Tower of Power Day in Oakland to celebrate 50 years

June 1, 2018 Last Updated: June 1, 2018

RB Band Tower of Power, which originated in Oakland, its celebrating its 50th anniversary this weekend with a new CD release and several Oakland concerts.

Of the CD, original Tower of Power member Emilio Castillo says, “I set out to make the best CD of my career.” He says they took a “Michael Jackson approach,” recording far more than they believed they would need, and planning to select only the very best. While the band planned to select twelve of the twenty-eight songs they recorded, the record company wanted to print them all. This may be because it was, as fellow original band member Stephen “Doc” Kupka says, “very micromanaged and well-made.” Castillo said they had very good help to finish up the project, and that they really tried to challenge themselves musically throughout the project. The first half of the recordings, “Soul Side of Town,” is coming out this weekend, while the other half will come out within the next year.

Tower of Power is unique in part because, while other bands of their era dropped their horn sections over time, Tower of Power never did. They believe that “everything is better with horns.” Perhaps this is part of what gives them their sound. Castillo says that it “is an Oakland sound.” For him, it represents soul music coming out of a very blue collar, down to earth environment – the Oakland he and other band members knew when they were still living there. Of if or how Oakland has changed over time, Doc says, “Yes, it is very gentrified… I’d move back here, but I can’t afford it.”

Tower of Power is performing on Friday and Saturday. Saturday’s concert is already sold out.