Fernando Ortega will release his initial project for Curb Records on August 10. The self-titled album is Ortega’s first studio project in two years and the twelfth of his accomplished career.
The project reunites Ortega with production/songwriting collaborators John Andrew Schreiner and Elaine Rubenstein, and delivers a punchy instrumental edge to Ortega’s mellow vocals and seemingly effortless blend of folk, pop and inspirational styles.
Fernando Ortega relies on the same team that has helped Ortega to eight No. 1 radio singles, twelve Dove Award nominations, two Dove Awards and consecutive No. 1 “Inspirational Song of the Year” CRR singles, in 1999 and 2000. Together, Rubenstein and producer Schreiner helped Ortega craft an album of intensely personal yet universal songs chronicling Ortega’s seaside life in southern California. Ranging from ocean-sprayed romance in “California Town” to the upbeat, folky pop of “Noonday Devil” and the atmospheric first single, “Sleepless Night,” which is already climbing the Christian radio charts, Fernando Ortega is an intimate and artistic collection. Ortega rounds out the project with signature renditions of classic hymns, this time covering “Rock of Ages,” “Immortal, Invisible” and “More Love To Thee.”
Taking Ortega in an edgier direction on his eponymously-titled disc than past projects are an impressive list of musicians, including Los Angeles studio legend Leland Sklar (James Taylor, Phil Collins, Willie Nelson) and fellow bassist Larry Taylor (Tom Waits). Percussionist Stephen Hodges (Bruce Cockburn, Tom Waits) and fiddle/dobro duo Gabe and Michael Witcher (Willie Nelson, Lee Ann Womack, Jerry Douglas, Nickel Creek) add a touch of worldbeat and folk rock to the eclectic mix.
“It felt good to stretch musically and lyrically and explore some new avenues on this album,” Ortega said of the release. “We decided to take some risks with this project, and I’m very happy with how it turned out.”
Curb Records Chairman, Mike Curb, stated, "We are very proud to have Fernando Ortega as a part of Curb Records. He is one of the most unique artists in the record industry today, and we believe he has an unlimited potential to reach major new audiences in the coming years."
The release of Fernando Ortega will be supported by extensive national radio, press and retail campaigns, initiated by the launch of “Sleepless Night” at radio. Ortega will also maintain a heavy touring schedule surrounding the album’s release, including a fall headline tour and numerous national event appearances.
This summer and fall, Ortega will appear before a combined conference audience of over 130,000, including four Family Life “Rekindling the Romance™” marriage conferences in Anaheim (Arrowhead Pond), Indianapolis (Conseco Field House), Minneapolis (Xcel Energy Center) and Tampa (St. Pete Times Forum). He will also be a featured artist at all three 2004 Anne Graham Lotz “Just Give Me Jesus” conferences, held in San Juan, Puerto Rico; Seattle, and Chicago, along with Lotz’ three-day “A Passionate Pursuit” event in Dallas. He will play for an additional expected crowd of over 45,000 at the Harvest Crusade “Night of Worship” in Anaheim. More information on Ortega’s headline tour this fall will be released soon.