“My vision was so limited back then,” says Emilio Castillo of the days when he helped found Tower of Power nearly 50 years ago. “I knew these two musicians with a band called Spyder and they had just landed a gig in Sacramento at a topless bar. ‘Boy,’ I thought, ‘if I could just get to play in Sacramento.’ ”
He made it.
Tower of Power brings its “urban soul” and blast of brass to Cache Creek on Saturday, June 17, minus a few vets (hopefully temporarily) and with a newcomer.
David Garibaldi and Marc Van Wageningen were both seriously injured in January when hit by a train in Oakland. Castillo is pleased to give updates. Garibaldi has just undergone an eye surgery and is in a six-month recovery period. Then will come another surgery and another six months in rehab. He hopes, and Castillo hopes, he can rejoin the band in November.
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As for Van Wageningen: “Marc has a long road ahead,” Casatillo said. “He spent eight weeks in a coma, but is moving better now.”
The newcomer is lead vocalist Marcus Scott.
“Ray Green, our vocalist, was great, but Carlos Santana thought he was, too, so he hired him away from us,” Castillo said. “My friend Tony Coleman, who was the drummer for B.B. King for 40 years, told me about this kid, and I will tell you, he is killing it.
“We have two albums of material ready, 28 all-original songs, enough for a new album, which is in the works, to be called ‘Last Band Standing,’ and a follow-up,” Castillo continued. “Then will be our 50th anniversary DVD and the party at the Fox Theater in Oakland. And we just returned from an Asian tour.”
Which is a ways from Sacramento. (8 p.m.; $35-$55; cachecreek.com)
Rockin’ in Reno
The summer casino festival season, which includes such big draws as Hot August Nights and Street Vibrations, kicks off Friday, June 16, with the 22nd Annual Great Eldorado BBQ, Brews, and Blues Festival. St. Louis-style ribs, whole hog pulled pork, Texas salt-and-pepper smoked beef brisket and smokehouse steak sandwiches top the list of what’s being served on Virginia Street in downtown Reno, along with more than 50 microbrews.
The entertainment lineup is particularly strong this year, including a 7:30 p.m. June 16 performance by Grammy-nominated American rock band Tonic (“If You Could Only See”) and a 6:30 p.m., Saturday, June 17 appearance by Five for Fighting, known for “Superman (It’s Not Easy).” Also on June 17 is a 6 p.m. concert by Tommy Castro and the Painkillers.
Closer to Sacramento, Thunder Valley takes the heavy-metal route with Alice Cooper (his “School’s Out” experiencing its annual revival) joined by Skid Row (7 p.m. June 16; $39.95-$89.95; thundervalleyresort.com).
Those interested in more mellow sounds can check out Salt-N-Pepa, Naughty By Nature, and Coolio, among others at V101’s “Summer Jam: I Love the 90s” concert, also at Thunder Valley (6 p.m. June 17; $48.95-$159.95).