Tommy Castro & the Painkillers (9PM)

Andre Thierry opens, pre-show Blues Buffet with Pete Madsen and Celeste Kopel at 8pm 

Saturday, December 31, 2016, 9:00 pm
(doors open at 8:00pm)

rockin' blues blast on New Year's Eve (ticket includes free finger food buffet and complementary glass of champagne)

$44 adv / $48 door

Purchase tickets online
December 31 9:00 pm

*There will be a dance floor, and a ticket doesn't guarantee you a seat - consider arriving early if you want to be sure to have one.

Celebrate New Year’s Eve with Tommy Castro & the Painkillers at the Freight! Blurt Magazine calls Tommy “one of the greatest blues guitarists, songwriters, and entertainers in the world today” and the Washington Post calls the band “phenomenal and funky,” praising their “soulful vocals and inspired blues-rock guitar.” Billboard Magazine applauds their “irresistible contemporary blues-rock” and “street-level grit and soul.” Now, with a brand new album, Method to My Madness, Tommy and the band have turned up the intensity another notch. “With the new album,” Tommy says, “I was trying to get back to my basic ingredients, blues and soul. We kept everything raw, capturing the feeling of playing live. I’m not about being perfect. I’m about being real.” Clearly, that’s the method to his madness!


Tommy was born in San Jose, got his first guitar at age 10, and fell in love with the blues. He powered the wildly popular Bay Area band the Dynatones in the late 1980s and founded the Tommy Castro Band in 1991, winning the Bay Area Music Award for Best Club Band in both 1993 and 1994. Their debut album won the 1997 BAMMY for Outstanding Blues Album, and Tommy took the award for Outstanding Blues Musician. They began touring nationally, playing with the likes of Carla Thomas, Albert King, and that other King, B. B. Tommy won four Blues Music Awards in 2010 behind his album, Hard Believer, including the coveted B.B. King Entertainer Of The Year Award. A few years ago he stopped playing with a horn section and put together a more stripped down band, the Painkillers, featuring Randy McDonald on bass, James Pace on keyboards, and Byron Cage on drums. Their 2014 album, The Devil You Know, won the Blues Blast Music Award for Rock Blues Album of the Year, with help from such guests as Marcia Ball, the Holmes Brothers, and Magic Dick. Tonight Tommy and his band bring their own brand of magic to the Freight. The dance floor will be open, and the joint will be jumpin’!   


GRAMMY nominated Andre Thierry is a phenomenal talent who has been capturing the attention of musicians and music lovers since he was a young boy. Andre’s French Creole heritage is deeply rooted in Louisiana although he was born and reared in northern California.


The “King of Zydeco,” the late great Clifton Chenier, grabbed three-year old Andre by the arms and deemed him a future accordion player. Andre was captivated by Clifton Chenier and when he was given his first accordion by local musician, Billy Wilson (currently with MotorDude Zydeco), he began teaching himself to play by listening to Clifton Chenier’s music.


Thierry can't be lumped into Zydeco's old-school R&B-influenced camp or its nouveau, rap-inspired one: He and his band, lay down both soulful, traditional slow-dances and bottom-end-booming kinetic groovers creating a sound known as Alternative Creole.


In his thirties, he is already a legend. There is widespread agreement that he is an exceptional multi-dimensional musician who has a finely-honed ability to merge traditional Southwest Louisiana music with hip-hop, blues, jazz and rock. Building from his love and respect for tradition, his musical mastery enables him to create a unique sound for his and future generations while staying true to the past.


Andre Thierry - Accordion

Julius Johnson - Drums

Charles Lee - Rubboard

Guitar - Callum Kaough

CJ Phillips - Bass


Join us in the lobby at 8pm for the pre-show Blues Buffet. Pete Madsen and Celeste Kopel will be bringing you the finest acoustic blues from the likes of Robert Johnson, T-Bone Walker, Big Bill Broonzy and Sam Cooke. Pete Madsen is an acoustic blues, ragtime and slide guitarist from the San Francisco Bay Area who blends Kottke-esque virtuosity with thoughtful writing skills to produce wonderful guitar excursions. Celeste is a Berkeley-bred blues and rock musician whose soulful vocals draw comparisons to Bonnie Raitt and Janis Joplin. Come get your fill. 



visit the Tommy Castro website

visit the Andre Thierry website

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