“...I’m not small, it’s a big guitar!”
— Los Castro
Portland resident Los Castro was born in California. He is a product of 70's Rock & Soul radio, a time when music defined the culture of the streets like no other decade before. Latin, jazz, funk, blues, rock, and country were all equal siblings, it was simply, music. Los’ family represented America in every way, large, boisterous, and musical. Everyone sang with natural melodic voices. Ironically, having inherited a soaring voice was not enough incentive to spark his musical interest. His real introduction to music was “out of a bad 80's movie." Van Halen, Toto & Journey were on heavy rotation on MTV and in every movie, the boy with the guitar got the girl. His prayers were answered more or less when he literally fell, upon an old acoustic guitar while helping his grandmother clean out a closet. It was a start. But, many challenges would follow...
It was 1984. No sooner had he started taking classical guitar lessons, Los’ guitar teacher died. Frustrated yet undeterred, he formed an unlikely friendship with a retired bluegrass pro who kindly empathized because he too was losing touch with music as he progressively lost his hearing. Much to Los’ delight, the gentle southerner asked Los to take care of “his ‘ol gal” a prized ‘72 Martin D-35! It made Los extremely appreciative of more pure traditional fingerstyles like bluegrass, blues, latin, and jazz. As the saying goes, youth is wasted on the young...fast forward. After being in several R&B/Funk-Rock bands during the 90’s with his younger brother and friends, he grew stylistically adept at playing lead guitar in different scenarios, enough so, that he unwittingly found himself being mentored by some of SoCal's finest studio musicians, or as he endearingly calls them, "musical finishing school" (sorry, no name dropping here) His humble adaptability now bears evidence that he is paying off a debt of gratitude to those who fostered his love for ALL good music. His main influences are, James Taylor, The Eagles, George Benson, Santana, Hall & Oats, Toto, and Journey.
More than three decades of musical immersion and the realities of life have passed. Los' lyrics now paint a portrait of a complex mind with a simple heart. One with a compassion that can only come from enduring trials and tribulations. Being a consummate father, he mines those same experiences for wisdom as if always speaking to his children, and he often uses humor to sweeten the sometimes bitter taste of truth of those cautionary tales about love, loss, and second chances. Los sketches at the boundaries of genres as diverse as Latin, soul, blues, funk, jazz, world, rock, and pop. It displays depth, range, and perhaps even provides a glimpse of both his romantic Latin heritage, and the optimistic exuberance of his youth.
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