Interviews no image

Published on August 24th, 1995 | by Gerry Galipault


Tower of Power is all ‘Souled Out’

Tower of Power leader-founding member Emilio Castillo has a ready-made answer for anyone who asks him, “What do you think about this new ’70s trend?”

“I tell them, ‘If you hadn’t told me, I wouldn’t have noticed it was here,’ because it never left,” the saxophone player said recently, laughing during a stop on the venerable Oakland, Calif., band’s U.S. tour. “I make this kind of music because this is the kind I know how to make. And I know there’s a lot of people like myself who love this kind of music.”

Castillo has such an affinity for soul that, on the eve of entering the studio to record a new album for Epic, he abruptly pulled back and retooled the whole project.

He wanted to make “a great soul music record,” like the ones from Tower of Power’s glory days in the ’70s, and that meant going with a more true-blue soul singer. The result is Tower of Power’s third Epic album, “Souled Out” (released Aug. 15), which features new lead singer Brent Carter, plus new drummer Herman Matthews and three newcomers in the horn section – Barry Danielian, Bill Churchville and David Mann.

The hard part was asking vocalist Tom Bowes to step aside after six years.

“I just told him, ‘We’re looking to do something different this time, and I don’t want to sneak around behind your back and try to find the ultimate singer,’ ” Castillo said. “I said, ‘I’m gonna tell you right up front, I’m looking for somebody and I need your help until I find him.’ He was gracious enough to stick around until we found Brent Carter.”

Carter’s resume includes backup work with Regina Belle and BeBe & CeCe Winans. He’s no Lenny Williams, who was there during Tower of Power’s greatest chart success (“You’re Still a Young Man,” “So Very Hard to Go,” and “Don’t Change Horses (In the Middle of the Stream)”), but Carter does help them get back on the soul track.

It couldn’t come at a better time. Tower of Power’s back catalog has been revived on CD by Warner Bros. in the past three years and has been selling well, Castillo said. “My royalties are definitely higher than they have been in many, many years,” he said.

Columbia also is getting in on the act. They’re compiling cuts off the group’s three late-’70s albums and have dug up unreleased material for a future collection.

What keeps Tower of Power going after more than 25 years?

“I think it’s the music,” Castillo said. “There’s not a lot of Tower of Powers out there. We’re not the average five-piece rock band. Fortunately for us, the kind of music that we make, there’s an audience for it. It’s not a huge audience, but it’s ours and they’re loyal as hell.”

BWF (before we forget): The Tower of Power album discography – “East Bay Grease” (1971, San Francisco/Atlantic); “Bump City” (1972, Warner); “Tower of Power” (1973); “Back to Oakland” (1974); “Urban Renewal” (1975); “In the Slot” (1975); “Live & In Living Color” (1976); “Ain’t Nothin’ Stoppin’ Us Now” (1976, Columbia); “We Came to Play!” (1978); “Back On the Streets” (1979); “Direct” (1981, Sheffield Labs); “Power” (1987, Cypress/PolyGram); “Monster On a Leash” (1991, Epic); “T.O.P.” (1993); “Souled Out” (1995); “Rhythm & Business” (1997).

Tags: ,

About the Author

Gerry Galipault debuted Pause & Play online in October 1997. Since then, it has become the definitive place for CD-release dates — with a worldwide audience.

Comments are closed.

Back to Top ↑


    Entertainment Weekly names Pause & Play one of “the 100 greatest Web sites”

  • Album Release Dates

    * Release dates are subject to change due to the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic

    Feb. 26, 2021 » Alice Cooper, Willie Nelson, Madison Beer, King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard, Architects, Bonnie Tyler, Cabaret Voltaire, Lucy Spraggan, Cloud Nothings, Dale Watson, Julien Baker, Epica, Maxïmo Park, etc.

    March 5, 2021 » Kings of Leon, Chevelle, Zara Larsson, A Day to Remember, Neil Young, Chase Atlantic, Gabrielle, Teenage Fanclub, Ellizabeth and the Catapult, Jimbo Mathus & Andrew Bird, Paul Stanley’s Soul Station, Visionist, etc.

    March 12, 2021 » Selena Gomez, Nick Jonas, Rob Zombie, Valerie June, Andra Day, Saga, The Paper Kites, Butch Walker, Strawbs, Lake Street Dive, Jane Monheit, Israel Nash, Witch Camp, Pino Palladino and Blake Mills, James Levy, etc.

    March 19, 2021 » Lana Del Rey, Ringo Starr, Loretta Lynn, Harry Connick Jr., Sting, Ryan Adams, Steve Earle & The Dukes, Jon Batiste, Middle Kids, The Snuts, Serj Tankian, Chad VanGaalen, etc.

    More New Releases » March 26 and Beyond: Carrie Underwood, Evanescence, AJR, Suzi Quatro, FITZ, Tower of Power, Tune-Yards, Sara Watkins, Mark Bryan, Al Stewart, Flock of Dimes, Leslie Jordan, Taylor Swift, Cheap Trick, Rhiannon Giddens with Francesco Turrisi, Parker Millsap, Eric Church, Greta Van Fleet, The Offspring, Escape the Fate, Tom Jones, Peter Frampton, Dinosaur Jr., Sir Sly, Dumpstaphunk, Marianne Faithfull, Mick Fleetwood & Friends, Birdy, The Dropkick Murphys, Shovels & Rope, Teenage Fanclub, The Coral, Royal Blood, New Order, Nancy Wilson, Travis Tritt, Del Amitri, Paul Weller, The Chills, Juliana Hatfield, David Gray, Gary Numan, Mat Kearney, Ashley McBryde, Shannon McNally, Crowded House, Wolf Alice, AFI, Joshua Radin, Ora The Molecule, Maggie Rose, and many more.

    More Upcoming Releases » Albums coming in 2021 but yet to be scheduled

    Elton John loves Pauseandplay.comDeals of the DayBest SellersSennheiser MOMENTUM 2 Wireless Over-Ear HeadphonesIE 400 Pro In-Ear Monitors

  • New Merch at Hot TopicSave on Tablets at Walmart.comBand T-ShirtsTurntables & AccessoriesHome Audio SystemsAmazon Tap $40 OffSave up to 90% on Textbooks

    NOTE: is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites. We also participate in other affiliate programs.

  • Love We do, too … Help us keep it going. (Every little bit helps.) We ♥ u.

  • Recent Posts

  • Connect on Facebook

  • On Twitter