With his rich tenor voice, distinctive looks, and endearingly innocent charm, Jason Castro won over millions of viewers as a contestant on the seventh season of American Idol, parlaying his substantial singer-songwriter appeal into a third-place runner-up finish. He may not have won the competition, but the 22-year-old Texan earned himself a devoted fan base eager to hear what he would do once freed to perform his own songs. Those folks will get their chance with the release of Castro’s self-titled debut album on Atlantic Records.
With his warm, evocative vocals and distinctive charisma, Jason Castro has already earned bountiful acclaim and a fervent fan following. The Texas-based tunesmith – best known as the third runner-up on the 2008 season of Fox’s American Idol – is now hard at work on his hugely anticipated debut album, set for release on Atlantic Records later this year. Among Castro’s creative collaborators are Grammy Award winning producer John Fields (Lifehouse, Switchfoot, Soul Asylum) and such acclaimed songwriters as Kara DioGuardi (Kelly Clarkson, Jewel, Santana), Martin Terefe (Jason Mraz, KT Tunstall), Sacha Skarbek (James Blunt, Jason Mraz), Guy Chambers (Robbie Williams) and Jason Reeves (Colbie Caillat).
A multi-talented singer and guitarist, Jason was among the most popular and talented artists in American Idol history, entering the record books as the first contestant to play an instrument on the show. His performance of the Leonard Cohen-penned classic “Hallelujah” proved such an audience favorite that the late, great Jeff Buckley’s rendition of the song hit 1 on the iTunes chart the following week, selling an astonishing 178,000 digital singles. Jason scored a chart-topping single of his own a few weeks later with his interpretation of “Somewhere Over The Rainbow,” which also hit 1 on iTunes after a show-stopping performance of the song on American Idol. Upon the season’s conclusion, Castro was among the stars of the hugely successful “American Idols LIVE! Tour 2008.”
Reality hit Jimmy Needham pretty hard as he started work on his fifth studio project Clear The Stage. This record could potentially turn out a disaster. Even with iconic producer/songwriter Ed Cash stepping on board to lend his award-winning expertise behind the soundboard, Jimmy’s task at hand was overwhelming at best.“I felt so inadequate going into the studio to make this album,” Jimmy reflects. “Not all of the songs were written yet, I was working with a new producer, and on top of all that, I had just become a father. Nothing has proven to demonstrate my inadequacy like fatherhood and leading a family. I remember praying, ‘If I ever needed grace, God, it’s now.’”That initial prayer resulted in the vulnerable, anthemic lead single to Jimmy’s most personal record to date.“The fact that ‘If I Ever Needed Grace’ came at the eleventh hour, when it seemed like I had nothing—and resulted in one of the most powerful songs I’ve ever written—is such a testament of God’s grace,” Jimmy says. “It was awesome to take steps of faith and lean on God throughout this record, and to see Him come through in big ways over and over again.”
For Lindsay Harris, performing and making music is a conversation and a way to connect with many people at once. Her influences of choice are jazz, folk and pop and her inspirations are you; you just may or may not know it yet. Nationally recognized by organizations such as AT&T and Nabisco, Lindsay is an up-and-coming Central Texas weekend favorite, but she’s only just getting started. She’s new, she’s fresh and a straight up player when it comes to great music. So let her be the first to strike up the conversation, and then try to tell us she’s not keeping you rockin’ and coming back for more.