Texas based Jason Castro, the soft-spoken dude with the powerful vocal ability who wowed America on Season 7 of “American Idol” last year, has just signed a deal with Atlantic Records. Castro’s debut album on the label is planned for release later this year.
Atlantic has spared no expense for this project, enlisting heavyweight producer John Field (Soul Asylum, Lifehouse, Switchfood) and songwriters such as current Idol judge 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).
Castro’s performance of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” last season was so powerful that it sold 178,000 digital copies of Jeff Buckley’s version of the song. A few weeks later, Castro’s version of “Over the Rainbow” also hit #1 on iTunes and he finished fourth in the competition, frequently overshadowed by the more popular Davids–eventual champ Cook and runner up Archuleta. Those guys have released their debuts and now Castro takes his turn.
We’ll keep you posted when we know more about the official release date.
Last night the “American Idol” auditions moved to Salt Lake City, home of last season’s runner-up, David Archuleta. They made reference to the fact that there are a lot of nice people who live in Salt Lake, much like young David. That’s amazing considering that many people who live there do not drink alcohol. But I digress….the judges had to sift through a lot of bad auditions, probably many more than they showed last night, to find a few jewels. Here were the bad and the good from this round…..
Tara Mathews, a 21-year old local Goth girl (a Goth in Salt Lake is like a peanut in Italian food) said that she had ESP powers. Well that’s good, because she sure can’t sing….they only showed a few seconds of this girl Aleesha, who I’ll call vibrato girl, but her audition made me laugh out loud…..there was Chris, who brought along his friend Greg the Rabbit. Greg wore a pink bunny costume Continue reading »
So last night in part five of eight of FOX’s “American Idol” audition rounds, the scene shifted to Jacksonville, Florida. And the producers of the show decided to have a little fun and give judge Randy Jackson some love due to the name of the city (that’s really a stretch, isn’t it?). They showed Jackson in his days performing with the rock band Journey, and basically paid tribute to him a bit. That’s okay, but still a stretch. Anyway, this city did not seem to have the talent level of other audition rounds, and it was obvious right from the start of the show last night. Here are the highlights and lowlights:
Dana Moreno was shouting a Chaka Khan song, and I do mean shouting. Next! 16 year old Kaneswa had been told her entire life by her mom what a great vocalist she was, but that is always the recipe for failure, isn’t it? Kaneswa sang Anita Baker’s “Caught Up in the Rapture,” complete with some of Anita’s vocal acrobatics. However, for Kaneswa, they were not acrobatics, but more like nasal inflections….Darren Darnell was the life of the party among contestants waiting to audition, so much so that I was thinking he could be the next Ryan Seacrest. But then when his buddy didn’t get a golden ticket, a switch went off and this guy looked depressed and started crying, right up through his own audition, which bombed anyway….A girl named Naomi sang Minnie Ripperton’s “Lovin’ You” and while she may have hit the high falsetto note at the end, it was the only note that was on key. Naomi brought along her friend who was semi-obsessed with Randy Jackson, and the friend got to sit on Randy’s lap. Anyway, Naomi was awful….George Ramirez, an 18 year old who sort of looked like a young Abe Lincoln, was a physics student who just happened to want to give singing a try, but it was more like a low rumble of off-key mess Continue reading »
It’s a cliche, but time really freaking flies. Not only is Season 8 of “American Idol” now in progress, but it really seems like yesterday that we were crowning David Cook Season 7 champ. Season 1 was in 2002, now SEVEN years ago. They did a little retrospective to kick off Season 8 last night, and at the end of the montage they showed a bunch of little David Archuleta fans screaming “NOOOOO” when Cook was crowned by Ryan Seacrest back in May. Funny, funny stuff. Reminded me of New York Jets’ fans at the NFL draft, but worse.
Anyway, a fourth judge has been added to shake things up. Songwriter Kara DioGuardi (pronounced Dee-o-GWAR-dee) who has written somewhere around 100 hit songs and from what we found out, has a decent voice too, gives the panel another female perspective and she definitely adds some spunk and even more humor to the already eccentric judging contingent.
The first month or so of every season begins with twice-a-week auditions from various cities, and last night was the round from Phoenix, Arizona, home of Season 6 winner Jordin Sparks. There is a pattern to this every season, and the producers of the show only show us the really great and really horrible auditions, accentuating the absurd. It’s a ratings party, and last night was no exception. To streamline, we’ll just highlight the good and bad as briefly as possible…..
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