Over the course of his career, Tommy Castro has always been inspired by the sounds he absorbed while coming of age on the rough and tumble side of San Jose, CA. During the late-60s and early-70s, this was Tommy's home turf – his Stompin' Ground. It was a place where the street-tough Mexican Americans and the counter-culture hippies came together to drink, smoke, laugh, party and listen to tunes – the hippies with their blues and rock, the Mexicans with their soul music. Mixing the blues-rock he loved and the soul music he heard blasting out from the lowriders cruising the streets, along with the socially conscious message songs of the day, Tommy's own sound was born.
Almost every major rock and soul act, from Ike & Tina Turner to Janis Joplin to Elvin Bishop and Taj Mahal toured through the area, and Tommy was at almost every show. He saw John Lee Hooker, Albert King and Buddy Guy & Junior Wells at the same local blues bar, JJ's, where he often jammed, honing his chops and dreaming of one day busting out. Castro has long since gone from that local bar to stages around the world, but his San Jose DNA still infuses his music to this day.
You can hear it in every note of his aptly titled Alligator Records opus Stompin' Ground which features a dozen irresistible new tracks split between fresh Castro originals and revitalized versions of songs that inspired him back in the day. Guest artists include David Hidalgo of Los Lobos, Charlie Musselwhite, Danielle Nicole (Trampled Underfoot) and Mike Zito.