Steve Earle first heard Tody Castillo’s music when shopping for producers for Townes, his recent tribute to Townes Van Zandt. One listen to Castillo’s songs gave Earle enough confidence to hire Houston producer Steve Christensen, who helped produce and engineer the recording of Windhorse. Born out of personal tragedy, yet teeming with hope, the songs on Windhorse show Castillo’s depth of songwriting. They range from the dreamy lullaby to all-out rock-and-roll anthems. Castillo played most of the instruments on the recording, as well as being the only writer and singer. His beautiful voice has range and depth rarely found in today’s rock scene. This work maintains the cross-genre appeal that helped his 2005 self-titled release find a broad audience, earning the musician Houston Press‘ Best Unsigned Act award in 2005 (along with nominations for Song of the Year, Songwriter of the Year, and Best Rock/Pop). The album was also the top-selling release at Cactus Music and Video in 2005, outselling even the likes of Coldplay.
“This record unique for me because I’m such a different person,” Castillo says. “I released the first record in February 2005, a few months after I got married. A few months after that, I lost my brother due to an accident. That kind of thing is devastating. My wife then lost someone close in her family as well at the end of 2005. We joked about that year as being ‘the year of the death.’ The following year while playing and promoting the first record, my first son was born. So I lost a brother, and became a husband and a father all around the same time. This record is about that.”
Recorded during coffee-fueled sessions at The Treehouse, the Houston Heights garage apartment studio of Steve Christensen, Windhorse is a series of intimate snapshots into Castillo’s life. The heartbreak over the death of his brother and the joy of becoming a father echo throughout this work. Musicians Eddy Hobizal, Chris Masterson (currently with Son Volt), Steve Brown, and Ryan Biddle helped the duo by adding their skills to the piano, guitar, bass, and percussion on several songs.
Album highlights include “The Shape Of My Heart,” “Spoken Up Sooner,” “The Other Side of Love,” “Hearts On A String,” and “Mustang Island”.