Discovered in a Chicago songwriters competition in the early 1990s, John Austin recorded his first album, The Embarrassing Young, with the legendary Mark Heard. The album resulted in some worldwide attention for John and his music. However, on the eve of an international tour, John was jumped by a street gang in Chicago and beaten with a baseball bat. Over the next several months, as he recovered from his injuries Austin was dropped from his record label [Word Records] and his mentor/friend/producer, Mark Heard, died of a heart attack. Through it all Austin persevered, and worked to get back to the music. The dedication paid off. Austins later album, Byzantium, was hailed a "masterpiece" by Performing Songwriter Magazine. The disc features a full band backing Austin, including such talents as Newton Carter & David LaBruyere (both formerly of Vigilantes of Love) Travis McNabb (Better Than Ezra), Randall Bramblett (Sea Level, Steve Winwood Band) and engineered by Don McCollister (Indigo Girls, Billy Pilgrim, etc.). In 1998 Austin released If I Was A Latin King (co-produced and recorded by Bill Campbell of the Throes) via the independent label, WeatherVane Music. The critics said "John is everything good about modern pop-rock..." He and his wife, vocalist Erin Echo were invited to do the Lilith Fair. They settled in Washington DC, where they currently reside. Touring both as a headliner and with The Vigilantes of Love helped John build his fan base around the country, and a reputation as an engaging live performer. A Left Off The Dial review of Austin's recent release, Busted at the Pearly Gates can be found below.
These albums can be purchased at Insound.
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