Del Castillo is a cross-cultural power in music. Their original sound blends, rock, Latin, blues, and world music.
"Whether Del Castillo works in Spanish or English, it rocks righteously. The Spanish guitars’ flamenco vibe gives a dramatic flair, abetted by Alex Ruiz’s passionate vocals. They pull together Latin music’s romance and rock’s grit." says Billboard"
“… tumbling brilliance on nylon-string guitars…These eruptions of technique and taste conjure images of Eddie Van Halen fronting early Santana (with an assist from the Gipsy Kings).” says Rolling Stone.
Between the release of their first CD, Brothers of the Castle back in 2001, to their 2006 release, Brotherhood, Del Castillo has received an astonishing 18 awards including SXSW/Austin Music “Album of the Year” Awards for Vida (2002) and Brotherhood (2006), “Band of the Year (2003)”, ASCAP’S “Best Independent Group of the Year (2005)”, and Austin Music Pundits “Best Live Act (2004)”.
Film Director Robert Rodriguez attended a Del Castillo concert in 2002 and a great friendship developed between the two. Rodriguez then enlisted the group to contribute music to the soundtracks of his movies, such as “Spy Kids 3D”, “Once Upon a Time in Mexico”,“Sin City”, and “GRINDHOUSE”, and perform with him at the premieres. Rodriguez was so impressed with Del Castillo that he wanted to record with them, so together, they formed CHINGON and recorded an amazing electric rendition of the Mexican classic song, “Malaguena Salerosa”. Quentin Tarantino loved it so much that he re-did the ending sequence of “Kill Bill Vol. II” to fit the song into his movie.
By 2004, Del Castillo was touring nationwide across the country playing with such diverse acts as Styx, Los Lonely Boys, Ozomatli, Don Henley, Los Lobos, and Willie Nelson and continued tour non-stop through 2006. They have performed at three of Willie Nelson’s 4th Of July Picnics, and at Eric Clapton’s Crossroads Guitar Festival, and they have made numerous national and local TV appearances.
Willie Nelson enjoyed Del Castillo so much that he re-recorded his song “I Never Cared For You” with the group (which is included on Del Castillo’s Brotherhood CD) and calls it “his favorite version”. Nelson has become a good friend of the band as well and the two look forward to touring together again soon.
During 2008, the band began playing major festivals all over the country and even Canada and widening its audience at a much more rapid rate. At California’s famous Strawberry Music Festival, they were deemed the highlight of the festival and broke the merchandise sales record. Immediately after their incendiary debut performance at the Vancouver Folk Festival in Canada, they were selected to play the headlining stage for 2009.
Rick and Mark del Castillo were selected in December 2008, by Gibson Global, to be two of only about SIX guitarists in the world to launch their new state-of the-art Dark Fire Gibson Les Paul guitar line.
The band, now reunited with longtime charismatic frontman Alex Ruiz providing lead vocals, is recording new music with the brothers’ mesmerizing guitar driven songs, intertwined with hypnotic rhythms from Mike Zeoli and Jason Murdy, and pulsating bass lines from Albert Besteiro.
Through their great artistic friendship and partnership with director Robert Rodriguez, Rick, Mark, Alex & Mike are featured actors performing on the TV show "From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series" on the El Rey Network!
“I want to bring the most exciting and authentic content possible,” said Rodriguez when announcing the TV series. “Chingon and Del Castillo have been part of my experience providing this kind of entertainment to audiences since the beginning.”
Del Castillo’s new instrumental track, “Las Seis Cuerdas de Tony Montuno” was recently hand picked to be featured on episode 2 of ABC’s new crime/drama Killer Women (01/14).
Mark & Rick are featured on Ray Benson’s just released solo CD, A Little Piece.
Del Castillo has received accolades and awards for their music and performances over the years. At the Ellnora Guitar Festival in Illinois, Matt Blackett from Guitar Player Magazine said:
“Watching brothers Rick and Mark del Castillo take the stage and throw down dazzling nylon-string runs, in unison and in harmony, made me a big fan… infectious Latin rhythms with mind-boggling solos.” ( view video)
From the Montreaux Music Festival in Switzerland, and the Ellnora Guitar Festival in Illinois, to the California World Music Festival, Del Castillo thrives on performing live. Songwriting and recording projects are a priority during breaks in their tour schedule.
Lesly Reynaga has made a striking first impression in Texas’ capital city, where the Austin American-Statesman states she “has the potential to be an Austin breakout star.” The 26-year-old singer-songwriter has received accolades from Austin’s mayor, been recognized as a champion of her Latino community and earned support from numerous iconic artists. Her new release, a six-song EP titled “Dual Passport,” was co-produced by Reynaga and recorded with renowned musicians David Grissom, Michael Ramos, Graham Reynolds and AJ Vallejo. A highlight of the EP was the involvement of her mentor, industry legend Al Bell, former chairman and owner of Stax Records and president of Motown Records.
“I have been associated with many—I mean many—rare and successful artists that have excited me and that I’ve been proud of,” said Bell, who has teamed up with artists ranging from Otis Redding to Prince. “But it is always a delightfully shocking phenomenon to me when I meet that artist that I can identify as one-of-a-kind. [Lesly’s] the world’s next female singing and guitar-playing rare superstar.”
Born and raised in Monterrey, Mexico, Reynaga pays homage to her two nationalities on “Dual Passport.” The release highlights stories about her childhood and upbringing in Mexico; immigration issues; and her pride calling America home, having recently become a U.S. citizen.
Reynaga learned her first song at age four and was tapped for a national Mexican television reality show as a singing talent at age 14. She took bows as an award-winning mariachi vocalist in McAllen and Austin before embarking on her solo career.