oct. 16, at Uptown Theatre, 1350 Third St., Napa. 8pm $20–$40. 707.259.0123.

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