This muscular set of soul-edged electric blues offers encouraging evidence of the ongoing survival instincts for modern bluesmen: decades after the first assurances that the blues were dead, modern interpreters continue t... more »o pack concert halls and, now, buttress their audio recordings with computer-friendly extras (as on the companion CD culled from the same performances) and DVDs mixed with true 5.1 sound. If Castro's record company is augmenting the presentation to keep pace with the times, this San Francisco-based guitarist and singer otherwise delivers a no-frills package that works confidently within the more upbeat end of the blues spectrum. Shorn of explicit scholarship or careful allusions to regional parent styles, this is proudly blue-collar blues rock designed purely for partying. With his short, slicked-back hair and a buffed-up physique clad in black slacks and polo shirt, Castro doesn't resemble anybody you'd expect to find in the smoky juke joints or shotgun shacks of blues lore; his athletic performing style and grinning ebullience likewise seem incongruous if considered in the context of traditional blues' more harrowing, confessional standards. There isn't a hellhound in sight, but then Castro's enthusiastic Fillmore audience clearly couldn't care less. In fact, Castro and his quartet (covering bass, drums, and tenor sax) flex a sturdy, if generic, blues style that reaches for the same '60s soul economy audible in the early sound of Robert Cray, whose own career began with the sort of pumped-up bar band aesthetic that Castro plies here. Like Cray, Castro's songbook is largely preoccupied with sex and heartbreak, albeit without the lyric invention that Cray and original collaborator Dennis Walker achieved. From a technical standpoint, the show is well shot and cleanly recorded, its surround mix simply adding ambience to the traditional stage mix presented by front and center channels. Those familiar with Castro and the CD version of the same show will note that Blind Pig uses a slightly different song list here; it's worth pondering whether the DVD, which clocks in at just 60 minutes, would have been improved by including the other songs available on CD but not here. --Sam Sutherland« less
"A must have for anyone who enjoys the blues. Good video presentation of a very tight and talented blues band. After my introduction to the Tommy Castro band live in concert,opening for Robert Cray in january 2000,the only reason I could not give it 5 stars is that it's to short at only 60 minutes. It leaves you wanting more. I also highly recommend all of their cd's"
Just Like Being There
Dani Barese | Santa Rosa, CA United States | 04/21/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Tommy Castro in 5.1 Dolby Digital is probably the coolest thing I own on DVD. It's like they're playing in my living room! This is the closest thing to a live show that you can get without being there... and trust me I've seen probably over 100 live shows! If you are a fan of contemporary rock n' soul blues, this is the DVD for you! These boys really know how to deliver and they have a stage presence like you wouldn't believe. Hot Hot Hot! :)"
EXCELLENT SOUND MIX, BEST NEW ACT ON THE BLUES SCENE
Conan The Republican | Sunnyvale, CA United States | 07/23/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is my favorite band. I love my Stevie Ray Vaughn stuff, but it's tough to not have anything new come out of your favorite artist, like ever again. With the Tommy Castro band I'm able to see how they change as time goes on. A great live band, this DVD catches some of their great hits with incredible sound. Make sure you have the 5.1 audio mix on, it literally sounds like you're there. My favorite performance on this disc is 'Nobody Loves Me Like My Baby', which didn't make it onto the CD version. Likewise I was disappointed though to find that they didn't include 'sex machine' by James Brown on the DVD, which was on the CD release of this live performance."
BOBENRIETH Patrice | VILLEMOISSON-SUR-ORGE, NONE France | 07/18/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Tommy Castro revisit for us the soul music and the rock music in a great performing show, with a very efficacious rhythmics section. A great moment of happiness."
Tommy Castro - Live!
Cy Rangel | Munster, IN | 02/05/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This DVD is a must if you are in to Tommy Castro and his band. The song selection could of been better but overall this DVD is pretty cool. Note, Some of the songs on the CD are not on this DVD."