We had the good fortune of connecting with Kevin Austin and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Kevin, how do you think about risk?
When I think about this question it takes me back to, what I feel like, was a very defining moment in my musical journey/career. About 3 years ago, I took my first trip to Nashville.  It blew my mind! So much music! So much talent!  Some friends were talking about an Open Mic at the famous Tootsies Bar on Broadway.  I instantly started accumulating doubts and I had a list of reasons why this was NOT a good idea.  Previously, I had only been on stage playing drums. The drum set felt like a safe barrier between the audience and myself, but I had never been on stage front and center on the mic. Also up to this point, I had only been playing guitar as a hobby at home, only in front of a few friends in private, but never in front of a room of people like this.  Not to mention, this is Nashville!  And Tootsies!  This was a lot of pressure.  At the same time there was this nagging feeling that if I didn’t do this, I’d regret it.  That this might be one of those rare opportunities that only comes around once in a while, or once in a lifetime even, and one of those moments you can’t come back to and do over. I looked around the room and decided I’d never see these people again, “screw it, let’s go!”  I took a couple shots and then the stage. Fortunately, I was playing with a house band.  With a fiddle player to my left, a guy on my right that knows every guitar riff, and bass and drums behind me, they said what do you want to play.  I picked my first of 3 songs and by verse 1, chorus 1, I thought “oh this is awesome” and I was hooked! I didn’t start playing live right away but I believe taking that risk planted a seed, for sure!  It took me a couple years to get back to Nashville but when I did, I went 3 times over that next 8 months; last Sept, Nov, and this May.  In March and April, before that last trip, I had been encouraged to start playing live.  I did my first couple of shows in April and May before going back to Nashville in May.  I was much more eager to get on stage at this point and I think I was on stage about 10 different times on that trip.  That brought me back home inspired and totally motivated to keep it going.  I started making calls and dropping in on venues offering to play and things took off. I’m still not entirely sure where it’s all headed but I’m determined to walk out the steps, obedient to the momentum that quickly came my way, and find out.  The point is, without risk, nothing is gained. If I didn’t get on stage that first time, if I’d have agreed with my doubts and excuses, and shrunk in fear at that moment, in one of the most famous bars in the country music capital of the world, I would most likely not be on the path I am today. It’s been a series of events and experiences that led to the path I’m on today, with a steady flow of weekly gigs, but the most significant I believe, was that first risk I took. Even making phone calls and in person visits are a risk, getting on stage every time is a risk. Cliche but true; nothing risked, nothing gained, and even the losses are wins, if you continue to press on and move forward.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?

What sets me apart might be my style of music.  I primarily cover Classic and Outlaw Country; Artists like Waylon Jennings, Merle Haggard, Johnny Cash, David Allen Coe, George Strait, Cody Jinks, and Tyler Childers to name a few.  Covering these amazing artists and their music is an honor and privilege but I’m also excited about exploring the realm of songwriting and producing my own original content.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Breakfast at the Omelet Parlor, Lunch at Jax Seafood and Oyster bar, Happy Hour at Private Label Distillery, Dinner at Prime 25. We would visit the Broadmoor Hotel, go to the top of Pikes Peak, Take them to a few of my shows at the Mill Hill Saloon, the Chicken Coop, Tailgate Tavern in Parker, and also drop in at the Whiskey Baron Saloon, the Grizzly Rose in Denver.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
So many people! My friend Jenn and her family, that encouraged me to get on the stage at that Open Mic the first time. Allie Sealey, who welcomed me onto her stage also on that first trip. Cody Joe Hodges, Jesse Lopez, Tyler Jay, Jason Miller, Dave Mensch, Dave Chapa, Cody Cozz, and Papi Sorrels. They are all musicians locally and/or in Nashville and Texas, for their encouragement, input and support. The venues that gave me a place to play, so many to mention but for sure Tailgate Tavern and The Studio at Mainstreet in Parker, The Chicken Coop in Black Forest, the Mill Hill Saloon and The Public House at The Alexander in Colorado Springs. My buddy Donny Coram for pushing me to get out there and do it, refusing to take no for an answer. And my girlfriend, aka “band bitch” (a label we jokingly refer to, that she proudly claims), Erica, for her help, support, encouragement, and patience.

Instagram: @kevin.austin.music

Facebook: @kevinaustinmusic

Other: Info@kevinaustinmusic.band

Image Credits
Rachell Monteleone

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