Alligator Records artists Tommy Castro & The Painkillers and Tinsley Ellis will make a stop in South Salt Lake City on their celebrated, explosive T’N’T tour. Castro and Ellis will each perform a full headline-length set at The Commonwealth Room on Friday, November 8, 2019. Guitarist/vocalist Tommy Castro and his band The Painkillers are world-renowned for their roof-raising live shows and limitless energy. Their latest album is Killin’ It Live. Armed with his signature molten licks, melodic riffs and rousing, intense solos, blues-rock guitar wizard, vocalist and songwriter Tinsley Ellis is among the blues world’s best loved, hardest working and most well-traveled statesmen. Ellis’ latest release, Winning Hand, debuted at #1 on the Billboard Blues Chart. He will release his new album in early 2020.
Date: Friday, November 8, 2019
Event: The T’N’T Tour
Venue: The Commonwealth Room
Address: 195 W. 2100 S.
City: South Salt Lake City, UT
Ticket price: $35-$55
TOMMY CASTRO & THE PAINKILLERS
“Castro’s aggressive, inspired attack on vocals and guitar is phenomenal.” –Washington Post
“Tommy Castro & The Painkillers showcase the power of the blues, soul and down-and-dirty rock ‘n’ roll…rousing and infectious. This is energizing, scorching, soul-shaking music….pure pleasure.” –Living Blues
Guitarist, vocalist and songwriter Tommy Castro has released 15 albums ranging from horn-fueled soul and R&B to piping hot blues to fiery rock ‘n’ roll. He’s performed all over the world, earning countless fans with his legendary, sweat-drenched, exhilarating live shows. The Painkillers — bassist Randy McDonald, drummer Bowen Brown and keyboardist Michael Emerson — have now been playing together over four years. After hundreds of live shows, they have coalesced into one of the telepathically tightest units Castro has ever assembled, making them one of the most in-demand live roots music acts performing today. Blues Revue said simply, “Tommy Castro can do no wrong.”
With the group firing on all cylinders, Castro knew the time was right to answer his fans’ demands for a live album. Killin’ It Live captures the band at the peak of their creative and improvisational powers, and features one unforgettable, unpredictable performance after another. “This is the best band we’ve ever had,” says Castro. We really got something going on beyond just being good musicians. Every song we play live now has that right feel—all the dynamics. It allows us to jam out more on stage. Killin’ It Live is what you hear when you see us live.” Featuring songs from throughout Castro’s career, Killin’ It Live was produced by Castro and engineer/songwriter Ron Alan Cohen and recorded at venues in Texas, New York, Michigan and California during 2018. The album includes eight Castro originals spanning his entire career and two Castro-ized covers, each showing a slightly different side of his multifaceted musical personality.
Live on stage, Tommy Castro & The Painkillers’ road-hardened musicianship brings an unmatched passion to Castro’s blue-eyed California soul and hard-rocking, good-time songs. The San Francisco Chronicle describes Castro’s music as, “funky Southern soul, big city blues and classic rock…silvery guitar licks that simultaneously sound familiar and fresh.” No Depression says “Castro plays gritty, string-bending blues like a runaway soul train…a glorious blend that rocks the soul and lifts the spirits.” Killin’ It Live captures the live power and raw passion of Tommy Castro & The Painkillers. It’s the next best thing to being there.
“Feral blues guitar…non-stop gigging has sharpened his six-string to a razor’s edge…his eloquence dazzles…he achieves pyrotechnics that rival early Jeff Beck and Eric Clapton.”
“Ellis unleashes a torrent of dazzling musicianship pitched between the exhilarating volatility of rock and roll and the passion of urban blues.” –Los Angeles Times
Since his Alligator debut over 30 years ago, Tinsley Ellis has become a bona fide worldwide guitar hero. The Chicago Sun-Times says, “It’s hard to overstate the raw power of his music.” Ellis has performed in all 50 United States as well as in Canada, Western and Eastern Europe, Australia and South America, earning legions of fans with his guitar virtuosity, passionate vocals and memorable original songs. He is also revered as a guitarist’s guitarist, with famous friends including Derek Trucks, Warren Haynes, Oliver Wood, Jonny Lang and members of Widespread Panic calling on him to sit in and jam. “A musician never got famous staying home,” he says.
Recorded in Nashville and produced by Ellis and keyboardist Kevin McKendree, the ten brilliantly performed, fervently sung tracks on Winning Hand include nine originals, ranging from blistering blues to heart-pounding rock to soulful ballads. “Guitar, guitar, guitar is what this album is all about,” says Ellis, who recorded primarily with his 1959 Fender Stratocaster, his 1967 Gibson ES 345 and his 1973 Les Paul Deluxe. Guitar World says, “Ellis’ playing sparkles with depth and subtlety. Whether playing deep, slow blues or uptempo rockers, Ellis rides a gorgeously fat, pure tone.”
Over the course of his career, Ellis has shared stages with Stevie Ray Vaughan, Otis Rush, Willie Dixon, The Allman Brothers, Leon Russell, Son Seals, Koko Taylor, Albert Collins and many others. Whether he’s on stage with his own band or jamming with artists like Buddy Guy, the Tedeschi Trucks Band, Gov’t Mule or Widespread Panic, he always plays with grit, soul and unbridled passion. Back home on Alligator Records with his new album, Tinsley Ellis is ready to prove again that whenever he picks up a guitar, he’s playing with a winning hand.