28 MONTEREY COUNTY WEEKLY March 21-27, 2024 www.montereycountyweekly.com MUSIC Tommy Castro is known for his relentless approach—to touring as much as music. But he needed a break, especially after a European swing. “Last year was so busy it almost killed me,” he admits. So from January through the beginning of March, the band performed only 16 shows, plus a week-long blues cruise. And they are working on two more albums. The veteran bluesman chuckles. “That’s taking it easy for us.” Tommy Castro & The Painkillers may not have the name recognition of Eric Clapton or Buddy Guy, but the band has been a force. Last year, Castro received the Blues Music Award for entertainer of the year—not for the first time. “We keep getting gigs; we’re getting more people at our shows,” Castro observes, again with a hoarse chuckle. “I’m creeping into some sort of legendary status—maybe because I’m still here.” Castro takes the stage at Golden State Theatre on Thursday, March 21. The band will draw on favorites from the past two decades, throwing in a few songs from 2021’s A Bluesman Came to Town. The music in the works for the next two projects—a gritty and lowdown old-school blues album and second that promises to be brash and bold—will wait for later tours. “If you add up all the good songs, there’s a lot to choose from,” he says, then laughs again. “I like to think everything I’ve recorded is good, but some are more popular. “‘Nasty Habits’—everyone loves that song.” Castro has always peppered his blues with other genres. He sees blues as foundational to modern music. “The blues is in everything,” he points out. “Blues became soul and rock ‘n’ roll. Even hip-hop has elements of blues.” Castro says the band is looking forward to Monterey and plans a no-holds-barred performance—which again doesn’t sound like someone looking for a reprieve from the grind. Still, Castro insists he plans to wind down. On this current tour, the band has a gift for its fans. Take proof of a concert ticket to their website and it will be entered into a drawing for a blues cruise for two. “We’re not doing as many gigs as we normally do, so the odds are good,” he says. And yes, Castro laughs again at his version of taking a rest. Tommy Castro & The Painkillers perform 7:30pm Thursday, March 21. Golden State Theatre, 417 Alvarado St., Monterey. $27.50-$52.50. 649-1070, goldenstatetheatre.com. DRAGAN TASIC Blues State It’s impossible for Tommy Castro to back off, even when he claims to be slowing down. By Dave Faries Tommy Castro & The Painkillers continue to earn critical acclaim. Although Castro claims to need a break, two more albums are in the works. Landscape • Hardscape • Irrigation 831-624-4991 insideout1design@outlook.com f InsideOut Landscape Design CA LIC# 960809 w Landscape Design From An Interior Perspective Eliza DeCiantis believes that your landscape should be an extension of your interior space. Having received her Master Gardener’s Certification over 28 years ago, Eliza combines her 22 year career in television set design with her life-long passion for gardening to create beautiful custom landscape. Eliza is conscientious of our water management issues while creating a drought tolerant, deer resistant environment custom to your personal taste and budget. With a keen sense of attention to detail, Eliza will spruce up your existing landscape for a special event or create a new landscape to enjoy for years to come. InsideOut Landscape Design, Inc. can increase the value of your home, while enhancing the natural potential and beauty of your exterior space for your home or business. 10% OFF your order with this ad Valid until 4/30/2024 sweet & savory crepes • paninis • bagels • tea • 11th Hour coffee Smoked Salmon Bagel smoked salmon, cream cheese, tomato, onion, optional: add egg 1123 Fremont Blvd, Seaside 831-901-3900 Mon–Fri 7am–4pm (Sat & Sun 8am–4pm) The Sweet and Savory Spot Smash Tournament 1st Fridays Open Mic 2nd Fridays Trivia Night 3rd Fridays THE CRÉPERIE CAFÉ @ “I brought my Subaru to Hartzel on advice of a friend and I was so pleased with the service & attention I got from them. Not only finished on time, but under the estimate I was given. Very rare these days. So pleased with the whole experience & great peace of mind knowing it was done correctly. Highly recommend this guy.” —David F., Seaside 2/14/19 510 California Avenue | Sand City | 394.6002 hartzelautomotive.com EXPERT SERVICE WHEN YOU NEED IT. Subaru Mazda Lexus Infiniti Saab vintage MG SCHEDULE YOUR NEXT SERVICE ONLINE TODAY