“...I’m not small, it’s a big guitar!”
— Los Castro
Portland resident Los Castro is a self professed "Cali dude". He exudes affable transparency at first meet. He is a product of '70's Rock & Soul Radio, and part of a large, boisterous, and music loving family in which everyone sang with a natural melodic voice. Ironically enough, that was only a musical spark. In his words, what fired him up was more like “out of a bad 80's movie." Van Halen, Toto & Journey were on the radio and he knew 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...
Among his biggest musical set-backs were, his 1st classical guitar teacher dying, his parents fearing he would succumb to vices such as his promising uncles, and going through a painful divorce.
Frustrated yet undeterred, he formed an unlikely friendship with a retired bluegrass pro full of empathy who before losing his hearing, tasked Los with caring for a prized ‘72 Martin D-35 nicknamed "Ol Gal" It made Los appreciate more pure traditional fingerstyles like bluegrass, blues, latin, and jazz. And yet, as the saying goes, he wasted his youth on music for the young...after being in several R&B/Funk-Rock bands during the 90’s with his younger brother and friends, he became stylistically adept enough to unwittingly find 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) He stopped playing altogether to raise a young family and regained his zeal after his children had grown. 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,The Eagles, Sting, Sade, Bill Withers, Hall & Oats, Toto, and Journey.
More than three decades of musical immersion and the realities of life have transpired, Los' lyrics now paint a portrait of a complex mind with simple heart. One full of compassion that can only come from enduring trials and tribulations. As a consummate father, he sifts through those same experiences for wisdom as if speaking to his children, and he often uses humor to sweeten the sometimes bitter taste of truth from 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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