Classic Castro

New album from Tommy Castro features his trademark raw, guitar-heavy blues

Add Tommy Castro to the list of musicians who've written a scathing song in response to the recent global economic crisis.

Castro's is called “Greedy” and it's the A side on his new release for blues powerhouse Alligator Records, a 45-rpm record on money-green vinyl.

“Greedy” is classic Castro: raw, rockin' blues, heavy on muscular guitar and the main man's soulful voice. The verses excoriate government officials with “bank accounts to feed” and corporations' “obscene” profits, and the first chorus goes like this: “I'm greedy. I got more than I need. I just want more for me. Money is all I crave. I wanna take it to my grave.”

The B side of the record is “That's All I Got,” which is about “the power of love over money,” according to Castro's website.

This nifty little slab of vinyl is the first release to feature Castro's new band The Painkillers, which formed a year ago and has been tightening its sound on tour ever since.

The Painkillers are a stripped-down quartet that features Byron Cage on drums and James Pace on keys, plus original Tommy Castro Band bassist Randy McDonald.

Whether it's being surrounded by a new band or the topical nature of the song, “Greedy” sounds like a bluesman reinvigorated. Hear it at

Tommy Castro & The Painkillers, with Steel Head; 7 p.m. Saturday, doors open 6:30 p.m.; $20 plus fees in advance at and Ranch Records (541-389-6116) in Bend, VIP tickets $20 through the venue; The Sound Garden, 1279 N.E. Second St., Bend; www.thesoundgarden or 541-633-6804.

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