Tommy Castro and the Painkillers (from the album Method to My Madness on Alligator Records) - At some point during his four-decade musical career, Tommy Castro went from ascending to the stage to play, to assuming a role of guardian of the music he plays and the life he lives.
Tommy and the Painkillers set up and play, night after night, town after town, bringing Blues-soaked Rock ’n’ Soul to the clubs, the roadhouses, the honky-tonks, and mostly importantly, to the streets. Rather than slap their collective cred on the table, Tommy Castro and the Painkillers sing and play just how it is they came to this place with Method to My Madness. The album ups the ante for the band and the Blues they have played on previous releases.
Method to My Madnessfollows a fog of funk with “Ride”, struts to a count of four with “Two Hearts”, confesses over Rhumba-rhythm that it’s “All About the Cash”, and wiggles for a snaking surf wave shouting “No Such Luck”. The initial decision became a goal for the album, with Tommy recalling that ‘with the new album, I was trying to get back to my basic ingredients: blues and soul. I went for the energy of connecting with my band. We kept everything raw, capturing the feeling of playing live. I’m not about being perfect, I’m about being real’. Tommy Castro and the Painkillers prescribe an existence without the added aches that comes from pointing fingers (“Common Ground”) as they heal hearts (“I’m Qualified”), and hand out smiles for their own good health and happiness (“Died and Gone to Heaven”). Method to My Madness wriggles on The Painkillers rhythm line trailing behind Tommy Castro as he lists the dark corners he finds on the day-to-day asking the celestial higher power company to “Shine a Light”.