Forget Los Lonely Boys. San Angelo's much-ballyhooed blues trio doesn't have half the blood and fire of Del Castillo, whose tireless live performances and incendiary rock en Español helped the Austin six-piece win "Band of the Year" honors at the 2002-2003 Austin Chronicle Music Awards, a rather shocking coup for a 2-year-old band that began as a lark. After decades in metal acts that assaulted their parents' traditional sensibilities, brothers Rick and Mark del Castillo wanted to make music their folks could enjoy. The result is a lively hybrid of old-school gitano and modern blues-rock, which has been packing clubs down south for a couple of years now. When director Robert Rodriguez (Spy Kids, Desperado) caught the boys, he not only included their song "Dias de Los Angeles" in his film Once Upon a Time in Mexico, he also agreed to direct a concert DVD, Del Castillo Live, which bottles the band's fury during a sweat-soaked set at Austin's Steamboat. No matter what praise and hyperboles I heap on the group, however, Del Castillo makes its best plea live. See for yourself when they play the Gypsy on Friday. They'll be back in Dallas throughout June. I bet you will, too.
Del Castillo performs at the Gypsy Tea Room on May 28, with Eleven Hundred Springs, Mo Robson Band and Hogg Legg Ellis.