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Jason Castro Blows Dylan Lyric on American Idol

May 7, 2008

As part of Rock and Roll Hall of Fame week on American Idol, the final 4 contestants on the music "reality" show had their run of the 500 songs that shaped the rock world. Dreadlocked hippie Jason Castro (who, I swear, is going to put out a Folk Alley-friendly CD in the next year) picked the Dylan arrangement of Mr. Tambourine Man. Halfway through the first verse, everything went south, he hummed a bit and went into the chorus. As much as I would love a singer/songwriter to win this show and bring a folkie bent to the AM Idol tour, I really hope he goes home tonight.

Posted by Ann VerWiebe at May 7, 2008 10:46 AM


I've watched some famous folkies get lost in a song where the words go south while the music keeps going north. Don't slap someone down just because they blew it. It happens. And when it happens at a critical moment in front of the world, it can cascade, so you have to head for the familiar to get back to spot where you blew it. Give them credit for recovery and go on. It's easy to put someone down for forgetting "the obvious". "How can they forget that?" you ask. Well they can and they will. The extreme pressure doesn't help one bit. It's a complete blowup when it happens to you as the artist. Cut them a little slack. If you don't like him for other reasons that's your choice.

Posted by: Butch Krause at May 12, 2008 10:07 AM

I don't hate Jason Castro. He's really good for someone who only picked up a guitar a couple of years ago. But I think it really was his time to go (over Syesha, who is singing her heart out to stay on that stage). Jason is sweet and I look forward to hearing the inevitable CD he puts out. The interview I read cited his influences as squarely in the Folk Alley playlist, so I'm sure this isn't the last we've heard from him.

Posted by: Ann E VerWiebe at May 12, 2008 10:23 AM

I enjoyed Jason Castro's (and Brooke White's) time in the competition, mostly because they seemed like happy, largely unaffected people. But here's what is maybe harmful to them about the AI process: to capitalize on their newfound celebrity and clear appeal, they pretty much need to be putting out a product now. But as creative artists, what they should be doing instead is absorbing influences, studying the mechanics of songwriting (they do both write, but not so well yet from the little I've heard), and growing their stage presence in small clubs as opening acts and working their way up to their natural level of acceptance. The best path for choosing a niche, building a following, and finding a voice as a songwriter is not the way these kids will be spending their time in the coming year. Ultimately they might do well anyway; I hope so, they seem like sweet human beings, quirky enough to come out with something fresh and original at some point. It's just that they're going to be marketed now as if they were already there, which might be a huge impediment to actually getting there.

Posted by: Joan Kennedy at May 12, 2008 11:03 AM

I completely agree - it would have been awful for them to have won. It's a difficult tightrope to walk, you want the exposure, but the win sucks your life away (esp. if your style doesn't fall into a prescribed, commercial mold). That's why, as great as his voice is, I almost hope David Archuleta doesn't win. At 17, the win could overwhelm him and define his music.

Posted by: Ann E VerWiebe at May 12, 2008 11:09 AM

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