Jason Castro News!

A little Jason Castro news to brighten your day 🙂

Jason Castro

Jason Castro

Nashville, TN – (September 25, 2013) – Internationally-recognized singer/songwriter Jason Castro is gearing up for the release of the third single, “Stay This Way,” from his debut Word Entertainment album, Only A Mountain. This week the track ships to radio and will go for adds on October 18th. Castro, after having spent the summer co-headlining a tour with Ryan Cabrera, promoting his appearance in the UP! original movie, “The Perfect Summer,” and visiting Colombia, South America, on an “I am Second” expedition, is hitting the road again this week with Matthew West and Sidewalk Prophets for West’s “Into the Light Tour.” Then, throughout the holiday season, he’ll join NewSong for “The Very Merry Christmas Tour” which runs through December 15.

“‘Stay This Way’ is the most relevant for me lyrically. You know, in the last couple years I think I realized for the first time that I’d grown up accustomed to some things being the way they were, thinking that I can’t outrun my last mistake, and I’m just stuck here. I always believed in God, I knew He was good – I thought I was just messed up,” said Castro who co-wrote the song with its producers Ben Glover and David Garcia. “I didn’t understand what people meant by freedom in Christ. I never felt free – I always felt like a slave to my sin. It wasn’t until these last few years that I got into my first real Biblical community. And as I started to share my life with others, and we studied God’s word together, I really discovered freedom for the first time. And so that’s been a big part of my journey these last few years and one of the highlights.”

On Thursday, Matthew West’s “Into the Light Tour” featuring Castro and Sidewalk Prophets commences in Carlsbad, NM. The tour runs through November 17th and is scheduled to visit 30 cities throughout the U.S. Immediately following this tour he’ll join “The Very Merry Christmas Tour” alongside NewSong, Audio Adrenaline and Love & The Outcome. The tour kicks off in Tyler, TX, on November 30th and hits 15 cities.

Sept. 26 Carlsbad, NM – Walter Gerrell’s Performing Arts Center
Sept. 27 Phoenix, AZ – Grand Canyon University
Sept. 28 Saint George, UT – Dixie State College, Cox Auditorium
Sept. 29 Sparks, NV – Sparks Christian Fellowship
Sept. 30 Brentwood, CA – Golden Hills Community Church
Oct. 2 Coos Bay, OR – Marshfield High School Auditorium
Oct. 3 Portland, OR – New Hope Community Church
Oct. 6 Issaquah, WA – Eastridge Church
Oct. 8 Cheyenne, WY – Cheyenne Civic Center
Oct. 9 Bismarck, ND – Shiloh Christian School
Oct. 10 Dickinson, ND – Trinity High School
Oct. 11 Gillette, WY – New Life Wesleyan Church
Oct. 12 Rapid City, SD – Performing Arts Center of Rapid City
Oct. 18 Bel Air, MD – Harford Community College
Oct. 19 Simpsonville, SC – Southside Christian School
Oct. 24 Wausau, WI – Grand Theater Wausau
Oct. 25 Appleton, WI – Appleton Alliance Church
Oct. 26 Bourbonnais, IL – Olivet Nazarene University
Oct. 27 Indianapolis, IN – The Caring Place
Nov. 1 Fort Wayne, IN – First Assembly of God
Nov. 2 Eden Prairie, MN – Grace Church
Nov. 3 Zeeland, MI – Community Reformed Church
Nov. 7 McAlester, OK – Southeast Expo Center
Nov. 8 Lincoln, NE – Lincoln Berean Church
Nov. 9 Tulsa, OK – ORU Mabee Center
Nov. 10 Mount Vernon, IL – Central Christian Church
Nov. 14 Lubbock, TX – City Bank Coliseum
Nov. 15 Andrews, TX – Andrews County Expo
Nov. 16 Decatur, TX – First Baptist Church
Nov. 17 Tyler, TX – Lane’s Chapel UMC
Nov. 30 Tyler, TX – The Oil Palace
Dec. 1 Baton Rouge, LA – Baton Rouge River Center
Dec. 2 Russellville, AR – Russellville Performing Arts Center
Dec. 3 Wichita, KS – NewSpring Church
Dec. 5 Anderson, SC – Anderson Sports & Entertainment Center
Dec. 6 Kinston, NC – Kinston Performing Arts Center
Dec. 7 Whiteville, NC – Northwood Assembly
Dec. 8 Johnson City, TN – Freedom Hall Civic Center (PWYC)
Dec. 9 Hight Point, NC – First Wesleyan Church
Dec. 10 Marion, IL – Marion Cultural and Civic Center
Dec. 11 Lancaster, OH – Fairfield Christian Academy
Dec. 13 Pascagoula, MS – First Baptist Church
Dec. 14 Warner Robins, GA – Warner Robins Civic Center
Dec. 15 Woodstock, GA – First Baptist of Woodstock
Dec. 16 Charlotte, NC – Central Church of God

For further information and a complete list of tour dates visit http://www.jasoncastro.com.

About Jason Castro:
Internationally-renowned recording artist and “American Idol” contestant Jason Castro has topped radio charts in multiple countries, including: Norway, Singapore and The Philippines. His self-titled debut album entered the Billboard Top 200 Album chart at No. 18. Throughout his career, Jason has appeared on television shows such as “TODAY,” “The Ellen DeGeneres Show,” “Access Hollywood” and “The Bachelor” and has appeared on the pages of Rolling Stone, USA Today and The New York Times. Castro just released his Word Entertainment debut album, Only A Mountain, January 15, 2013.

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/jasoncastro
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/jasoncastro
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/jasoncastroonline

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New Christmas Tours Announced!

ANOTHER Christmas tour was announced today–the K-Love Christmas Tour featuring some of my favorite peeps, the guys from Big Daddy Weave, for King & Country, and Meredith Andrews! The details are below, but what I want to know is…which tour are you most excited for? The K-Love Christmas Tour with Big Daddy Weave & the gang or the NewSong Very Merry Christmas Tour featuring NewSong, Audio Adrenaline, the Sidewalk Prophets, Jason Castro, and Love & the Outcome? Tough call, right?

NASHVILLE, TN – (September 25, 2013) – K-LOVE Radio and 25 Entertainment present the second annual K-LOVE Christmas Tour kicking off on December 4 in Greensboro, NC.  The K-LOVE Christmas Tour will feature K-LOVE Fan Awards’ winners Big Daddy Weave and for KING & COUNTRY and Meredith Andrews. The relationship between 25 Entertainment and K-LOVE Radio provides the opportunity for radio listeners and fans to experience an inviting evening of Christmas music for the entire family during the holiday season in 10 of K-LOVE’s markets.

“We are thrilled to be partnering with KLOVE and Feed The Children for the second annual KLOVE Christmas Tour featuring Big Daddy Weave, for KING & COUNTRY and Meredith Andrews,” said Rod Riley, President and CEO of Word Entertainment. “The tour provides the unique opportunity for radio listeners and fans to experience an inviting evening of Christmas music while also making a difference in their local community.  This will be surely be a one of a kind evening you won’t want to miss.”

The artists also shared Riley’s sentiments:

“We’re so excited to tour with K-LOVE and both of these artists.  We have the utmost respect for Meredith as a songwriter and a friend. We’ve known Joel and Luke and their family for a long time and are so pleased for their success and this season of their lives. K-LOVE has meant so much to us, supporting and encouraging us in so many ways.  All of this combined makes it very special that together we’re declaring the most important news of all, that Jesus came.” – Mike Weaver, Big Daddy Weave

“K-LOVE and Christmas – What an excellent combination! The K-LOVE team has been brilliant partners with us in impacting culture with the mission and message of Jesus. So now to take to the road with them in celebrating the greatest moment in human history – God coming to earth, is truly an honor.” –  for KING & COUNTRY

“Big Daddy Weave, for King and Country, Christmas and lots of people singing together…these are a few of my favorite things. I am so excited to be on the K-LOVE Christmas tour!” – Meredith Andrews

This past June both Big Daddy Weave and for KING & COUNTRY won two of the top honors at the first annual K-LOVE Fan Awards. Big Daddy Weave took home “Song of the Year” for their smash hit “Redeemed” while for KING & COUNTRY were presented the award for “Breakthrough Artist of the Year” by Meredith Andrews.  In addition, all three acts are currently nominated for the 2013 Dove Awards with for KING & COUNTRY receiving seven nominations, Big Daddy Weave having four nods and Andrews up for two of the night’s honors.

In addition to music from these critically-acclaimed artists, Feed The Children will be the ministry focal point offering Child sponsorships throughout the tour. The non-profit organization will also sponsor a separate event in each city along the tour to feed over 4,000 families in all. Feed The Children is one of the world’s largest charities with the mission of providing hope and resources for those without life’s essential needs. In the U.S., Feed The Children works with local agencies to distribute food and necessities to over 400,000 families annually.
K-LOVE Christmas Tour Dates:

Dec. 4             Greensboro, NC – Christian City Church

Dec. 5             Virginia Beach, VA – New Life Providence Church

Dec. 6             Pittsburgh, PA – Amplify Church, Pittsburgh East Campus

Dec. 7             Indianapolis, IN – Zionsville Performing Arts Center

Dec. 8             Chicago, IL – Aurora Christian High School

Dec. 11          Lexington, KY – Porter Memorial Baptist Church

Dec. 12          Nashville, TN – Brentwood United Methodist Church

Dec. 13          Memphis, TN – Raleigh Assembly of God

Dec. 14          Kansas City, MO – Cross Points Church

Dec. 15          Evansville, IN – First Christian Church Newburgh

For more information and to purchase tickets please visit www.KLOVEChristmasTour.com.

About Big Daddy Weave: 

This year, Big Daddy Weave’s monster hit song “Redeemed,” which spent 11 weeks at No. 1, took home top honors for “Song of the Year” at the first-ever K-LOVE Fan Awards and received a nomination for “Christian Song of the Year” at the 2013 Billboard Music Awards. The single is the first release from their greatest hits compilation, Love Come To Life, and their current single, “The Only Name (Yours Will Be),” marks the second.  The band, comprised of Mike Weave, Jay Weaver, Jeremy Redmon and Joe Shirk, originally formed when attending the University of Mobile. In 2002 they stepped into the spotlight with the release of their second album, One and Only, which debuted in SoundScan’s Christian Top 5 and earned them a nomination for Dove Awards’ “New Artist of the Year.” In 2010, Big Daddy Weave took home the Dove Award for “Christmas Album of the Year” for their seventh album Christ Is Come. They have also been honored at ASCAP’s Christian Music Awards and are one of the 10 most played artists at Christian radio over the past decade.

About for KING & COUNTRY:

for KING & COUNTRY made their late night debut in January performing “The Proof Of Your Love” on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.” In 2012, the duo released their debut album, Crave, to critical acclaim in addition to inclusion in Billboard’s “2012’s Biggest Debuts” list recognizing “17 Artists Whose Time Is Now.” The magazine also asserted that for KING & COUNTRY possess a “vibrant pop/rock sound that echoes a mix of influences ranging from Coldplay and Amy Grant to Aqualung,” while American Songwriter continued the comparison noting “for KING & COUNTRY may just be Australia’s answer to Coldplay.” ET’s “The Insider” said the duo, “make music that speaks directly to your heart” and have been “gaining popularity in the alt-rock genre.” They have also appeared nationally on “Access Hollywood” and Fox News Channel’s “Huckabee” in addition to cuts airing on the CW’s “Vampire Diaries” and Lifetime’s “Drop Dead Diva.” Stay tuned to www.forKINGandCOUNTRY.com for the most current news.

About Meredith Andrews:

With her Word Entertainment’s debut release in 2008, Meredith Andrews’ insightful songs and engaging voice awarded her recognition as Billboard Magazine’s “Most Promising New Artist.” In 2011, she picked up two Dove Awards for “Worship Song of the Year” and “Praise and Worship Album of the Year,” quickly distinguishing her as one of the preeminent worship leaders and songwriters in the Christian music community. With the success of her debut album and her sophomore release in 2010, As Long As It Takes, she was afforded the opportunity to tour with acclaimed CCM artists Natalie Grant, Brandon Heath, Bebo Norman and Michael W. Smith.  Her much-anticipated third studio album, Worth It All, featuring singles “Worth It All,” “Strong God” and “Pieces,” was released January  22, 2013. A native of Wilson, NC, Meredith began singing in church when she was only six, and by the time she was in high school, she was writing songs and leading worship. For more information on Meredith Andrews please visit www.meredithandrews.com.

About Feed The Children:

Founded in 1979 and headquartered in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, Feed The Children is one of the largest international charities based in the U.S. With the mission of providing hope and resources for those without life’s essentials, Feed The Children is a BBB Wise Giving Alliance accredited charity and uses a comprehensive and integrated program to combat hunger and poverty. Feed The Children addresses four basic needs: food and nutrition, water and sanitation, education and health, and livelihood community development. In addition to helping families and communities around the world achieve lasting self-sufficiency, Feed The Children also responds quickly in times of disaster to provide emergency supplies for those in need.

About K-LOVE:
K-LOVE creates compelling media designed to inspire and encourage people to develop a meaningful relationship with Christ. K-LOVE is listener supported and delivers positive, encouraging contemporary Christian music through its 446 signals across 47 states.  For more information visit: www.klove.com.

Jason Castro News!

JASON CASTRO TO MAKE TV ACTING DEBUT IN THE UP ORIGINAL MOVIE, “THE PERFECT SUMMER,”
 SCHEDULED TO AIR ON JULY 13 AND 14

Soundtrack to Feature Several Songs by the Singer/Songwriter

Castro to Depart on “I am Second” Expedition to Colombia, South America, on July 12

FROM PRESS RELEASE:

Nashville, TN – (July 10, 2013) – Internationally-renowned singer-songwriter Jason Castro will make his TV acting debut when he appears in the UP original movie, “The Perfect Summer,” scheduled to air on the network on Saturday, July 13 and Sunday, July 14 at 7, 9 and 11 p.m. EDT. In the inspirational sun-and-surf family drama, which stars Academy, Emmy and Golden Globe nominee Eric Roberts (“The Dark Knight,” “The Expendables”) and Daytime Emmy nominee Sydney Penny (“All My Children,” “The New Gidget”), he takes on the role of Cody, the local surf shop owner. Several of his songs will also be featured on “The Perfect Summer” soundtrack. On July 11, Castro, who recently wrapped up a co-headlining tour with Ryan Cabrera, is scheduled to embark on a week-long expedition with “I am Second” to Colombia, South America. This fall he can be seen on Matthew West’s “Into the Light Tour” which will also feature label mates Sidewalk Prophets. Castro’s current single, “Rise To You,” and second from his recently released Word debut album, continues to scale the charts.

“The Perfect Summer,” directed by Gary Wheeler (“Somebody’s Child,” “The Heart of Christmas”) and written by Nathan Scoggins and Wheeler, was filmed over a two-week period this spring in Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina. In addition, the concept for the script was based around Castro after Wheeler and Word Records selected him as the perfect artist to joint venture a film around. “Making ‘The Perfect Summer’ was such an incredible experience that I cannot wait to share with the world,” said Castro. “The cast and crew were amazing to work with. Also, I am delighted that several songs from my new CD are used in the film. I hope everyone enjoys it!”

In the film fatherless teenager Jake (Adam Horner) is uprooted from Chicago by his mother who decides to move them to a small surfing town where her estranged father lives. Now stuck in a small town with no friends, he has nowhere to turn until Cody (Castro) reveals that Jake’s grandfather is a surf legend. Tired of feeling like an outcast and wanting to impress Katie, he asks his grandfather to teach him how to surf. Jake learns to face his fears and push through his inhibitions and realizes that winning the respect of his new peers means facing the biggest challenge of his life.

July 11 – 20 will see Castro in Colombia, South America, for an “I am Second” expedition. The movement is meant to inspire people of all kinds to live for God and for others and discover their purpose in life. “Jason has a long-standing relationship with the ‘I am Second’ movement and a short film about his personal story can be found at iamsecond.com,” commented John Humphrey, Director of Communications for “I am Second.” “This week he and his father are helping host an ‘I am Second’ Youth conference for nearly 2,000 students, telling Colombians about Jesus during the day and participating in ‘I am Second’ small groups in the evening. The expedition is organized e3 Partners, the parent ministry for ‘I am Second,’ which has worked with churches in Colombian outreach for nearly 20 years.”

Immediately following the trip, Castro will join up with Matthew West for his “Into the Light Tour” which departs on September 26 in Carlsbad, New Mexico. For further information and a complete list of tour dates visit http://www.jasoncastro.com.

About Jason Castro:
Internationally-renowned recording artist and “American Idol” contestant Jason Castro has topped radio charts in multiple countries, including: Norway, Singapore and The Philippines. His self-titled debut album entered the Billboard Top 200 Album chart at No. 18. Throughout his career, Jason has appeared on television shows such as “TODAY,” “The Ellen DeGeneres Show,” “Access Hollywood” and “The Bachelor” and has appeared on the pages of Rolling Stone, USA Today and The New York Times. Castro just released his Word Entertainment debut album, Only A Mountain, January 15, 2013.

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/jasoncastro
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/jasoncastro
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/jasoncastroonline

Exclusive Free Download of Jason Castro’s ‘Rise to You’ Video on iTunes!

If you love Jason Castro’s latest project, Only a Mountain, raise your hand.

If you love Jason Castro’s latest single off Only a Mountain, called Rise to You, raise your other hand.

Now, if both of your hands are up in the air you should know that this is your lucky day.  (You can put your hands down now!)   Adjust your posture and assume the proper position for touch typing, because after reading the press release below, I have a feeling you’ll be surfing over to iTunes to download a free copy of Jason Castro’s music video for Rise to You, which is premiering today only on iTunes.

Yes, you read that correctly.  iTunes.  Free Download.  Jason Castro.  On video.

What are you waiting for?

Godspeed.

____________________________________________________________________________________

From Press Release…

JASON CASTRO’S MUSIC VIDEO FOR NEW SINGLE

“RISE TO YOU” PREMIERES EXCLUSIVELY TODAY

AS FREE DOWNLOAD ON ITUNES

 

Nashville, TN – (April 16, 2013) – Singer-songwriter Jason Castro will premiere the music video for his current single, “Rise To You,” exclusively as a free download on iTunes today through April 22. The single is the second from his Word Entertainment debut album, Only A Mountain, which was released this past January to wonderful reviews with NewReleaseTuesday.com giving it 5/5 star rating and Breathecast.com calling the album “a much needed disc today in the church.” In addition to the free video download, the Only A Mountain (Deluxe) version which includes three bonus tracks, will be available at a discounted rate of $7.99.

 

Fans can catch Castro out on the road with Sidewalk Prophets this spring. In June, he will be touring the country with Ryan Cabrera and Deleasa. For further information and a complete listing of tour dates, please visit www.jasoncastro.com.

 

Internationally-renowned recording artist and “American Idol” contestant Jason Castro has topped radio charts in multiple countries, including: Norway, Singapore and The Philippines. His self-titled debut album entered the Billboard Top 200 Album chart at No. 18. Throughout his career, Jason has appeared on television shows such as “TODAY,” “The Ellen DeGeneres Show,” “Access Hollywood,” “The Bold and the Beautiful,” and “The Bachelor” and has appeared on the pages of Rolling Stone, USA Today and The New York Times. Castro just released his Word Entertainment debut album, Only A Mountain, January 15, 2013.


Facebook:
www.facebook.com/jasoncastro
Twitter: www.twitter.com/jasoncastro
YouTube: www.youtube.com/jasoncastroonline

Jason Castro: Winter Jam 2013 Review

Jason Castro was the third and final act of the Winter Jam Pre-Jam Party.  I have to say that every critique that I had of Jason Castro after his performance at the Star 88.3 Music Stage last July is no longer applicable.  If it wasn’t for his trademark dreds, and him having the same name and singing the same songs, I wouldn’t have known it was the same person.  Jason Castro was in great voice, and seemed at ease on stage.  He put on a really nice performance, although in my opinion it could have been a tad longer 🙂

For real, I’m not sure what more I can really say about Jason Castro that I haven’t already said in the last month.  I think he’s come a long, long way as a musician and a performer, and in terms of big name recognition acts at Winter Jam, he’s definitely one that most people will recognize if only because of his participation on American Idol.

My two pieces of advice are this:  First, if you’re only going to buy one CD in January, it should be Castro’s recently released Only a Mountain. 

Second, you know if you are going to Winter Jam and not splurging on a Jam Nation Pass ($50 and available at the Winter Jam website), you need to get to the venue super early, right?  Like 4-6 hours before the pre-jam party, right?  I know that seems like a long wait, but trust me, you don’t want to end up a Winter Jam Reject; and, getting to the show 6 hours in advance means you won’t miss seeing Jason Castro in the Pre-Jam Party, so it’s a win/win situation!  (One more thing—even if you get a Jam Nation Pass, you still want to get to the venue early—at least 2 hours before the Jam Nation doors open if you want a good seat!)

(On a completely random side note—as I was editing my photos from Winter Jam today, I noticed something I didn’t notice when I was actually at Winter Jam…Jason Castro’s drummer was a familiar face:  Justin from the Sidewalk Prophets!  How I missed that considering I took at least a hundred pictures during Jason Castro’s set I’m not sure.  What I am sure of is that Justin is one of the hardest working drummer’s on tour; he played with City Harbor on the Hundred More Years Tour last fall in addition to his regular duties with the Sidewalk Prophets.  Now he’s playing with Jason Castro; maybe I should put up a poll as to who Justin should tour with next? 🙂 Besides the Sidewalk Prophets, of course!)

Winter Jam Pick #5–Jason Castro

 

So, many of you probably read my review earlier this week of Jason Castro’s newest CD, ‘Only a Mountain.’ I liked it, in fact, I liked it a lot. Since the entire album is still so fresh in my head from listening to it umpteen times to write my review, I had a hard time deciding which songs I would most want to hear him sing at Winter Jam on Sunday night. Finally, I think I have it narrowed down to two songs: the title track, ‘Only a Mountain’ (because surely he will be singing that one, right?) and ‘Stay This Way’, simply because I like it.

Honestly, he could pretty much sing the whole CD and I’d be fine with it.  Come to think of it, everyone at Winter Jam could sing all of their songs and I’d be good with it (granted, it would be a very   l  o  n  g   concert, though!)

tobyMac Releases Eye On It Video featuring Britt Nicole

http://vevo.ly/UlTPRQ

It’s a darn good day for Christian Music today (well, except for the Sidewalk Prophet’s bus, Bubba, breaking down in Alabama I guess).  Jason Castro’s new CD, Only a Mountain, releases today, I heard the Rhett Walker Band’s great new single, Come to the River, on the radio twice this morning, Hawk Nelson just released a new single, and Mr. tobyMac himself just released a brand-spanking new video featuring Britt Nicole for Eye On It.

As you might imagine, the video is pretty sweet, and so I thought I would share it with you (and, I’ll try not to mention the fact that I got to see Mr. Mac perform that song about a month ago, and I’ll get to see him perform it again on Sunday night…oh wait, never mind.  I just can’t help myself!)

I Officially Declare Next Sunday…Winter Jam!

Winter Jam

So if you live in the currently cold and dreary Fort Wayne, Indiana or surrounding area, I bet I know what you are thinking about today 🙂

Winter Jam is less than 1 week away!!

Personally, I think Winter Jam day in Fort Wayne should be declared an official holiday (as well as the day after Winter Jam, because really, who wants to go to work after having that much fun the night before?  It could be dangerous to a person’s health…well, it could!)

I know out of the 365 days in a calendar year, the days I look forward to the most are as follows:

  1. Christmas
  2. Easter
  3. Winter Jam

As you might imagine, I’m starting to get pretty excited right about now.  Also making me super-duper excited this year for Winter Jam is the sweet line-up, which includes not just one of my favorites, not two, not even three, but four of my very favorite performers from 2013.  (For those of you wondering, I’m talking about the Sidewalk Prophets, Mr. TobyMac, Matthew West, and Royal Tailor.)

Since I’ll probably be twiddling most of my week away daydreaming about the upcoming Winter Jam, I have decided that I might as well do something productive with my time and write a countdown this week of the songs/performances I am most looking forward to next Sunday at Winter Jam at the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum.

Which song/performers will come out on top as my #1 pick?  Will it be Matthew West?  The Sidewalk Prophets?  Or perhaps the master showman himself, Mr. TobyMac?

Yeah, I’m not telling.  You’ll have to wait until next week to find out.

In the meantime, however, you’ll be able to enjoy some fun snippets from me about my favorite songs.  I’ll also share the tunes on Spotify and the official videos via YouTube.  You can also take a minute and vote for your favorite song/performers at Winter Jam !

Enjoy…and if you’re in Fort Wayne, I’ll see you next Sunday!

Beth

New Music Pick of the Week: Jason Castro’s Only A Mountain

jason castro

It’s officially 2013…let the new music releases begin!

My first pick of 2013 is sort of a surprising one; at least, it surprised me.  (And you know how much I love surprises!)

When I was initially asked if I would take a listen to the advance releases of Jason Castro’s Only A Mountain and Meredith Andrew’s Worth it All, I very nearly said “Yes, I’d be happy to listen to Meredith Andrew’s project, but I’ll pass on Jason Castro’s.”

Why would you want to do that, you might be asking yourself?

Well, the answer is simple (at least in my mind).  I never want to be in a position where I feel compelled to have to say something nice about an artist’s CD that I don’t really like just because someone sent me a free CD in the mail.  That may sound super naive to a lot of people, perhaps even dumb, but hey, I’m from Indiana and I’m an inherently nice person.

In other words, I’m no Simon Cowell.

I would rather say nothing at all than write something negative or hurtful, and since this website is entirely my own I get to decide who and what I write about and whether or not I’m nice about it.

With this being said, I had pretty significant reservations about whether or not I would have anything nice to say about Only a Mountain.

Now, I should probably say that I have met Jason Castro and seen him in concert, and to be frank, I thought he was just okay.  In retrospect, the biggest problem with meeting Jason Castro when I did was that I met Elias Dummer of the City Harmonic right after, and that was kind of the highlight of my life (besides briefly interviewing TobyMac in December.)  Plus, his performance was sandwiched in between performances by Royal Tailor (whom I adore) and Kutless (the likes of whom I said just last week would be my top pick to be stranded on an island with).

So, when I was asked if I would take a listen to Only a Mountain, a few things popped into my head.  One, wasn’t he the guy with the dredlocks that played the ukelele at the Star 88.3 Music Stage this past July?  The one who had talked during his performance about not having any real vocal training and that he had only sung in public a handful of times before going on American Idol?  That one guy with the awe-shucks charm that seemed to smile all the time?  (Because you know, you really need to be wary of people who smile all the time 🙂

Yep, that guy.  Jason Castro.

After a brief deliberation with my friend Jill (who reminded me how much I ended up liking Chris August’s newest CD when I took a chance and listened to it) and my sister Stacy, the American Idol guru of Indiana, I decided to give Only a Mountain a good old fashioned Spin the Blog spin.

To say that I’m really glad I did is perhaps the understatement of 2013.

My prior reservations about Castro and his vocal chops were quickly put to rest within the first two tracks of Only a Mountain.  The places where I once felt Castro seemed to be holding back vocally were filled in with a tenor that is teeming rich with talent.  In this sophomore release, he fuses his trademark musical style with a voice that is both vivid and soulful, at times seeming to pop  right out of my speakers.  With the release of “Only a Mountain”, Castro has clearly found his sound, and it is quite delightfully unlike any other in Christian music.

The title track, Only a Mountain, is the first single to be released from Castro’s CD.  In a showdown of mountains between Castro’s Only a Mountain and Brandon Heath’s Cold Mountain, I think Castro’s mountain is the clear winner.   It’s a toe tapping, lyrically catchy number, but more than that, it speaks the Truth in non-preachy, down to earth manner that everyone, Christian or not, could relate to.

I absolutely loved the second track on the album, “I Believe.”  The lyrics are simple and heartfelt,  poetry set to song.   This song spoke directly to my heart:  “This doesn’t look a thing like I imagined it/When the waters rise it’s easy to forget/Though I don’t understand/You’ve always had your plans/Though I cannot see, I believe/ In my darkest nights you guide me/I believe/When I lose my way, you find me/I believe/When I can’t see anyway out/ I find when I cannot see/ I believe”.

“If Its Love”, the third track on the album, is Castro’s battle cry to fight for a marriage, to fight for love.  If you’re married or have ever been married, you’ll relate to this one.

Another song I really liked on Only a Mountain is “Starting Line”.  The opening lyrics to “Starting Line” are:  “All this time I thought I knew you/Doing all the things I thought I should do/But I missed you all along/Too busy too broke too blind to see/ The one that stood right next to me and loved me thru it all/And why did it have to take so long for me/ To find the real you/ I just opened my eyes/ Oh its like i’m seeing your face for the first time/And we’re strangers now for the last time/I know you now/It feels so good to finally meet you/Face to face/Heart to heart/Eye to eye/Another chance at the starting line”.  I think Castro really captures here what a lot of us experience in our relationship with the Lord; for sure, he has captured experiences I’ve had.

“Stay This Way” is in fact my very favorite song on the album; I could listen to this one over and over.  This song is one of those great recordings where it all comes together and it is all flawless–Castro’s voice, the lyrics, the music, everything.  The song title may be unassuming and somewhat underwhelming, but believe me, this is one song you do not want to live without hearing.  Seriously, all songs should stay this way; it is that good of a song.

The sole duet on the album, “Same Kind of Broken”, features Castro singing with the velvety voiced Moriah Peters.  The pairing makes a lovely contrast, especially when combined with the sentiments of the song–“So many faces of different colors/So many stories untold/So many places, these streets are numbered/Yet we’re all pieces of a whole big world/We all come alive/We all fall apart/We all need someone to love us where we are/What if we all took a minute/To look at one another and lay our differences aside/We would find that we are the same kind/The same kind of broken.”

“Safehouse”, the seventh track on the album, is another one of my favorites.  So many times, I go to concerts to find brochures for fantastic organizations like Compassion International and the like, but other than “Safehouse” I can only think of two other songs off the top of my head by big name singers that actually address the needs of individuals that organizations like this serve (MercyMe & Matthew West, in case you were wondering).  I like the fact that this song doesn’t pitch the idea that you have to run out and try to save the entire world, either; just try to touch one life, make a difference to one person.  A very well done call to action.

The anthemic “Runaway” is the 8th track on Only a Mountain.  This song continues on in the upbeat and positive tradition of “Starting Line” and “If It’s Love”.

“Enough” is a really sweet, emotionally evocative song.  If I were to guess, Castro draws on his experience as a new father to his daughter in this song based on the opening lyric “You’ve got you’re mother’s eyes.”  I think all the daughters (and sons) of the world should take listen of this song, and know that they are loved and enough.  Now, I know I’ve said practically every song on this album is one of my favorites, but “Enough” is no exception.  I love it!

The second to the last song on the album, “Rise to You,” is another winner.  Great sound, great lyrics, and is currently kind of stuck in my head.

“Good Love” is a fun, happy tune to end Only a Mountain on.  I love the lyric “It’s a good love/Good love/Nothing you would change about it/Bigger than your hands can hold/But it fits just like a glove“.  That right there is some sweet songwriting!

I have to give major kudos to Castro not just for his stronger, more complex vocal stylings on this sophomore release, but to also give him props for his contemplative, completely genuine writing on this album.  (Castro either wrote or co-wrote every song on “Only a Mountain”).

Of this project, Castro recently said “I really can’t begin to tell you how excited I am about my new album, Only a Mountain.  I’ve had some amazing things happen to me recently–marrying my wife, the birth of our daughter–and now this.  Life really is beautiful, and that’s what I want people to be reminded of when they listen to these new songs.”

Between the amalgamation of sincere lyrics and the revelation of his true inner voice, I think it is safe to say Castro has more than achieved his wish with “Only a Mountain.”

While Castro’s debut CD may have been entitled “Who I Am,” with the release of “Only a Mountain” he really begins to show us just exactly who he is–an incredibly gifted musician and songwriter with a bright and compelling future ahead of him.

 

“Only a Mountain”, Jason Castro’s debut full length CD with Word Entertainment, will be available wherever music is sold Tuesday, January 15th, 2013.  Also, make plans to see Jason in concert as he is currently on tour with WinterJam 2013 alongside TobyMac, Red, Matthew West, Jamie Grace, Newsong, Royal Tailor, Sidewalk Prophets, OBB, and Capital Kings.  www.JamTour.com

Special Thanks to Warner Music Group/Word Entertainment for providing Spin: The Blog with an advance release copy of “Only a Mountain” for this review.