Tommy Castro

With the Brickhouse Blues Band. Thursday, August 25, at the Beachland Ballroom.

Tori Amos

With Imogen Heap and the Ditty Bops. 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, August 30, at Tower City Amphitheater, 351 Canal Road, the Flats, $22.50/$42.50/$45, 216-241-5555.

What do you call a guitarist known to some as a "white Buddy Guy," whose vocals sport a grit that conjures Otis Redding and whose songwriting comfortably spans rock, R&B, and blues? You call him a survivor. Tommy Castro has reigned as one of the Bay Area's top guns for more than a decade and has done so with a lot more than just his monster blues chops. Inspired by mid-'60s San Fran blues émigrés like Mike Bloomfield and Elvin Bishop, the San Jose-bred Castro was probably moved by the Bay Area's strong R&B legacy as well. His rock-solid vocals are classic blue-eyed soul, and he and his writing partners deal out fine, reliable fare. Castro's eighth and most recent disc, Soul Shaker, has been widely touted as his best to date, with tunes that evoke the Boss more than B.B.
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