Relix - Jeff Austin Band "Simple Truth" and "15 Steps"

October 20, 2014 - Jeff Austin's Crackling new group also features Danny Barnes, Ross Martin and Eric Thorin. Here they share two songs from Austin's forthcoming album. Yep Roc will release The Simple Truth, the solo debute from the Yonder Mountain String Band alum on February 10.

Read the full post and see the video at Relix.

Posted on October 20, 2014 .

Jeff Austin "The Simple Truth" Out February 10, 2015 On Yep Roc

JEFF AUSTIN THE SIMPLE TRUTH OUT FEBRUARY 10, 2015 ON YEP ROC

A genre-blurring solo debut with Danny Barnes, Ross Martin, Eric Throin and Cody Dickinson, the Royal Horns and special guests

BOULDER, Colo. — “This is it. This is the band. We’re here and we’re focused,” singer, songwriter and instrumentalist Jeff Austin says with glee. He’s referring to his handpicked ensemble, the Jeff Austin Band. The group features long-time collaborator Danny Barnes on banjo and guitar, guitarist Ross Martin, bass player Eric Thorin, and Cody Dickinson of the North Mississippi Allstars on percussion.

 

The Simple Truth, the group’s 2015 debut solo album and Austin’s first recording for Yep Roc records, is no simple affair. His legions of fans have long known of Austin’s eclectic musical influences. Here, instead of familiar jam band motifs, listeners will find hints of power pop, country ballads, bluegrass and rock. Assisting the band is an array of acclaimed guests including Todd Snider, Jenn Hartswick, Brendan Bayliss of Umphrey’s McGee and Sarah Siskind.

 

Austin began recording the demos that would comprise The Simple Truth with Nick Forster (of eTown and Hot Rize fame) in December of 2013. In March of 2014, the group spent around ten days recording the bulk of the album’s tracks. Though the Jeff Austin Band is a new project, Austin is quick to point out that each member had a rich history of collaborating onstage and off.

 

“When I did Jeff Austin and Friends shows,” he remembers, “Eric was always the bass player. I love great solos but if a band can move at the same rhythmic pace, I get off on that as much as anything else. Eric and I move at the same pace as each other.

 

“Through Eric, Ross came into the fold,” Austin adds. “They’ve been playing music together for 20 years. So when we all got together, that’s what hit us.”  

 

Austin’s connection to Danny Barnes, the famed Bad Livers banjo player and now avant-garde “barnyard electronics” experimenter, goes back even further. It’s hard not to hear the album funky down-home title track without hearing the hallmarks of Barnes. “Danny and I have been playing for at least ten years,” Jeff says. “I remember in the mid-’90s working on the radio in Champaign, Ill. They had all these cassettes in the studio room and I had just found bluegrass music. I heard the Bad Livers and said, ‘That’s the kind of bluegrass I like.’ There was a darkness there, a different tone to it. It sort of changed the way I thought bluegrass had to be played.”

 

“When I hear this music,” Austin says of The Simple Truth, “I hear Danny’s sensibility on it. You’re looking at 20 years ago, when a twenty-something-year-old kid working radio heard something and the switch was flipped. And now he’s standing right there, creating this music with me in real time. The simple fact of that is pretty mind blowing for me.”

 

Austin’s rock leanings can be found on the album’s opener, “What the Night Brings.” “We recorded that all together, live, there was something about that take,” he says. “It was played in a bluegrass style for so long, but that’s how that song was originally intended. The hook that rolls through it, the big drum, the big electric guitar … this is how it sounded in my head all along, for years. It was a moment of making this statement as clear as possible.”

 

Sarah Siskind’s impact, in particular, can be heard throughout the project, from the tender “Falling Stars” to “Over and Over,” a tune Austin co-wrote with the famed Nashville songwriter. “She changed everything,” he says of Siskind. “To say I’m a fan of her songwriting is a terrible understatement. She’s done something that I’ve only seen John Prine do, where gender has nothing to do with it. The emotions are straight across the board.”

 

Austin initially connected with Siskind thanks to a bout of writer’s block. He contacted the esteemed singer-songwriter via email when he couldn’t wrap up “Over and Over.” “I had chords for that song for over a year,” he says. “I had the beginning of the first verse, too. I was stuck and I was completely landlocked. “I was driving somewhere, listening to Sarah’s records and I said, ‘I think I know what I need to do.’ I typed out what I had, I made her a demo and a couple of days later I opened my little digital mailbox and there were a couple of emails from her.”

 

“It was absolutely lovely,” Austin says of her contribution. “ It took me a half day to recover from it, it was that strong of an impression. Over the course of a week, it was there. I thought, ‘Holy crap, we just digitally wrote this song together.’”

 

Siskind not only co-wrote the heartfelt “Over and Over,” she eventually contributed vocals to the album. Austin is excited that in 2015 she’ll even be opening and playing with the Jeff Austin Band on a few select dates. “I have this dream in my mind of her and Ross and Danny playing triple electric guitars with Cody on drums and me with a shit-eating grin, standing behind them all,” he says with a laugh.

 

Despite all the collaborations, Austin is quick to point out that he’s not letting go of his famed mandolin (an exquisite Nugget mandolin handmade by luthier Mike Kemnitzer) anytime soon. You can hear its chords on the album’s rock inspired opener and throughout the album. “On this record you notice that the mandolin is scattered about,” he explains. “I wanted to sing these songs without worrying if I have to do a solo here or figure out a riff for this part. I wanted to sing songs the best I could, tap into a lot of emotions that I haven’t ventured to in a while.”   

 

It’s hard not to notice Austin’s enthusiasm for the new project. “As the primary writer and singer, my name may be attached to the thing, but this is everybody’s band,” he says. “To see the work these guys are doing on a nightly basis, embedding themselves and the dedication to work, it’s ridiculous. It’s a cool thing to be a part of.”

 

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Posted on October 15, 2014 .

Jeff Austin Band Tour Update For This Week.

Dear friends,  due to circumstances beyond our control, the Jeff Austin Band show scheduled for this Friday, October 10th, at Mill Park in Hampton, VA has been cancelled. Our sincere apologies to all the fans planning to attend.

 

Posted on October 6, 2014 .

Jeff Austin Band to Play WinterWonderGrass Festival in Avon, CO

As the crew and myself prepare to head out on the road in October and November, it's already time to start looking forward to 2015.

A festival in the Colorado Rockies in the winter to start things off? Perfect!

We are excited to be a part of WinterWonderGrass Festival in Avon, CO on February 20-22, 2015. We have been hearing so much about this event and are so glad to be involved.

After a year of change, reflection, and renewed energy...I cannot wait to get after it in 2015.

This is only the beginning, friends...I am looking forward to having you along for the ride.

Much love,
jA

Posted on September 30, 2014 .

Jeff Austin Band Adds More Fall Dates

Jeff Austin Band Announces Additions to Fall 2014 Tour
Jeff Austin, Danny Barnes, Eric Thorin and Ross Martin on Tour This Fall

JAB announces November Shows with The Travelin McCourys as Part of The Bluegrass Ball

ASHEVILLE, NC -- Jeff Austin is on tour with Danny Barnes (banjo and vocals), Eric Thorin (bass and vocals), and Ross Martin (guitar and vocals) as the newly formed Jeff Austin Band.

They have added additional tour dates for this Fall including appearances in New Jersey, Virginia and West Virginia in October. New for this November, Jeff Austin Band is linking up with The Travelin' McCourys  as part of The Bluegrass Ball, the widely successful collaborative festival on wheels the McCourys started, for a week with shows in Dallas, St Louis, Bloomington, Madison and Minneapolis. 

These dates are in addition to their previously announced dates out west for shows this October in Flagstaff, Phoenix, Los Angeles, Arcata, Eugene, Portland, Seattle and Bellingham. JAB will also be performing two nights at Railroad Earth’s Hangtown Halloween Ball in Placerville, CA where Leftover Salmon and moe. amongst others. Jeff will also be featured as an “Artist-at-Large” at the Ball. 

Austin is set to make several festival appearances over the next month, including Grateful Grass sets at Utopia Festival and Lockn' with Keller Williams, and two sets with JAB at the Phases of the Moon Festival. 

Jeff Austin Band on Tour  (Recently added dates in bold)
9/5-6 Fri-Sat - Lockn' Festival - Arrington, VA*
9/12 Fri - Utopia Festival - Utopia, TX^
9/13-14 Sat-Sun - Phases of the Moon - Danville, IL
10/9 Thu - Mexicali Live - Teaneck, NJ
10/10 Fri - Mill Point Park - Hampton, VA
10/11 Sat - V Club - Huntington, WV
10/12 Sun- Schmitt's Saloon - Morgantown, WV

10/21 Tue - Orpheum Theater - Flagstaff, AZ
10/22 Wed - Musical Instruments Museum - Phoenix, AZ
10/23 Thu - The Mint - Los Angeles, CA
10/24-26 Fri-Sun - Hangtown Halloween Ball - Placerville, CA #
10/28 Tue - Humbrews - Arcata, CA
10/29 Wed - WOW Hall - Eugene, OR
10/30 Thu - Mississippi Studios - Portland, OR
10/31 Fri - Nectar's Lounge - Seattle, WA
11/01 Sat - The Green Frog - Bellingham, WA
11/11 Tue - Gas Monkey Garage - Dallas, TX %
11/12 Wed - Old Rock House - St. Louis, MO %
11/13 Thu - Castle Theatre - Bloomington, IL %
11/14-11/15 Fri-Sat - Majestic Theatre - Madison, WI %

11/16 Sun - Cabooze - Minneapolis, MN %

* Jeff plays with Grateful Grass featuring Keller Williams and Keith Moseley
^  Jeff plays with Grateful Grass featuring Keller Williams and Sam Grisman
# w/ Railroad Earth, Moe., Leftover Salmon and more. JAB plays two days and Jeff is Artist-at-Large
% w/ The Travelin' McCourys as part of The Bluegrass Ball

Posted on August 25, 2014 .

Jeff Austin Band Announces Fall Tour

Jeff Austin, Danny Barnes, Eric Thorin and Ross Martin Travel Through Arizona, California, Oregon and Washington This Fall

ASHEVILLE, NC -- Celebrated for his fleet fingers and penchant for improvisation on stage, mandolinist, songwriter and vocalist Jeff Austin is on tour with Danny Barnes (banjo and vocals), Eric Thorin (bass and vocals), and Ross Martin (guitar and vocals) as the Jeff Austin Band. They have also have been in the studio with a number of other friends, heroes and mentors to record an album due out early in 2015.

Fall brings the Jeff Austin Band to the West Coast with shows in Flagstaff, Phoenix, Los Angeles, Arcata, Eugene, Portland, Seattle and Bellingham. JAB will also be performing two nights at Railroad Earth’s Hangtown Halloween Ball in Placerville, CA where Leftover Salmon and moe. amongst others. Jeff will also be featured as an “Artist-at-Large” at the Ball.

Jeff Austin Band is set to perform at a number of shows and festivals this summer including Grand Targhee Bluegrass Festival, Nedfest and Phases of the Moon. Jeff will also be appearing at Gathering of the Vibes, Yarmony Grass and Lockn' Festival for special Grateful Grass sets featuring Austin along with Keller Williams and Keith Moseley. Austin is headed in a new creative direction with the Jeff Austin Band as he prepares to step into the spotlight as a solo artist. On his forthcoming debut project, Austin’s songwriting remains rooted in Americana inspiration and the frantic energy of the jam genre but also, reaches even further weaving in more mainstream themes, reminiscent of his co-write contribution “Fiddlin’ Around,” that was featured on the 2010 Grammy nominated Dierks Bentley album, Up on the Ridge.

While the upcoming, untitled solo effort is still a work in progress, it can already be summed up succinctly as Austin’s love letter to storytelling. “I love writing a three-minute song with a hook that would grab a five-hundred-pound marlin as much as I like writing something that goes, ‘okay, after the bridge, it’s going to open up and just go wide.’”

Complete Schedule of the Jeff Austin Band Tour Dates:
8/01 Fri - Gathering of the Vibes - Bridgeport, CT*
8/09 Sat - Targhee Bluegrass Festival - Alta, WY
8/16 Sat - Yarmony Grass - Bond, CO* 
8/22 Fri - NedFest - Nederland, CO
8/23 Sat - Keystone Resort - Keystone, CO
8/24 Sun - Center for the Arts - Crested Butte, CO
9/5-6 Fri-Sat - Lockn' Festival - Arrington, VA*
9/12 Fri - Utopia Festival - Utopia, TX^
9/13-14 Sat-Sun - Phases of the Moon - Danville, IL
10/21 Tue - Orpheum Theater - Flagstaff, AZ
10/22 Wed - Musical Instruments Museum - Phoenix, AZ
10/23 Thu - The Mint - Los Angeles, CA
10/24-26 Fri-Sun - Hangtown Halloween Ball - Placerville, CA #
10/28 Tue - Humbrews - Arcata, CA
10/29 Wed - WOW Hall - Eugene, OR
10/30 Thu - Mississippi Studios - Portland, OR
10/31 Fri - Nectar's Lounge - Seattle, WA
11/01 Sat - The Green Frog - Bellingham, WA


* Jeff plays with Grateful Grass featuring Keller Williams and Keith Moseley
^  Jeff plays with Grateful Grass featuring Keller Williams and Sam Grisman
# w/ Railroad Earth, Moe., Leftover Salmon and more. JAB plays two days and Jeff is Artist-at-Large

Posted on July 24, 2014 .