Tommy Castro talks ‘blues opera’ album ahead of Southern California shows – San Bernardino Sun

From the Who’s “Tommy” and “Quadrophenia” to Green Day’s “American Idiot” and Beyoncé’s “Lemonade,” the pop music world has produced more than its fair share of rock operas and concept albums. But unless you count Muddy Waters’ “Electric Mud” — a psychedelic blues project that producer Marshall Chess described as “a concept album like David Bowie being Ziggy Stardust” — blues artists have steered clear of all of that.

So when Tommy Castro first hit upon the idea of writing and recording a blues opera — or, as he puts it, “sort of a blues opera” — he was surprised that no one had thought to do it before.

Soon, the six-time Blues Music Award winner was in the studio with Nashville producer Tom Hambridge, co-writing and recording tracks like “Child Don’t Go,” “Women, Drugs and Alcohol” and “I Want to Go Back Home” for a concept album about an aspiring guitarist who leaves the family farm in search of success, gives in to the temptations of life on the road, and realizes that there is, in fact, no place like home.

“Tommy Castro Presents A Bluesman Came to Town” — which came out in September 2021 on Alligator Records and debuted at No. 2 on Billboard’s Blues Chart — may not have the most original plotline, but that wasn’t really the point.

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