Between the release of their first CD, Brothers of the Castle back in 2001, to their 2006 release, Brotherhood, Del Castillo has received an astonishing 18 awards including SXSW/Austin Music "Album of the Year" Awards for Vida (2002) and Brotherhood (2006), "Band of the Year" (2003), ASCAP'S "Best Independent Group of the Year" (2005), and Austin Music Pundits "Best Live Act" (2004).
Film Director Robert Rodriguez attended a Del Castillo concert in 2002 and a great friendship developed between the two. Rodriguez then enlisted the group to contribute music to the soundtracks of his movies, such as "Spy Kids 3D," "Once Upon a Time in Mexico," "Sin City," and "GRINDHOUSE," and perform with him at the premieres. Rodriguez was so impressed with Del Castillo that he wanted to record with them, so together, they formed CHINGON and recorded an amazing electric rendition of the Mexican classic song, "Malaguena Salerosa." Quentin Tarantino loved it so much that he re-did the ending sequence of "Kill Bill Vol. II" to fit the song into his movie.
By 2004, Del Castillo was touring nationwide across the country playing with such diverse acts as Styx, Los Lonely Boys, Ozomatli, Don Henley, Los Lobos, and Willie Nelson and continued tour non-stop through 2006. They have performed at three of Willie Nelson's 4th Of July Picnics, and at Eric Clapton's Crossroads Guitar Festival, and they have made numerous national and local TV appearances.
Willie Nelson enjoyed Del Castillo so much that he re-recorded his song "I Never Cared For You" with the group (which is included on Del Castillo's Brotherhood CD) and calls it "his favorite version." Nelson has become a good friend of the band as well and the two look forward to touring together again soon.
During 2008, the band began playing major festivals all over the country and even Canada and widening its audience at a much more rapid rate. At California's famous Strawberry Music Festival, they were deemed the highlight of the festival and broke the merchandise sales record. Immediately after their incendiary debut performance at the Vancouver Folk Festival in Canada, they were selected to play the headlining stage for 2009.
Through their great artistic friendship and partnership with director Robert Rodriguez, Rick and Mark are featured actors performing on the TV series From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series, (episode 6) premiering 3.11.2014 on El Rey! "I want to bring the most exciting and authentic content possible," said Rodriguez when announcing the TV series. "Chingon and Del Castillo have been part of my experience providing this kind of entertainment to audiences since the beginning."
"Watching brothers Rick and Mark del Castillo take the stage and throw down dazzling nylon-string runs, in unison and in harmony, made me a big fan... infectious Latin rhythms with mind-boggling solos."
- Matt Blackett, Guitar Player Magazine