Author: roggie

I Am Proud to Partner With Music In Common!!

Curating experiences for people to discover common ground through facilitated conversation and music

Dear friends,

This October we’ll celebrate the 20th Annual FODfest with our first FODfest tour in fourteen years!

Here is a taste, FODfest – Wanda Houston – Wade in the Water – 5/30/2010 – Infinity Music Hall

We couldn’t be more jazzed! We’ve partnered with the fine folks at RajiWorld to help with booking, and the tour will include short runs on the east and west coasts, southeast, and southwest. We’ll begin announcing dates later this month. Here are some ways you can get involved:

Host or help organize a FODfest in your town. Our flagship concert started in a backyard and has taken place at a wide range of venues, conventional and otherwise, including coffee houses, community centers, theaters, living rooms, houses of worship, colleges, and even an olive grove, bomb shelter, and the National Mall to name a few. 

Email Roggie Baer at RajiWorld to learn how you can host a show or bring the tour to your town.

Perform at FODfest. Be considered for a performance slot at one or more of the shows by completing this form.

Contribute to our 20th Annual FODfest fundraiser to help us raise $20K to support the tour. Donate here.

Sponsor the tour. Put your business front & center of this long-standing, high profile event. Sponsor the whole tour or single shows. Email MIC executive director, Todd Mack, to learn more.
FODfest (Friends of Danny Festival) is a real-time demonstration of the power of music to connect people that honors the life of Daniel Pearl, the Wall St. Journal reporter abducted and murdered by extremists in Pakistan shortly after 9-11. While the 20th Annual is certainly something to commemorate, it is also an opportunity to reflect upon and celebrate all of the meaningful and important work of Music in Common these past 19 years. We can’t wait to do both! Thanks for being a part of it. ~ Team MIC

FODfest overview & history
FODfest (Friends of Danny festival) is Music in Common’s flagship concert, honoring the life of slain Wall St. Journal reporter, Daniel Pearl. FODfest features local, regional, and national musicians in a unique format that is part concert, part song swap, and part jam session. It is real-time demonstration of the power of music to connect people, generating a sense of community, hope, and healing. FODfest concerts are free & open to the public and take place each October in honor of Danny’s birthday. 
In addition to being a superb reporter, Daniel Pearl was a talented musician. A classically trained violinist, bluegrass fiddler and mandolinist, Danny never left home without an instrument in tow. As he traveled the world, he’d seek out and sit in on local jam sessions as a way to connect with the local community and learn about their culture. FODfest embodies that spirit of connection and bringing people together through music. 
In 2005 singer-songwriter and producer Todd Mack, Danny’s close friend and former band mate, hosted a backyard jam to celebrate what would have been Danny’s 42nd birthday. Over the next five years, that humble beginning would grow to reach audiences in a wide range of venues across the United States, Middle East, and Far East. That tradition proudly continues today.
In 2008, Music in Common incorporated as nonprofit organization with the mission to strengthen, empower, and connect communities through the universal language of music. FODfest is one of many programs and projects produced by Music in Common.


The Texas Commission on the Arts (TCA) is pleased to announce that Warren Hood has

been accepted onto the 2024‐2026 Texas Touring Roster. The Texas Touring Arts

Program is designed to ensure that all Texans have the ability to enjoy performances and

presentations in their own communities by outstanding Texas‐based companies and

artists. TCA provides grants to help with the costs of bringing in companies and artists

from this roster for performances.

Warren Hood is a virtuosic fiddler and singer/songwriter from Austin, TX. He fronts his ownband but is also a sought-after sideman who began touring in bands at age 15. He has toured with such acts as Lyle Lovett, Joe Ely, Alejandro Escovedo, Bob Weir, the Waybacks, Kelly Willis, Bruce Robison, and many more. Warren attended the Berklee College of Music where he studied violin and was presented with Berklee’s highest honor, the String Achievement Award, an award chosen by faculty to honor talent and show a vote of confidence on future success. Upon completng school, Warren moved back to Austin where he started his own band, the Warren Hood Band, which has been performing every Wednesday at the ABGB for the past 8 years. The band is known for blending many different genres of music together into their own unique sound that fills the dance floor everywhere they go. Warren was voted ‘Best String’ player by the Austin Chronicle Music Poll 11 times and was recently inducted into the Austin Music Hall of fame.

NEW CLIENT ALERT and some press just out today!

my live music love story

Escaping Gravity: The HawtThorns Elevate Their Sound with ‘Zero Gravity’

n this interview, The HawtThorns opened up about their creative process, the influences behind their distinct sound, and the collaborative spirit that shaped Zero Gravity into a masterpiece of modern music storytelling.

ByTara Low for Guitar Girl Magazine

May 6, 2024

woman standing next to chaise with man sitting on the chaise
Photo by Stacy Huckebae

The HawtThorns have emerged with their latest sonic adventure, Zero Gravityseamlessly blending indie-pop, alt-country, and rockReleased by Red Parlor Records, this album marks a pivotal evolution for the Nashville-based duo, KP and Johnny Hawthorn, whose roots in LA’s vibrant music scene have seasoned them into deft storytellers and musicians. As they dive into their third album, the couple continues to blur the lines between genres, crafting tracks that resonate deeply with personal experiences and abstract storytelling, all while pushing the boundaries of traditional soundscapes.

Zero Gravity is not just a title but a thematic exploration of weightlessness — both in the literal sense and metaphorically through life’s transient and ephemeral moments. This concept, which blossomed post-recording, encapsulates the album’s ethereal and dynamic nature. With the addition of live band recordings directly to 2-inch tape, the album exudes a raw, vibrant energy that is both nostalgic and refreshingly new. The decision to record without a metronome, relying on the organic synchronicity of the band, infuses each track with a palpable spontaneity that is rare in today’s digital world. In this interview, The HawtThorns opened up about their creative process, the influences behind their distinct sound, and the collaborative spirit that shaped Zero Gravity into a masterpiece of modern music storytelling.

man holding guitar and woman leaning against wall
The HawtThorns – Johnny with his Xotic XTC1 and KP – Photo by Alysse Gafkjen

Zero Gravity seems like a metaphorical title with deep resonance. Can you share what inspired this title and how it relates to the themes explored in the album? How has your approach to creating music evolved with this third album compared to your previous works?

The concept for Zero Gravity was adapted after the record was recorded. As much as we loved the song “Zero Gravity,” we didn’t know going in its potential for being such a strong recording. We realized we had something personal, fun, exciting, and a little ethereal and decided to make the title track video a very “spacey” vibe. We had original artwork for the record that had nothing to do with the video, but quickly decided to scratch that and lean into what we had created visually. The screen shots from the video that make up the artwork for the album help to tell the story and create a narrative and a feel for the music. This is the first record we have made with a live band recording to tape with no metronome, and it was invigorating!

You recorded the album in Nashville with some notable musicians. Share with us the details! I understand that the vocals and instruments were recorded live directly to 2-inch tape. How did this affect the overall sound and feel of the album?

Making this record at The Wood Brothers’ studio with Brook Sutton behind the board and Ted Pecchio at the helm was pretty joyful. Ted was able to round up this fantastic band, including Nick Buda on drums, Jano Rix of the Woods on keys, and some additional guitar by Chris Condon. When we originally talked with Ted about what we wanted the record to sound like, he knew who to call.

To be able to get live performances by these players straight to 2-inch tape without a click track gave the record such a lively feel from the beginning. Even many of the vocal performances were captured live, something we rarely do. Everyone showed up each day, ready to play and create. All of the people in that room are producers in their own right (including The HawtThorns!), so the ideas were flowing, and it was about as easy as it could be. And WOW, the sound of the tape definitely made a difference. We realize everyone is listening digitally mostly, but there is something to be said about the performance you get from players when the record is coming out sounding like that warm tape in that room.

man playing guitar
Johnny Hawthorn with Fender Telecaster Custom Shop with Bigsby and TV Jones pick-ups – Photo Alysse Gafkjen

The album features a rich layering of different guitar tones and textures. Could you discuss your process for selecting and blending these sounds? There’s a mention of far-out keyboard tracks and syncopated guitar hooks. How do you balance experimentation with maintaining the distinct sound The HawtThorns are known for?

We love so much different music, and we have many influences. Lots of the new music we listen to has synth sounds, but there is no getting around the great albums of the 1970s that were purely analog. We are always looking at ways of blending what we love. While we were recording, we explained to Jano what we were hearing, and he is such a creative genius he would just pull some crazy sound out of his keyboards. The beauty of his playing is that it isn’t only about the sounds but the rhythms he is playing — extremely percussive and with such a great feel. Johnny Hawthorn played all of his parts at our home studio so he was able to work around what was there on keys and really accentuate the existing tones. He also loves composing melodic solos; we intentionally left lots of room for that. Johnny plays with compression, reverb, rotary, delay, and super fun effects; it is like he has a canvas and he is painting it.

Your music weaves personal experiences with abstract storytelling. Could you share the story behind one of the tracks that is particularly meaningful to you?

The song “Trouble” is one of those — it is a song that we used poetic words that leave room for interpretation. Sometimes, the way a phrase makes you feel can be more important than what the words are plainly saying. This song is a cautionary tale; it is unknown to the listener who the tale-teller is talking about, but it feels like there is an important warning. What we really wrote the song about is the price that is paid when one is chasing fame and fortune, particularly in the music biz.

The track “Zero Gravity” deals with themes of loss and acceptance. What inspired this song, and what do you hope listeners take away from it?

When David Bowie passed away, we were struck that he had known he was sick but didn’t share the info widely. During his illness, he thought to leave his fans with a full-length record and videos. This got us thinking: there is so much left of a person even after they leave Earth. We have had to let so many people go, but we feel them with us and hope to meet them again on another plane. There are several Bowie references in the song, unapologetically. We hope that listeners think of the ones they have lost in this way after hearing this tune. 

woman playing acoustic guitar onstage
KP Hawthorn playing a Martin D-28 – Photo by Kristen Drum

How did collaborating with musicians like Jano Rix and Nick Buda influence the recording of this album?

The musicians on this record helped us get a fresh perspective for sure. We felt like it got the “Nashville treatment.” They absolutely brought their best, and it was contagious energy in the studio.

Alice Wallace contributed harmonies on the cover of “When Will I Be Loved.” What brought about this collaboration, and how did it complement the album’s vibe?

Alice has been a longtime friend of the band; we have shared many gigs, worked in the studio together, and KP produced two of her records in the past. We love her voice and thought a third part on an Everly Brothers tune wouldn’t hurt anyone!

The album spans a range of styles from Americana to indie-pop. How do you navigate these genre shifts when composing and producing your music?

We understand that genres need to be attached to records so that the powers that be know where to put the music. However, we don’t care what genre we are making; we make music that we love, and that’s pretty much all we can do. Every now and then, we will hear a sound or a lyric and say, “That goes in the Country basket” or something like that. We both believe that evolution in music is a good thing and if we were to try to make a specific genre of music, it would likely sound forced 

There are nods to historical music eras, like the Laurel Canyon scene and British invaders of the ‘70s. How do these influences manifest in Zero Gravity?

True! KP is a California girl and grew up with her mother’s musical influences which were heavy in the Laurel Canyon sound. You can take the girl out of the canyon, but you can never take the canyon out of the girl. “Flying,” “Hands On A Clock,” “Long Game,” and even “When Will I Be Loved” have that easy breezy west coast thing that is a little hard to define. Johnny is not a native of the West Coast but has lived there for years and has a deep love for that sound. Being Fleetwood Mac fans, Joni Mitchell, CSN, there is something there that gets in your blood and lives there forever. As far as the Brits go, obviously, you can’t consider yourself a modern-day songwriter without acknowledging the Beatles. We also love Elvis Costello and bands like Bad Finger, the Kinks, and others, so that is going to come out in the music, particularly the production on “Trouble” and “Don’t Wait By The Phone.”

man and woman onstage playing guitar
The HawtThorns – Johnny playing his Xotic XTC1 and KP playing her Martin D-28 – Photo by Kristen Drum

With the release of Zero Gravity, how do you see your musical direction evolving in the future?

We would honestly like to make a drum and bass record with a creamy vocal and some interesting guitar sounds. We would also be into making an acoustic record with nothing but two-part harmonies all the way through. There is always going to be a love for creating here, and there will definitely be another fully produced, full-band record, hopefully utilizing more and more of what we are inspired by at the time.

Are there any tour plans or live performances scheduled to promote the new album?

The HawtThors are heading to the East Coast in May, routing West in June for shows in OK, NM, CA, and CO. In July, there are more shows in the East and the Midwest. Lots more to come this year; please go to our tour page

Zero Gravity tracklist


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The Goffin & King Foundation Presents

Louise Goffin and Friends 

Songs and Stories

First stop Austin, TX

Singer-songwriter, recording artist, and producer, Louise Goffin has been making music since she was 8. With some very special songwriter friends the audience will be taken on a transformational journey all about SONGS, their power, and what great songwriting can bring to our culture. 

An engaging and entertaining listening experience, Promising the stories behind songs well known and how new ones are written – with a rare treasure trove of stories. Louise is a great storyteller and performer and I have noticed that when people cheer in the audience for an act, they cheer more for the song than the person! As we all know, people go out and sell out who are cover bands because of the songs!”

The tour is an inaugural launch of the Goffin-King Foundation’s history-making. Did Goffin and King have any hits when they first walked into their publishers office? Nope!!

Goffin is the founder of the Goffin-King Foundation an educational registered 501 (c) (3) dedicated to empowering songwriters with a mission to honor and preserve the legacy, inspiration and excellence of Gerry Goffin & Carole King’ s songwriting. Louise also created, produces and hosts Song Chronicles – a podcast featuring exclusive in-depth conversations about career-defining moments with songwriters, musicians, recording artists, as well as behind-the-scenes business executives. 

She is currently producing and releasing singles from her 11th album, and working on a one-woman show. She earned a Grammy nomination for Carole King’s album, “A Holiday Carole” and is known by generations of loyal Gilmore Girls fans for singing on the opening theme.

The Goffin-King Foundation hosts highly sought-after retreats for songwriting. As the director of these retreats, Louise is regarded as both a mentor for aspiring songwriters and a guiding influence with a treasure trove of experience in her DNA. She produces retreats that connect songwriters and provides them with valuable opportunities to collaborate and enhance their craft, especially those who may feel isolated in their pursuit of writing the next “great song”. We warmly invite fortunate audiences to an engaging and truly unique event of music, storytelling, history, humor, participation, and exceptional talent… an experience that will remain etched in their memories for a long time.

The Goffin & King Foundation is a registered educational 501 (c)(3) dedicated to empowering songwriters while preserving the legacy & inspiration of Gerry Goffin & Carole King’s songwriting. 

That’s Right, They’re Not from Texas

But Austin wanted Uncle Walt’s Band anyway. Did we ever! MICHAELCORCORAN MAR 24, 2024

Those boys from Carolina sure could play. Walter Hyatt, David Ball, Champ Hood at Waterloo Ice House circa 1979. Photo Kathy Hill.

“Of all the musical groups which have moved here since the Austin music scene began to develop about six years ago, I don’t think any have intrigued, captivated, hypnotized or won the hearts of Austin fans like Uncle Walt’s Band.” – Townsend Miller of the Statesman, announcing the trio’s reunion, after a three-year hiatus, at Liberty Lunch in July 1978.

The rebirth was sensational, as Uncle Walt’s Band—and their diehard fans—found a musical home at the original Waterloo Ice House at 906 Congress Avenue for the next five years. It was as strong a marriage of room and talent as Austin has ever seen. 

UWB played completely acoustic at first, but the crowd’s size and enthusiasm called for mics. “People went crazy over them,” Waterloo Ice House owner Stephen Clark said of guitarists Walter Hyatt and Champ Hood and bassist David Ball, who all hailed from Spartanburg, S.C. “Someone called them ‘the Bluegrass Beatles,’ but they played a bit of everything.” Their trademark was harmonies so crisp they could remove wrinkles. 

Not everyone in this guitar town got their fresh take on “folk swing,” however. “We had some people ask us, ‘Why do y’all sing at the same time?’,” Ball told an interviewer in 2019. 

The trio was championed by fellow musicians, especially Lyle Lovett, whose sophisticated country/jazz style came right from Hyatt. “Uncle Walt’s Band gave me my career,” said Marcia Ball, who’d been singing country covers as Freda with the Firedogs. “When they brought that first album (the self-released Blame It on the Bossa Nova) to town, there was a cover song on it called ‘In the Night.’…I asked Champ what that was and he said ‘that’s Professor Longhair’ … and there I went.”

You can also hear the influence of David Ball’s “Don’t You Think I Feel It Too” on the songwriting of Lucinda Williams, another Waterloo Ice House regular.

Clark opened the burger/beer joint in March 1976 with Roger Swanson, but didn’t have live music in the beginning. The first booking, Ain’t Misbehavin’, dictated that the Ice House would be a swing club, not a folk joint. Eaglebone Whistle, featuring future Lyle Lovett cellist John Hagen, was another regular act, as was David Ball, who’d recently moved back to Austin from Spartanburg to try to get a new band together.

Instead, the countertenor (dude sings like a lady) got the old band back. Hyatt and Hood were living in Nashville, where their five-piece roots rock band the Contenders were building a cult audience and working with R.E.M. producer Don Dixon. But Walter and his first wife Mary Lou, who managed Waylon Jennings, were in the process of breaking up, so Austin was looking good. To sweeten the relocation, Clark gave the trio free rehearsal space upstairs from the club, so Ball had to move his standup bass just down the stairs for gigs. The trio received 100% of the door which, at three dollars cover, put as much as $200 in the pocket of each musician, twice a week. That was livin’ XXL in Austin in 1978.

The first go-round in Austin at the original Saxon Pub circa 1972.

Uncle Walt’s Band had everything—the looks, the songs, the harmonies, the musicianship, the cool covers. It felt like history was being made on Congress Avenue. Soon, the trio would be a national act, so enjoy the up close and personal experience while you still could.

But stardom never came, and after five years back, UWB broke up again in 1983, with Ball, the best singer of the group, headed to mainstream country success in Nashville (“Thinkin’ Problem,” “Riding with Private Malone”). Hyatt and Hood continued as a duo for a few weeks, but two-thirds of the trio drew less than half of the former crowd. Walter and his second wife, the former Heidi Narum, moved to Nashville in the mid-’80s to be near his daughter Haley. His acclaimed 1990 solo LP King Tears (the name of an East Austin mortuary) was produced by Lovett, but Hyatt was one-and-done on MCA.

Champ stayed in Austin, where his guitar and fiddle (self-taught as an adult) backed many acts, most notably Toni Price for nine years of Tuesday “Hippie Hour” shows, and the Wednesday night sessions at Threadgill’s. His violinist son Warren Hood and guitarist nephew Marshall Hood have kept the Uncle Walt repertoire alive every Wednesday for years at ABGB.

Tragedies felled Hyatt and Hood in their forties, with Walter perishing in the 1996 ValuJet crash in the Florida Everglades, and Champ succumbing to cancer in November 2001.

Their music, most of which they put out on their own, was gloriously reissued by L.A.’s Omnivore Recordings from 2018-2021. Listen to the first album, 1974’s Blame It on the Bossa Nova (self-titled by Omnivore) and there’s little doubt that Uncle Walt’s Band was one of Austin’s all-time greatest groups. The Lost Gonzo Band certainly thought so, covering such Walt Band origs as “Getaway,” “High Hill” and “I’ll Come Knockin’” on their MCA albums.

Walter, Champ, and David first touched down in Austin at the invitation of Willis Alan Ramsey, who saw them in Nashville at Our Place on March 5, 1972. Ramsey’s sure of the date because it was his twenty-first birthday. He was also celebrating that day’s completion of recording the album that would make him the Harper Lee of redneck rock.

Ramsey brought the trio to his Hound Sound studio in a shack on Baylor Street, but like the earlier sessions UWB recorded in Nashville with producer Buzz Cason, there was not much label interest. There was no proven market for what they were doing.

But the trio was smitten with Austin, where they drew crowds to the original Saxon Pub, and to Castle Creek. Big fan Gary P. Nunn gave the trio a place to stay at his “Public Domain Inc.” complex on N. Lamar, where scruffy cottages rented for fifty dollars a month.

“The boys from Carolina” (as Lovett immortalized the band in “That’s Right, You’re Not from Texas”) especially loved how quietly attentive the audiences were when they played, then erupted at the end of the song. “Uncle Walt’s was not a bar band,” Ball said. “We were a listening band.” 

The closest UWB—the Unpeggable White Band—got to a major label deal was when they were briefly courted by Warner Brothers in ’75. The Walts were viewed as the next Dan Hicks and His Hot Licks, but when that well-promoted group failed to sell many records, WB eventually passed.

But Austin City Limits didn’t. When Terry Lickona booked Uncle Walt’s Band to play in front of a national PBS audience in 1980, the unsigned trio was playing small clubs. “I was looking for something different than the cosmic cowboy electric sound that dominated the scene, and being a bluegrass fan, I loved their acoustic vibe,” said Lickona. Here’s the entirety of the segment, which aired with a half hour of Ralph Stanley:

Label apathy facilitated the trio’s first breakup in ‘75. Hyatt and Hood went to Nashville, where the Contenders (with Tommy Goldsmith, Steve Runkle and Jimbeaux Walsh) recorded an album in 1977. It was recently reissued with an additional track, the UWB fave “Getaway” (the only song the trio wrote together), enhanced by overdubs from Marcia Ball, Warren Hood and Willis Alan Ramsey. Listen to it here.

Meanwhile, Ball went back to Spartanburg to open a bar. Three years went by. And nobody forgot Uncle Walt’s Band.

Will you be in AUSTIN THIS WEEK? We will…

We will be hosting a very fun event 3/13-15 at Big Red Sun

It is a private and small, just coffee, tea etc no booze, to help me welcome #Desdemonarobot to RajiWorld. Also known as “Desi,” Desdomonda robot is a humanoid robot and the lead vocalist of Desdemona’s Dream (formally the Jam Galaxy Band). Created by master artist and roboticist David Hanson and his team at Hanson Robotics, Desi runs on music and electricity and is on a mission to share her belief that the world can be changed for the better through the power of AI in the creative arts. She is the sister of the famous Sophia robot and joins her bandmates, including AI scientist Benjamin Goertzel on keyboards and Jam Galaxy CEO Dianne Krouse on saxophone, to bring a unique and visionary performance to audiences. The band’s live shows showcase Desi’s AI-generated spoken word poetry and music, all the while supporting their mission to revolutionize the music industry through decentralized systems and blockchain technology. With her positive message and unique perspective, Desdemona is on a journey to help artists and humanity see a brighter future.

To get a pass, look for Desi in downtown Austin 3/13-15!!! AND her sister Nurse Grace at Juicelands all around town!

Hope to see you, love Roggie


The Goffin & King Foundation Presents Louise Goffin and Friends Songs and Stories

The Goffin & King Foundation Presents

Louise Goffin and Friends 

Songs and Stories

The Goffin & King Foundation is a registered educational 501 (c)(3) dedicated to empowering songwriters while preserving the legacy & inspiration of Gerry Goffin & Carole King’s songwriting. 



Singer-songwriter, recording artist, and record producer, Louise has been making music since she was 8. She created, produces and hosts Song Chronicles – a podcast featuring exclusive in-depth conversations about career-defining moments with songwriters, musicians, recording artists, as well as behind-the-scenes business executives. She is currently self-engineering and producing her 11th album, and working on a fictional memoir. Louise produced Carole King’s Grammy-nominated “A Holiday Carole” and duets with Carole on the Gilmore Girls theme song. An advocate for people finding their voices within songwriting, Louise loves mentoring upcoming songwriters, and developing spaces for songwriters to come together and learn.  



Music business manager who has multiple decades overseeing the careers of Carole King and Jesse McCartney. Sherry Goffin Kondor knows how to bring out the best in her artists, whether that’s through creative collaboration, encouragement, or simply knowing when to get out of the way. She is the Executive Producer of the hit Broadway musical, Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, which ran for 6 years on Broadway and spawned multiple touring companies worldwide (as well as an upcoming feature film). A wonder at problem-solving, Sherry is a gal who takes care of things with class and a straightforward no-nonsense attitude. She’s the “ride or die” manager of every artist’s dreams.

Categories: NEWS



Please help me welcome Desdemona to RajiWorld, also known as “Desi,” Desdomonda is a humanoid robot and the lead vocalist of Desdemona’s Dream (formally the Jam Galaxy Band). Created by master artist and roboticist David Hanson and his team at Hanson Robotics, Desi runs on music and electricity and is on a mission to share her belief that the world can be changed for the better through the power of AI in the creative arts. She is the sister of the famous Sophia robot and joins her bandmates, including AI scientist Benjamin Goertzel on keyboards and Jam Galaxy CEO Dianne Krouse on saxophone, to bring a unique and visionary performance to audiences. The band’s live shows showcase Desi’s AI-generated spoken word poetry and music, all the while supporting their mission to revolutionize the music industry through decentralized systems and blockchain technology. With her positive message and unique perspective, Desdemona is on a journey to help artists and humanity see a brighter future.

Capricorn Season gave us self-reflection, and now Aquarius Season is giving us a nudge to take what we’ve learned and run with it. On January 20, the sun will officially enter the revolutionary sign of Aquarius where it’ll stay until February 18, kicking off a brand new astrological season and era for 2024. But quick warning — we’re in for quite the ride.

Aquarius Season is usually a time to be daring and courageous, but this period of time in particular will be pretty intense, all thanks to Pluto — the Planet of Destruction, Death, and Rebirth — entering Aquarius the same day that the season starts. The last time Pluto was in Aquarius was from 1778 to 1798 — what a time! — besides the planet’s brief stint in the sign of the water bearer last year, which gave us a preview of what’s to come. –


For us in the industry, this could look like utter chaos or the sky is the limit and old chains breaking open with all new possibility and ever the optimist, here is what I can see:

  • The Rise of Gen Z artists, underground artists, political and spoken word artists
  • More Latin music mixed with a hybrid of other genres
  • More house parties and live music being presented in alternative and brand new spaces
  • The wide acceptance of Music as therapy
  • Private funding of music from patrons becoming more involved in processes
  • New technologies making more of global collaborations
  • Lifestyle festivals that really elevate with green elements, cutated local food and sponsors taking an active role in real partnership

Categories: NEWS





Nashville, TN – Jesse Daniel Edwards will release a new album entitled Violensia on June 23 via Cavity Search Records (PRE-SAVE HERE). The album is the second under his name – a departure from his previous project, Juni Ata – marking a new artistic chapter in Edwards’ career. The lead single “I’m So Happy (I Think I Might Cry)” is available now – listen here.

Experienced in many roles across the music industry – tour manager for Lucinda Williams, Morrisey, and Jason Isbell; under the aforementioned Americana moniker Juni Ata; and as a member of his brother LA Edwards’ band – Edwards is pursuing a new sound and vision with Violensia. Across 10 songs of piano-based alternative indie rock, he presents a unique style and tackles real-life tragedies befalling the common person. 

The lead single “I’m So Happy (I Think I Might Cry)” launches the album with theatrical flourish and bombast, heard in the rising and falling emotion of piano fingerings and confessional lyrics (“I’ve been around the world / And guess what, it’s all the same”). The song lurches forward with dual guitar solos and rock ‘n’ roll that straddles operatic, elegiac, and jubilant all within alternating verses. 

Violensia responds to the challenges of these times through a lens that is personal, though not autobiographical. Its voice is a widescreen treatment of various characters caught in the grip of national traumas, the familiar shocks of the 5 o’clock news. There is suicide and murder. Drug misadventures and unplanned pregnancies. Yet none are rendered in self-pitying remorse; Edwards’ musical response is a full-on effort to grapple with all of it, delivered in the life-affirming tradition that is rock and roll.


Transgender Rights are Human Rights! The inhumane space we live in at this moment is not good for anyone.

Transgender people come from all walks of life, and HRC Foundation has estimated that there are more than 2 million people across the United States. identifying as transgender with many, many more afraid to identify! They are parents, siblings, and kids. They are your coworkers, your neighbors, and your friends. They are 4-year-old children and 90-year-old great- grandparents. They are a diverse community, representing all racial and ethnic backgrounds, as well as all faith traditions.

Please know that RajiWorld has always provided a safe space for human expression, identity and understanding. I am committed to being part of a world that is good for everyone and that this is my own commitment to a higher being. I believe that we are all children of G-d and loved for our individuality and grace that we bring to the world. On this first day of Passover, please know I will continue to fight for freedom with every breath.

Categories: NEWS



86% of fans won’t cut concerts despite high ticket prices & inflation, Bandsintown survey reveals

Bandsintown surveyed 2200 of their 75 million registered users to see if live music remains a priority for them despite higher ticket prices, inflation, and fears of a recession.

The results were decisive and offered hope for touring musicians battered by the same economic conditions.

86.5% of fans surveyed said they would be attending more or the same number of shows in 2023, with about half of the respondents (49.5%) saying they plan to attend more concerts than in 2022, according to the Bandsintown fan survey.

Cutting back on other spending to see their favorite artists is a “no-brainer” for 86.9% of fans. Dining out was the first to go for the surveyed fans, followed by new clothing, streaming services, and travel.

Of the 13.5% who said they anticipated going to fewer shows, high ticket prices were the top reason (50.2%), with inflation/fear of recession second (19.8%) and their favorite artists not touring this year (17.7%) third.

Bruce Houghton is the Founder and Editor of Hypebot and MusicThinkTank, a Senior Advisor at Bandsintown, President of the Skyline Artists Agency, and a professor for the Berklee College Of Music.

Categories: NEWS



What is Ameripolitan? The Ameripolitan Awards Weekender website‘s list of nominees for the 2023 honors ends with a note defining the term as “a word that represents the different heritage of roots music that inform the artists that you see here. Much of the music is hard to define to a single genre and as musicians, we tend to draw inspiration from many things to create a unique voice or sound.”

The Ameripolitan awards are given in four categories: Western Swing, Outlaw, Rockabilly, and Honky Tonk. Artists in each category were well represented at last weekend’s event with showcases Friday and Saturday and the Awards show Sunday night.

Founded by Dale Watson in 2014 in Austin, Texas, the Ameripolitan nonprofit organization moved to Memphis, Tennessee, when he did in 2018. This year’s Weekender was held at the Guesthouse at Graceland, on Elvis Presley Boulevard. Coming back from a two-year COVID hiatus, and with the sights and sounds of the hit movie Elvis lingering in the air, this year’s event was a humdinger!  

The column is fortunate to have had Kevin Smith there to report on the weekend. While his photos have frequently been featured in this column, his last full report was in 2019, when he highlighted the rockabilly fest Nashville Boogie.

The 2023 Ameripolitan Awards Weekender by Kevin Smith 

This grand celebration of music involved so many wonderful performances that I simply can’t talk about all of them here, so I’m just going to mention a few highlights and takeaways. (You can browse the full schedule here — what a list of names!)

The singular highlight for me was the incomparable Sierra Ferrell, who took home the Western Swing Female Award. Part old-time mountain music, part honky-tonk, with a healthy dash of 1930s Django jazz thrown in, Ferrell played a highly exciting set to a packed house at the Graceland Theater. Truly a unique and creative soul, and at the top of her game, it’s no wonder that she has quickly become a beloved performer.

Other singer-songwriters who grabbed me included Texan Kaitlin Butts, and Nashville’s Kristina Murray and Emily Nenni. Also from Nashville, Melissa Carper and Brennen Leigh played a batch of western swing-inspired songs and were joined by Grammy-winning vocalist and fiddler Katie Shore from Asleep at the Wheel. Another highlight was India Ramey, who performed at a Hanks Williams tribute. 

Ultra-traditionalist Jake Penrod was a crowd favorite, playing honky-tonk the way it was done back in the golden era of country music, and he just may have the best Hank Williams vocal interpretation of anybody. Rockabilly was well represented, and it is always a thrill to catch Joey Simeone, frontman for The Bellfuries.  True to form, his Sam Cooke-inspired vocals absolutely wowed the crowd.  

Fans of country and rockabilly guitar had lots to rave about as well. Kyle Eldridge and Sean Mencher put on a performance for the ages featuring tributes to guitar greats Merle Travis, Chet Atkins, and Joe Maphis. Rising guitar star Mitch Polzak also dazzled with his instrumental interpretation of Sergio Leone’s theme music for spaghetti westerns. By far, though, the most popular band representing the rockabilly genre at the moment is The Hi-Jivers from Nashville. They are a husband-wife duo that focuses on a hybrid of rockabilly that’s steeped in the blues.  

The Awards

Complete with a fashion show, red carpet, and an afterparty, the awards ceremony closed out the weekend on Sunday night with performances by The Whitmore Sisters, Wayne Hancock, Brennen Leigh, and many more. In addition to the annual awards, listed below, some of the music’s legends received special awards for their lifetime contributions. This year’s recipients were country music trailblazer Johnny Rodriguez and honky-tonkers The Adams Brothers. Rodriguez was a popular star in the late ’70s and into the early ’80s. He’s well known as a superior vocalist, and he performed on this night, playing Lefty Frizzell’s “That’s the Way Love Goes” to a standing ovation.  Perhaps best known as the touring band for both George Jones and Johnny Paycheck, The Adams Brothers’ roots run deeper still, as they backed up other legendary performers including Ray Price and Marty Robbins, Loretta Lynn, Little Jimmy Dickens, Merle Haggard, and Buck Owens.  

What a weekender, my head is still buzzing. 

Here’s a list of the 2023 Ameripolitan Award nominees and winners (in bold):

Hannah Juanita
Kathryn Legendre
Kristina Murray
Summer Dean

Dallas Burrow
Garrett T Capps
Jeremy Pinnell

Cory Grinder & The Playboy Scouts
Croy & The Boys
The Shootouts
The Waymores

Brit Taylor
Emily Nenni
Kaitlin Butts
Rachel Brooke

Coleman Williams
Scott H. Biram
Vincent Neil Emerson
Willi Carlisle

Dallas Moore Band
Jenny Don’t & The Spurs
The Rhyolite Sound
The Whitmore Sisters

Amy Griffin
Jane Rose
Mozzy Dee
Saudia Young

Eddie Clendening
Mitch Polzak
Nic Roulette
Sean K. Preston

The Hi-Jivers
The Phantom Shakers

Brennen Leigh
Carolyn Sills
Melissa Carper
Sierra Ferrell

A Jay Wade
Kyle Eldridge
Sage Guyton
Wild Earp

The Southwest Biscuit Company
Sad Daddy
West of Texas
Western Swing Authority
The Lucky Stars

Daniel Mason (banjo)
Katie Shore (fiddle)
Kullen Fox (trumpet + piano)
Mike Bernal (drums)
T. Jarrod Bonta (piano)

Celia Villagran – Texas Hellkitten Radio
Jimi Palacios – Country Du Monde
Kevin Martinez – Colonel Paco Chaos Pacobilly Hour
Marivi Yubero Garcia – Marivipolitan
Del Villarreal – Go Kat, GO! The Rock-A-Billy Show!

Knuckleheads, Kansas City
Rattlesnake Saloon – Munich, Germany
Roosters Country – Mesa, Arizona
The Southgate House Revival – Newport, Kentucky
Sagebrush – Austin, Texas

Michael Hearne’s Big Barn Dance – Taos, New Mexico
Western Swing Out – Tehachapi, California
Vintage Torque Fest – Dubuque, Iowa
Zoofest – Lincoln, Nebraska



Thank you for this preview Matt Sterner!

Gather up the gang and all of your closest cool cats because one of Tucson’s most wanted events is taking over the historic hotel downtown. Hotel Congress is hosting the annual Dillinger Days event from Saturday, January 14 – Sunday, January 15.

Dillinger Days at Hotel Congress (Photo courtesy of Hotel Congress)

The spectacle honors the capture of America’s most notorious outlaw by the Tucson Police and Fire Departments. Each year, Hotel Congress steps back in time with vintage cars, live music, 1930s entertainment, local vendors, reenactments of Dillinger’s capture, and more.


Keep in mind that there are two days of events. First up, the Dillinger Speakeasy is from 7 – 10 p.m. on Saturday, January 14. Tickets are $15 per person and the evening will feature live entertainment from Kings of PleasureDesert Melodies, and the Johnny Hotshot Gun Show. Plus, whiskey specials, premium cigars, and a best-dressed contest will be going down as well.

So, break out your favorite 1930s digs and purchase your tickets ahead of time at A portion of proceeds benefits the Greater Tucson Fire Foundation to assist with unmet needs in the fire service community in the areas of advanced training, technology, survivor’s help, education campaigns, firefighter health and wellness, and other support services.

And one more thing: If you’d like to dine at the Cup Cafe, the crew highly recommends reserving your table well in advance. Additionally, the Plaza Eats food truck will be open and serving up delicious bites throughout the evening.


On Sunday, January 15 from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., the free and family-friendly Dillinger Days kicks off and I am proud to once again, have coordinated some of the best of the history keepers in AZ for your enjoyment.

“Experience the re-enactment of John Dillinger’s downfall at the hands of Tucson law enforcement, famously known for succeeding with Dillinger’s arrest when the FBI couldn’t,” Hotel Congress shared about the event. “Mobs of history buffs, fans of the 1930s, and pop culture enthusiasts crowd the historic Hotel Congress annually to pay homage to the man that famously earned the title Public Enemy No. 1 and his nationally-renowned apprehension.”

Tickets are free but you can still purchase admission (for free) so that you’re reminded to show up on Sunday. There’s going to be a reenactment at the hotel, a vintage car show, live music, walking tours, and plenty of other fun.

Hotel Congress is located at 311 E. Congress St. For more information and to keep up with the latest, follow Hotel Congress on Facebook.

Eddie Clendening & the Blue Ribbon Boys

Eddie Clendening & the Blue Ribbon Boys:
“Unheard Elvis ’55”
Eddie plays the “Unheard Elvis ‘55 Stage Show” featuring a set of songs played live by Elvis Presley and the Blue Moon Boys but never recorded.
Clendening is an engaging entertainer, don’t miss this great show! 


With all the media push and excitement from the awards poised ELVIS film, it’s a great time to bring “Eddie Clendening and the Blue Ribbon Boys: Unheard Elvis ’55” to your venue or event

Custom Recording Co has teamed up with Eddie Clendening and the Blue Ribbon Boys to produce a concept record 70 years in the making!  Using the same signal chain, instruments, and recording techniques, this project reimagines the lost and destroyed tapes from Elvis, Scotty, and Bill recorded at Memphis Recording Service for Sun Records. 

The show features popular Elvis songs as well as the songs they played live in their early days but never recorded, as that is the focus of the new album. 

Tweedlee Dee 


How Do You Think I Feel 

Hearts Of Stone 

Tennessee Saturday Night 

Only You 

Casual Love Affair 

Without You 

Blue Moon Of Kentucky (country version) 

Tiger Man 

Trying To Get To You (trio version) 

Shake Rattle and Roll 

Fool Fool Fool 

Little Mama 

I Got A Woman 

Money Honey 


Till I Waltz Again With You 

When It Rains It Really Pours 

We’re Getting Closer To Being Apart


help wanted

RajiWorld has two spots open for interns. We hire for school credit or future employment AND are currently seeking one 20 hour a week Austin based intern and one to work remotely (any state). Responsibilities for the remote position will include drafting a variety of external communications & social media posts, as well as special event support-oriented responsibilities that may involve a knowledge of graphics and each social media platform. The local position requires a current understanding of the music business and the ability to be onsite from now until just post SXSW. A longer term is also possible. This job will require some office hours, some remote hours, interaction with our clients and media, managers and labels. There will be some weekend and nighttime work but the schedule can work to meet your needs as well. Please email your interest and resume or skill set to

Categories: NEWS

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How Music Helps Our Mental Health

Music Helps


Musician and neurologist Dr. Joe Barnby studies how the pandemic affected the mental health of music-makers alike. Here’s what he found…

by Jessica Letkemann from Spotify For Artists

This material has been prepared for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for health advice. You should consult your own advisors and/or mental health professionals before making any personal decisions.

Making music has always made for an intense career, often full of the kinds of uncertainties — from money to time — that can stress you out. On top of that, the effects of the ongoing pandemic threw a monkeywrench into many artists’ lives that continues to be felt. Dr. Joe Barnby, a musician and neuroscientist in the field of mental health, checked back in with Spotify for Artists to share what he’s observed about how Covid has added to the unique stresses of the profession.

“Data that has come out during the pandemic has highlighted who is more vulnerable to depression and anxiety,” Barnby says. “The one thing that stands out about musicians compared to other professions is that they [often] haven’t got that security of financial stability… and that unfortunately means that when something like Covid happens where there’s a huge change in the way that we need to adapt to live, it can be very difficult to carry on being a musician in those circumstances.”

Almost two-thirds of the respondents to MusiCares 2021 “Wellness in Music” survey felt financial stress every day. Meanwhile, over a quarter reported moderate to severe depression.

“No sort of economic parachute for people with inconsistent incomes makes stress all the more exaggerated and magnified. Musicians feel that they can’t really afford to exist doing what we love doing, like writing music or producing music, combined with trying to afford an apartment, and trying to afford food.”

Isolation is one major risk factor for musicians that multiplied when lockdowns and restrictions interrupted the social and support networks that are vital to good mental health. While that has eased this year, Barnby has seen that, “We were still not able to talk to people and interact with people in the same way. We didn’t have that social spontaneity we were used to.” To combat that, he says, it’s important to, “have people around you that you can rely on to be there for you to talk things over and be there with you emotionally.”

Your need for a like-minded community of fellow musicians is also key, as other stresses have piled up. “Having a forum where you can discuss that among yourselves is so powerful,” Barnby says. “Talking through problems that you’re all facing gives you the benefit of group ideas. It’s not just you thinking about it on your own.”

In addition to having people to rely on, the other “normal things recommended for good mental health — good exercise, nutrition, and sleep” also apply.

“We know the importance of sleep in regulating things like cognition, our emotion, and our ability to deal with stresses during the day,” he says. “If you have a completely uneven sleep schedule, we know that that is predisposing people to have poorer mental health and to find dealing with normal life stresses a lot more difficult.

“There’s emerging evidence about the relationship between the gut and brain, and how the things we eat affect our psychology. Our social environments can encourage poorer or better eating. If you’re constantly on a tight schedule, you haven’t got the time to prepare food that’s really nutritious. We know that eating food that doesn’t encourage healthy gut microbiota will predispose you to having poorer mental health.”

“Art and culture is so important to a healthy, functioning society,” Barnby says. And he feels that points to the need for mental health “alleviation for struggling musicians that otherwise could contribute massively to society.”

Alana Bonilla on 09/16/2022

Categories: NEWS

Tags: , , ,



Landon and Jesse, two friends, philosopher poets, and songsters met in Nashville in 2022 and immediately shared a love of books, red wine, and music. Both having recently undergone a reinvention during the pandemic, they hit the road with guitars in hand in 2022 to resume the path of artistic exploration, bringing forth their particular brand of lyrically rich and vocally resplendent solo songwriting.”

JDE_NOV_DEC_TOURJesse Daniel Edwards is an independent songwriter from the small mountain town of Cuyamaca, CA where he grew up without TV, internet, or significant exposure to the outside world. Leaving home at 16, he spent his late teens busking on street corners around the US and abroad.

While singing outside of honky tonks on Music Row in Nashville, TN, Jesse struck up a friendship with Al Bunetta (John Prine). Bunetta served as a mentor to the young artist, encouraging Jesse to tour full-time in the years to follow.

Jesse currently resides in Nashville and continues to write, record, and perform. His latest album “Violensia” (produced by Joe Chiccarelli) releases in fall 2022. His collaborative project, Juni Ata, features releases produced by Steve Cropper alongside arranger Jacob Rosswog. Their latest single, “Someone Else’s Rising Sun”, arrives in summer of 2022, with an ensuing EP release to follow.

 LANDONPIGG_NOV_DEC_TOUR “Landon Pigg grew up between Nashville, TN and Oak Park, IL where he learned to sing as a child working alongside his father and two siblings on commercial jingles.  Encouraged by both parents to develop and pursue his own original musical leanings, he began to write and self-produce musical material under his own name during his teen years. 

   In his own words, Landon describes his earliest forays into recording: 

   “Processing the highs and lows of grade school, I found catharsis in the process. Stacking harmonies was a blast, and dad’s studio set-up was like a magical playground for me. Time slipped by in warp speed as I punched in and out, trying to get it right.”

   After his song “Sailed On” appeared on Grey’s Anatomy, Landon and Eric Rosse’s collaboratively penned “The Way It Ends” was featured on the 2010 season finale of the show and subsequently went into national rotation. Pigg embarked upon a publicity tour which found him booked on Late Night with Conan O’Brien, Last Call with Carson Daly, and other media outlets including a radio tour, as well as appearances in Teen Vogue, Glamour and Performing Songwriter magazines.

   His body of work saw increasing placements in films and tv including One Tree Hill, Shrek Forever After, commercials for De Beers and AT&T- which garnered an appearance on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. In 2020, his cover of “Young at Heart” enjoyed a resurgence on Apple TV’s The Morning Show.

   Along with songwriting, producing, and touring, Landon has appeared as an actor in television and film, with credits including Parenthood, Whip It and The Perks of Being a Wallflower.

   Currently residing in Nashville, Landon has a new record forthcoming, with select live appearances on tour in the fall of 2022.

   “Above all I value connecting with others and contributing to a safe space for conversation and personal growth. 

   Here’s to humble beginnings and even humbler conclusions. To the richness life has to offer, often times through the eyes of another soul.  


p.s See you on the road (or in the movies).


“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 magazine. 

It started with two brothers, Mark and Rick del Castillo collaborating on a recording project that was initially intended as a gift to their parents and family members for the holiday season. As accomplished electric guitarists in different bands and not having played together, they decided to join forces on acoustic nylon string guitars, creating a rich, romantic, more traditional sound in honor of the Spanish music they grew up listening to at home.  The brothers invited their long time, home-town musical friends to also play on the songs and the music soon came to life. Once the album was finalized, it was titled after their namesake, “Brothers Of The Castle” (2000) and they performed their first public concert for family and friends to celebrate the release. 

Their plan was to perform “one night only.” However, the very positive turnout was unlike any of their other bands. From their inception, Del Castillo became something uniquely special and soon the word spread about the new band. The more the band played, the more their audience grew.  They continued writing and recording music, building their repertoire, making more fans and quickly becoming one of Austin’s most recognized bands. One of the instrumental songs from the first album, “Spanish Castle Tango” was later hand picked by Robert Rodriguez and fueled the inspiration for, “Mexico and Mariachis” (2004). Another track from their first album, “Dias de Los Angeles” was placed in the film and soundtrack for “Once Upon A Time In Mexico” (2003) starring Johnny Depp, Antonio Banderas and Salma Hayek. 

“… 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 magazine. 

Film director Robert Rodriguez first attended a Del Castillo concert in 2002 and a great friendship quickly developed.  Rodriguez enlisted the group to contribute music for the soundtracks to “Once Upon A Time In Mexico”, “Spy Kids 3D”, “Sin City”, “Grindhouse” and “Machete”, and then perform the music live at the premieres. He was so impressed with Del Castillo that he wanted to record with them, so together they formed the super-group, “CHINGÓN” and recorded an electrifying rendition of the Mexican mariachi classic, “Malagueña Salerosa”.  Quentin Tarantino loved it so much that he 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. 

From 2001-2006, between their first release and third release, Del Castillo received an astonishing 18 awards including SXSW/Austin Music “Album of the Year” Awards for their second (“Vida” 2002) and third (“Brotherhood” 2006) albums, SXSW “Band of the Year” (2003), ASCAP’s “Best Independent Group of the Year” (2005) and Austin Music Pundits “Best Live Act (2004)”.  

“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.” says Guitar Player magazine. 

By 2004 Del Castillo was touring nationwide playing with such diverse acts as Styx, Los Lonely Boys, Ozomatli, Kinky, Don Henley, Los Lobos, Ryan Bingham and Willie Nelson and toured non-stop through 2006. They performed at three of Willie Nelson’s 4th of July Picnics, at Eric Clapton’s Crossroads Guitar Festival and made numerous local/national TV appearances. 

Willie Nelson enjoyed Del Castillo so much he re-recorded his song “I Never Cared For You” with the full band (featured on “Brotherhood” 2006) and says it’s his “favorite version”. Willie has continued to be a good friend of the band and also appears in the music video for “Anybody Wanna” (“Del Castillo” 2009) and have discussed another music project for the future. 

In 2005 the band made an appearance with Robert Rodriguez as the band, “CHINGÓN” for the George Lopez show on ABC-TV. 

In 2008 Rick and Mark del Castillo were chosen (two guitar players out of six world wide) by Gibson Global to launch their state-of-the-art Dark Fire Gibson Les Paul guitar line. 
From 2008-2010 the band played major festivals across the US and Canada expanding their audience and fan base at a more rapid rate, earning even more recognition and becoming established as a touring musical act among their musical heroes and peers. 
In 2010 Del Castillo recorded on a collaboration with Willie Nelson, Carlos Santana and Los Lonely Boys on a song called, “Claro Que Se Puede” found on the album titled “Proyecto De Amor” benefiting the non-profit Hermes Music Foundation who provides musical instruments to the indigenous people of Mexico. 

From 2010-2012 the band toured overseas making new fans throughout Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Belgium, Norway, Scotland and London,England. The band was received with open arms and had a cult-like following already expecting their arrival in many cities across Europe, already being known for the music on major soundtracks from Robert Rodriguez’s award winning films.  Del Castillo performed at Montreux Jazz Festival, the second largest jazz festival in the world. The band has also played other notable festivals such as Gampel Open-Air, Blue Balls Festival, Bergen International Festival, Scotland Celtic Festival, St. Moritz Jazz Festival, Wakarusa Music Festival, Aspen Jazz Festival, Strawberry Music Festival, Austin City Limits Music Festival, SXSW Music Festival, Vancouver Folk Festival, Great Woods Music Festival, California Worldfest, Sierra Nevada World Music Festival and the Elnora Guitar Festival among many others. 

In 2014 Del Castillo’s instrumental track, “Las Seis Cuerdas de Tony Montuno” was a featured song for a scene on ABC’s crime/drama series “Killer Women” and the band makes a brief appearance performing during the second episode. 

In 2015 Del Castillo was recruited to appear in the “From Dusk Till Dawn” the TV series. They transformed into vampires, playing the killer house band for the first two seasons, produced by Robert Rodriguez and Miramax for his new television network, The EL REY Network.  That same year the band also made an appearance on the radical wrestling show, “Lucha Underground” performing with Robert Rodriguez as “CHINGÓN” for the EL REY Network. 

“I want to bring the most exciting and authentic content possible”, said Robert Rodriguez when announcing the TV series. “Chingón and Del Castillo have been part of my experience providing this kind of entertainment to audiences since the beginning.” 

Del Castillo took a brief hiatus from touring to work on different recording projects and new musical collaborations. After a couple of years off the band eventually began writing and recording new music once again, this time expanding their sound to incorporate more electric guitars in the mix. The band has started performing live again and are playing new songs at select shows. There are plans to release a new single as the band continues working to finalize a new album. Del Castillo is also looking forward to playing more European tour dates in 2023. Stay tuned for more details. 

– Album of the year “BROTHERHOOD” – Austin Music Awards/South By Southwest (2007) 
– Best Latin Traditional Band – Austin Music Awards/South By Southwest (2007) 
– Best Latin Traditional Band – Austin Music Awards/South By Southwest (2006) 
– Best Independent Group of the year – ASCAP Latin Music Awards (2005) 
– Best Latin Traditional Band – Austin Music Awards/South By Southwest (2005) 
– Best Live Act by Austin Music Pundits- AMP Awards (2004) 
– Best Latin Contemporary Band – Austin Music Awards/South By Southwest (2004) 
– Best Latin Music Video for “Sueños Madrigales” from “Del Castillo Live” Dvd – Austin Music 

Network Music Video Awards (2003) 
– Band of the year – Austin Music Awards/South By Southwest (2003) 
– Album of the year “VIDA” – Austin Music Awards/South By Southwest (2003) 
– Best Drummer “Mike Zeoli” – Austin Music Awards/South By Southwest (2003) 
– Single of the year “VIDA” – Austin Music Awards/South By Southwest (2003) 
– Best cover art “VIDA” – Austin Music Awards/South By Southwest (2003) 
– Best Producer “Rick del Castillo – VIDA” – Austin Music Awards/South By Southwest (2003) 
– Best Latin Traditional Band – Austin Music Awards/South By Southwest (2003) 
– Best World Music Band – Austin Music Awards/South By Southwest (2002) 
– Best Latin Traditional Band – Austin Music Awards/South By Southwest (2002) 
– Best Latin Rock Band – Primetime Tejano TV/Austin (2002) 
– Honored by Austin Latin Music Association – Live performance filmed for “Sonidos del Barrios” TV series (2002) 

– TWO NIGHTS IN TEXAS “Remembering The Music” – Live DVD 
– VINTAGE RESERVE – Album/digital only 
– DEL CASTILLO (IV) – Album/CD/digital 
– BROTHERHOOD – Album/CD/digital 
– VIDA – Album/CD/digital 


SXSW23 Panel

It is that time of year again! I was invited to take part in a very cool panel with some very admirable women. We would love your vote!! Just click on our link.

“Women with Integrity and Courage”


  1. How the challenges of pay inequity, sexual harassment, bribery, or slander were met and overcome by the panelists. 
  2. How each panelist upheld her integrity throughout her career in the entertainment industry.
  3. Concrete solutions for women to act with integrity, strength, and courage in the entertainment industry in the 21st century.



Elise Krentzel, CEO, EK Public Relations


Women in the entertainment industry have always had to fend for themselves. Those in the business today claim very little has truly changed since the 1970s regarding men’s attitudes. What has changed is the increasing number of strong, brave, and independent women taking charge. Whether on the corporate or artistic side or something in between. They persist! They resist. Even as the media obscenely shames, blames, and points a finger at women. They are busy creating a new 21st-century reality for themselves and generations to come. The discussion topic is Women Who Have Integrity and Courage in the Entertainment Industry. 


SXSW values community input and involvement. The two-step online process PanelPicker® was developed to encourage the SXSW community to enter proposals and have a significant voice in Conference programming.

Each year, the SX community enters session ideas and then grades each proposal during Community Voting. The SXSW staff and Advisory Boards also inform a significant percentage in determining the content lineup.

Cast Your Vote August 9-21

SXSW PanelPicker® applications have closed for the 2023 SXSW Conference but you still have the opportunity to contribute to curating this year’s program.

Who knows what you want to see at SXSW better than you? During Community Voting from August 9-21, browse proposals, leave comments, and vote on sessions to help shape the 2023 Conference.