Today, Austin-based songwriter Tody Castillo released a new single called “What It Means To Be A Man” from his upcoming album Old Rodriguez. Produced by Castillo and recorded with Grammy Award-winning engineer Steve Christensen (Steve Earle, Robert Ellis, Khruangbin, Paul McCartney), Old Rodriguez is set for release April 8 via Athens, Georgia-based label Strolling Bones Records.

Over soft piano and subtle harmonies, Castillo’s vocals are paired with his melodic guitar playing, showcasing the song’s narrator’s introspective rumination, rushing to be strong and move on. American blues scene created the song saying “Tody paints the words with a beautiful vocal style and melody, relaxed but still imbued with a rock and roll purity.” Listen to “What It Means to Be a Man” via YouTube. Pre-Order and Save Old Rodriguez.

“‘What It Means To Be A Man’ is a song about a man struggling with depression and doubt,” Castillo explains. “It’s about the pressure and the joy of being a young father. He’s working hard to provide a better life, while trying not to lose sight of his dream.”

Fatherhood, cross-country travel, war stories passed down through generations, and philosophical conversations at the skatepark stitch together the fabric of Old Rodriguez. On his first work in 13 years, the Kingsville-born, Austin-based singer and songwriter questions the past, present and future across ten tracks. He began working on Old Rodriguez in 2009. The album was finished and mastered twice in 2014, but Castillo felt it was best to let the material sit until it was ready.

Eventually Old Rodriguez landed in the hands of Strolling Bones who signed Castillo in 2021 with a plan to not only release this latest LP but also properly reissue his catalog of work, Tody Castillo (2004) and Windhorse (2009). “What It Means To Be A Man” is the album’s third single; Castillo previously released the lead guitar”walk for miles“and the existential”Highway 59.” Sliding magazine created the latter saying, “there’s a folksy sensibility to the way he delivers his lyrics, but this song shows he’s not afraid to go wild.”

“I sat down on that record, because I knew it was too good to release myself.” Castillo said. “I’m 47 and just got a record deal…I’ve had the passion and desire to get this from the start. When you hear this. Hope it feels good and let it hit close to home. I want it to mean something to you.”

About Strolling Bones Records:

Born out of a simple desire to create an environment for artists to grow, Strolling Bones Records was launched in 2020 by George Fontaine Sr., who also owns New West Records. Rather than focusing on a singular genre, Strolling Bones Records’ focus is on finding unique voices and visions. Find more information here: walkingbonesrecords.com.

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Photo credit: Justin Cook