Del Castillo

SXSW Records

Phases and Stages

Del Castillo

Brothers of the Castle (SCP) There's a simple reason why this new Austin band sells so many CDs at their shows. They kick serious ass. Founded as an organic Latin guitar project between brothers Mark and Rick del Castillo, their surnamed band draws on western classical, flamenco, and symphonic rock guitar pyrotechnics to fashion an extremely lively album. Far from simply a guitar vehicle, this exceptional debut also features the talents of percussionist Rick "The Rev" Holeman, drummer Mike Zeoli, bassist Albert "El Beto Bert" Besteiro, and Alex "El Lobo" Ruiz on vox. Brothers of the Castle is primarily a flamenco-flavored expedition, but less Gipsy Kings and more Paco de Lucía as "Spanish Castle Tango" attests, although a glass is raised to the Kings in the very fluid "Dias de los Angeles," and a bit of Strunz and Farah shows up in "Song for Jordan." "29/11" reveals dazzling guitar technique, and "Mexican Lounge Lizard" highlights enthused and musical interplay, which makes the fretboard wizardry of "Barrio Blues" somewhat redundant, the blooze song confusing rather than adding to the gestalt. That said, the sheer entertainment value of tunes like opener "Mi Carino" and closer "El Camino Menos Transitado" are proof of a popular local band in the making. (Wednesday, March 13, Momo's, 11:30pm)

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