MP3 Michael Austin - Thick ´n Thin
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Kurz-Beschreibung von CDbaby: Jazz, folk, and R&B from a song-wielding clarinet player with ties to both coasts, currently performing out of Austin, Texas. Impeccably crafted tunes, great song style and intriguingly oblique lyrics from one of the great male voices of our time. This
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Michael Austin from Austin, Texas? Yeah, that’s his real name and where he lives, but he’s not the kind of singer-songwriter that the name Austin usually conjures up. A dramatic and expressive vocalist, his clarinet tinged mix of rhythm, blues and Broadway is totally original Texas music. An uninhibited performer, he has been known to end up in the lap of an unsuspecting audience member before the end of the first set.
Born the son of a Navy man in Honolulu, Hawaii, Austin moved around with the family until his father’s illness and death at an early age forced them to settle in Sullivan, Mo. Michael picked up the clarinet to play in the school band and along with piano lessons, school plays, musicals and Sunday singing in the choir, his musical training was on its way. He followed with studies at the University of Missouri, Kansas City’s Conservatory of Music and a stint with the Kansas City Philharmonic, eventually receiving his degree in Music.
The art scene in Kansas City was diverse and Michael gravitated away from the symphony circle towards Milton’s on Market St., the Black Musicians Hall and other hotspots where he found inspiration treading in the footsteps of jazz greats like Charlie Parker and Count Basie.
But jazz was not his only passion and his interest in all things theatrical eventually led him to shift his focus, working as a props assistant, writer/choreographer on a west coast production shooting in Missouri, acting and soundtrack composition.
Artists are born wanderers and in 1979 California called. It was on his way to the Golden State that he first lived in his namesake town, Austin, Texas. During this period in Austin, he appeared in Sam Shepard’s show "Tooth of Crime" and did music for industrial films until his push to the west landed him in San Francisco.
San Francisco embraced Michael Austin’s gifts of music and drama. He became a core member of a video/comedy group ala Monty Python, helped form the rock group "Austin, Saunders and Prael", and was nominated for a ’Cabaret Gold Award’ for his work in a production of "A Kurt Weill Cabaret". It was while playing a gig in San Francisco that a local filmmaker approached him to star in the film DREAMLIFE.
This project eventually led him to the Big Apple where he spent 7 years, acting in or writing/directing off Broadway musicals, appearing in music videos and films and wearing hats as diverse as casting Lenny Bruce - a multi-media Burlesque production - and producing a fashion video. Austin was showcased in Big Breaks, a documentary which followed the rising stars of New York, was featured in Windows Over Manhattan for German TV, and won a major roll in the Oscar nominated short film Norman Mailer’s Children. Jingles, demo singing, recording sessions and singing at joints in the Village also kept him alive in New York City.
In 1991 hunger for a more laid back scene brought him back to California, this time to Hollywood where he continued as a jack of all creative trades. He spent time writing a screenplay, taking acting classes, and working at the Disney Studios in departments from feature acquisition to Hollywood Records.
But the constant has always been writing and singing. Nightclub shows, one acts, children’s bedtime stories, screenplays... and song after song. The LA Earthquake in ’93 finally compelled him to trade in the ground shaking mayhem of LA and give Austin, Texas another chance.
Michael Austin is building a loyal following with regular regional Texas performances like the popular "First Thursday with Michael Austin and Chris Gage" at Artz Ribhouse in south Austin or sitting in with Albert and Gage at Donn’s Depot. He was a New Folk Songwriter Competition Finalist at the Kerrville Folk Festival, a guest on the Austin Music Network’s "Songwriter’s in the Round" series and featured on KXAN TV’s award winning "Out on the Porch" with host Jim Swift.
Austin’s debut CD, "Thick ’n Thin", was produced by multi-instrumentalist and sought after producer, Chris Gage. Gage’s record label (with partner Christine Albert) MoonHouse Records has licensed the project and is promoting its release.
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