“When Vic Kastel released his debut album “Time Traveler” in late-July, it was not only his first-ever solo album, but it was the culmination of a 40+ year career – as a singer/songwriter/performer. The 13 tracks on the album consists of material from the 70’s and 80’s; an amalgamation of honing a career as a singer/songwriter.
Says Kastel, “When the spark of an idea occurs, a creative thread appears, then comes the real task of sculpting and shaping the finished piece. These songs represent some of my work preserved in the original recorded form.”
Kastel laments that the singer/songwriter tag has, in recent years, faded from the spotlight somewhat. “I think artists like Dylan, Springsteen, Jackson Browne, Dave Mason and Tom Petty, really represented that talent at its peak. Their songs speak in a very real way to the listener. To me, it all starts with a good song and at all evolves from there.”
Time Traveler was recorded with in-studio musicians, live and on tape. Bruce Springsteen’s forthcoming album –and new single “Letter To You”- was recorded in the same fashion. “I think that’s something we’ll see more and more of in the coming years.”
“Studios have closed in recent years with the advent of digital means, but I think the tide is turning,” he says. “Joey Molland, of Badfinger, proudly says that his new solo album, Be True To Yourself, was recorded in a studio with real musicians. He said his last few albums were done digitally, in the basement, and that it was a real thrill to do it again with a band.”
Kastel, who has written for song blues-legend Little Buster describes the songwriting craft as an art form. “If it was that easy … everyone would be doing it. It’s a craft that requires attention to detail.”
The first two singles off the album, “Don’t Ever let me Catch You Giving Up On My Love” and “First Impressions” are on-target representations of the art of writing a song. The former is a ready-for-pop-radio hit, that’s evidenced a terrific reception so far. “That track has been received very well for sure,” he adds. The latter, doo-wop inspired, is a perfect remembrance of that hallowed era. “I wrote that inspired by Dion and all those exceptional bands,” adds Kastel.
“Never Gonna Leave It” features a Farfisa organ, a distinctive signature of the rock-era, which Kastel fully approves of. “That has a great sound and for the song, it was just perfect,” he says. “In A Lonely Room” is another standout on the album. Just a terrific track; terrifically well-received when I perform it.”
While Kastel and his team had set in motion a number of promotional activities for the album; several of them were put on hold due to the pandemic shutdown. “It’s an unprecedented time for sure, but people are still listening … and, maybe even a bit more closely now. In a way, one has a captive audience like never before.”
Is Kastel writing during these hunkering-down months? “Absolutely … I always have and always will.”