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Austin Church is a unique singer/songwriter. His songs are written with depth, an unorthodox turn of phrase, and a touch of whimsy. An otherworldly wit is often injected into the fabric of the tunes. A great deal of his work is bolstered by an underpinning of hope. When the “Churchman” is doing his thing, he hopes to enthuse and inspire. Austin is a straight forward player, relying on his rhythm guitar work to hold things together, and let his message bound along into your heart. His singing is homegrown, with phrasing flowing from a stream of consciousness into a river of conscientiousness. The vocal tones he pours out are uncommonly deep and earthy.
After his studies at the University of Georgia in Athens, Ga., Austin became a regular performer at Athens’ folk and blues club “The Last Resort”. It was there that he met and became inspired by the likes of Townes Van Zandt, Gamble Rogers, and Jimmy Buffett. In fact, Austin co-wrote “Brand New Country Star” with Jimmy during one of Buffett’s stays at the “Resort”; however, Austin’s style is divergent from that of the head “Parrot Head”. Austin went on to spend twenty years in Nashville honing his craft, with cuts by artists including Del Reeves and Lyle Lovett.
Perhaps the most meaningful Austin Church tune is “Miss Ola (The Mississippi Giver)”. The song celebrates the life of a humble, selfless washerwoman named Oseola McCarty, who hand washed and ironed clothes for 75 years. Amazingly, she saved $250,000 from her efforts, and gave the lion’s share of it to the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg, her hometown. Her gift provides scholarships for needy and deserving students. A video of “Miss Ola” is posted here. Austin is delighted that his music can lend a hand to foster the key elements of Miss McCarty’s life: hard work, saving, and giving with the spotlight on education.
Austin has four albums (cd’s) to his credit: “Dreamin’ Backwards” (2000), “Propitious Mélange” (2008), “In The Blue Ago” (2010) and “Walkin’ In Outa Leavin'” (2012). He would love to perform a concert for you. If you want to get off the beaten path, roll with the “Churchman”, no tellin’ where he’ll take ya.