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2010 Blues Fest -- “I’ll Take All the Help I Can Get”: Tommy Castro (Sunday, 8 p.m., Bandshell)
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Section: Music

Category: Mississippi Valley Blues Festival

2010-06-23 11:54:00

Tommy Castro

At the 2010 Blues Music Awards in May, Tommy Castro and his bandmates walked away with four awards: band of the year, contemporary blues male artist, contemporary blues album (for Hard Believer), and the big one -- B.B. King Entertainer of the Year.

In a recent phone interview, Castro sounded genuinely grateful and surprised. "You need a shot in the arm," he said. "It was a big night for us." And with a charming lack of vanity, Castro offered two explanations for his four-for-four night specifically, and for his success generally.

"I got opportunities to have a career playing blues, I think, before I was really ready for it," he said. "When Blind Pig signed me [in the mid-1990s], I didn't have any songs. ... I've been learning how to do this while I was doing it. ... I think that over a period of time we've gotten a little bit better at making records."

He credited having a good band, a good producer, and good songwriter partners. "My talent might lie in surrounding myself with all the right people to help me do what I do best," he said. "I have my little thing that I do. I'm a fairly proficient songwriter, I'm a good singer, and a good guitar player. I don't think I'm great at any of those things. ... I'll take all the help I can get."

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