New York, NY (Top40 Charts)
It's Friday night and you and your date are about to go out for the evening. You really want to have a nice experience and brush off the work week. The usual scene seems a bit inappropriate for one reason or another. So you are looking for that memorable evening. I was in this situation albeit a bit different as I was invited to take in the on stage presence of a group named Del Castillo
. I don't think I will ever forget what I heard and saw that evening.
Allow me to digress: It was a Thursday night and drummer Robbie Parrish invited myself along with Ron Fontenot (Ron Fontenot Photography) and Allen Fuentes (Beltway Studio) to Houston's top rated listening room The Mucky Duck. I arrived just about show time and after exchanging hellos at our table the performance began. Tonight the group on stage would be the trio formation of the six member band and when they started a hush fell over the crowd. A good portion of the attendees were fans and they were ready to hear the sounds of Del Castillo. The others like myself were curious and waiting in anticipation. Well it didn't take long before myself and the others who were hearing them for the first time knew why. Talk about superb musicianship and professional stage appeal these men had both precision musicianship and I do mean precision musicianship and stage presence. Stage presence meaning there wasn't forty five minutes of tuning and fifteen minutes of music.
No once they began their performance it was non stop and seamless. The energy on stage remained constant for the entire gig and the showmanship was if we were watching a Las Vegas show right there in Houston. The songs being showcased were selections with intricate movements along with the marvelous vocals of Alex. The two men on guitar passed off segments of music between them with such ease that I had to look twice to be sure I had witnessed what I just saw. It was incredible, this is how a live show should be presented as it was both exciting to watch and great to hear. It truly was an experience. The next day after the show I combed the Del Castillo website looking to learn more and I found it. The artists I saw plus the rest of the band were so exciting to Robert Rodriguez the famous director/producer that he not only contracted with them to get their music into his film but he also added them in person.
The same happened again as another of their original songs was placed in the film and soundtrack for "Once Upon A Time In Mexico" starring Johnny Depp, Antonio Banderas and Salma Hayek. But it didn't stop at just being fortunate enough to have their music in each movie. They were invited to perform at the premiere of each movie. Again their live performance dazzled movie goers as it added that special professional elegance to such a grand beginning for the film's release. Quentin Tarantino loved their music so much that he actually edited the ending sequence of "Kill Bill Vol. II" to fit the song into his film. Their live performance can be seen on YouTube and has over 4 million views. What is truly remarkable is that the group Del Castillo came to life as the men originally just wanted to craft a private show for their immediate family and friends. The response immediately told them that the were on to something. People hear them and see their show and they become fans from that day forward. So their meteoric rise was not a planned business decision but a love for their family.
Maybe that says it all. If it's in your soul good things come to life. Del Castillo resides in greater Austin Texas and this Texas based group, even though they have been together for years continues to pack them in. Their celebration of traditional Mexican musical culture combined with their showmanship is something to behold. Their absolutely mesmerizing vocal and instrumental performances are as good live as it is on recorded sound, a rarity for sure. To date the group has garnered an astonishing eighteen awards including SXSW/Austin Music Awards "Album of the Year", Austin Music Awards "Band of the Year", ASCAP's "Best Independent Group of the Year" and Austin Music Pundits "Best Live Act". Take someone you love to experience Del Castillo and I guarantee you will have plenty talk about on the way home. If I'm lying, I'm dying.
by John in Houston, part of the "Conversations With The Professionals" series