by Grant Britt
TOMMY CASTRO Tommy Castro is a funky soul man with a blues implant in his heart. The San Francisco-based singer/guitarist can cover Wilson Pickett's panther scream and Otis' grits-and-soul delivery as easily as John Lee Hooker's hoodoo boogie riddims. Recently, Castro found a new career leading jams aboard the Legendary Rhythm and Blues Cruises. With his stripped down 4-piece outfit the Painkillers, Castro recalls Stax Records' '60s r&b sound mixed in with blues Kings Freddy, Albert and B.B. Part of Castro's appeal is his generosity toward fellow players. Everybody in his band and his jams is allowed a voice and a time to express themselves, as he learned to do while honing his skills in Charlie Musselwhite's backup ensemble, the Dynatones. Castro's guitar screams as soulfully as his vocals while the Painkillers dig a groove you can wallow in. It's a rare opportunity to see one of Bay area's finest. $15. Double Door Inn.