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Tommy Castro

Known for his incendiary live performances, Tommy Castro will bring his new band, the Painkillers, and hard-rocking blues to the Cliffs Resort as the headliner for the summer’s first Live on the Rocks concert on Monday.

Lewis MacDonald/Contributed

One of the hardest-rocking blues guitarists, singers and songwriters ever to take a concert stage will headline the summer’s first Live on the Rocks show Monday at the Cliffs Resort & Marisol in Shell Beach.

Tommy Castro & the Painkillers will be the featured performers at the free outdoor concert from 1 to 4 p.m. on the lawn overlooking the ocean.

Celebrating the release of a new CD, Castro and his band are scheduled to take the stage at 3:15 p.m.

Castro is known for his tough, rocking guitar-driven R&B, backed by a tight horn section, and his incendiary live performances.

But with his new band — original Tommy Castro Band bassist Randy McDonald plus David Tucker on drums and James Pace on keyboards — Castro has created a lean, mean four-piece lineup.

Together, they have stripped his music down to its raw essence and given it a harder edge.

“The Painkillers really get me back to my roots,” Castro said. “It feells to me a lot more like it did when I first started playing with my friends as a kid.

“Bands were always just three or four guys playing for the fun of it,” he explained.

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But his even grittier music is blended with new sounds on his new CD from Alligator Records, “The Devil You Know,” which was recorded with original Painkillers drummer Byron Cage.

“For the new album, I challenged myself to add different sound and new rhythms to my style while remaining true to my roots,” Castro said.

Although there is no cover charge for the Live on the Rocks concert at the Cliffs Resort, barbecued food and snacks will be on sale, and a full bar will be available.

No food or drinks may be brought in from outside, but guests are invited to bring low-backed lawn chairs and blankets for seating.

The Cliffs Resort is located at 2757 Shell Beach Road. For more information, call 773-5000 or visit or and click on “events”.