05/17/2013- Stephen David Austin and the Tortured Artists will be playing our first official show on Saturday night, 05/18/2013, with Talkin' Treason and the Groovy Rednecks at the Cinema Bar in Culver City. Festivities start with Talkin' Treason at 9:30, Groovy Rednecks at 10:30, and Stephen David Austin and the Tortured Artists at 11:30. The Tortured Artists are: Charlie Peterson on pedal steel, lap steel, Dobro, and vocals; Dave "The Grooover" Grover on bass and vocals; Howard Weisbrot on drums and percussion; and yours truly on guitars and vocals. I'm really proud and honored to be working with such a talented group of musicians. Special thanks to the bands and musicians who've been generous enough to let us share the billing with them, and to those of you who are willing to take the leap of faith in coming out to see us. Your support means the world to us.
05/07/2011- Torture Your Local Artist! After the past couple of months auditioning, rehearsing, and a subliminal mind control / indoctrination process I can't elaborate on, the "Tortured Artists" are ready to start playing out. We had a "test drive" at the Cowboy Palace in Chatsworth last week, where the band was tight and received well by the audience. We'll be playing our first official show on Saturday night, 05/18/2013, with the Groovy Rednecks at the Cinema Bar in Culver City. The Tortured Artists are: Charlie Peterson on pedal steel, lap steel, Dobro, and vocals; Dave "The Grooover" Grover on bass and vocals; Howard Weisbrot on drums and percussion; and yours truly on guitars and vocals. I'm really proud and honored to be working with such a talented group of musicians. Special thanks to the bands and musicians who've been generous enough to let us share the billing with them, and to those of you who are willing to take the leap of faith in coming out to see us. Your support means the world to us.
04/22/13- The Hacking Continues! Someone hacked my Hooverville Rounders Yahoo e-mail account and sent out a clip from Fox News to everyone in that address book. Hopefully, I now have the matter under control, but I will not be using hoovervillerounders at yahoo dot com as a contact e-mail in the future. For updated e-mail info, please send me a message on the "contact" page of my site and I'll send you the current address (if you don't already have it. To all of you who received a clip from (gulp) Fox News with my name as the sender, I apologize for the inconvenience. To whoever keeps trying to mess up my accounts, please get a life.
04/08/2013- Someone I don't know has opened a twitter account in my name. I only have one Twitter account, with the username @sd_austin. Someone else has opened an account using all of my bio and location info, with the username sd_austinq. I know imitation is supposed to be the most sincere form of flattery, but in this case it appears to be the most sincere form of identity theft. If you receive a tweet or follow notice from @sd_austinq, it ain't from me. My ONLY Twitter account is twitter.com/SD_Austin . Note to impostor- If I wanted to impersonate someone, it wouldn't be me! Maybe Elvis Presley?
03/15/2013- Free mp3 In addition to being my birthday, March 25 will mark the anniversary of the death of Buck Owens, a true pioneer of the "Bakersfield Sound' , who passed away on March 25, 2006. In obeservance of Buck's contribution to our musical heritage, I will be offering free downloads of "The Day Buck Owens Died" through March 31. All you have to do is go to the music player at the bottom of the page and click "Download mp3". You don't have to give me an e-mail address, follow me on Twitter, or "like" me on Facebook in exchange for the mp3, but the aforementioned actions would all be greatly appreciated. All I ask is that, if you like my music, tell a friend. If not, keep it to yourself. And if you buy a CD from CDBaby on the "Music" page, I may just be your friend for life. Also, I'll be playing shows starting this spring with my swell new live band, the Tortured Artists. We'd sure appreciate your support if you'll come out to some of our shows. We're rehearsing for the next month or two, and will be out playing by May. The Groovy Rednecks have been generous enough to invite us play with them at the Cinema Bar in Culver City on Saturday, May 18, so we're planning on that being the official live debut of the band. We hope to see you there.
01/14/2013- Since I'm still an insecure musician seeking validation in cyber-space, maybe you could be so kind as to "Like" our Facebook music page? We'll look forward to seeing you at a neighborhood dive bar near you soon. http://www.facebook.com/StephenDavidAustin
12/18/2012- My heart goes out to all the people who have lost children and other loved ones in the senseless and brutal sllaughter at in Newtown, Connecticut. I'm sure words can't express the pain and grief you must be feeling, nor can words express my heartfelt sympathy and condolences. You, your families, and your loved ones are in my thoughts and prayers. I wish you peace. Free downloads of 2 songs dealing with the ever-changing, violent world in which we live, "The Fat Kid" and "Kansas Ain't In Kansas Anymore are available on the music player at the bottom of the page (use the large arrow to play, the small double arrows to scroll through songs). Please do a Google search on how to help families affected by this tragedy, and give whatever you can. If you can't afford to give, you can still afford to pray.
10/29/2012- I recently saw a review in which I was compared to "Randy Newman with a Telecaster". How cool is that? I don't think it's up on the "Press" page yet, but I'll try to get the whole review up sometime this week. On another subject, Halloween is just around the corner. I've been toying with the idea of passing out boiled eggs to the kids who are too old (say, 30+) for trick-or-treating. Imagine their disappointment when they go to egg my house and the eggs don't splatter all over the place. The downside, they'll still dent cars and break windows. Happy Halloween, everybody!
10/09/2012- Free MP3! Fall is in the air. Time to say goodbye to short pants and elastic waistbands. (Note- I once wanted to call a band consisting of myself and 3 other hefty musicians "The Elastic Waste Band", but was soundly out-voted by the other band members. They also weren't too crazy about "The Lumpy Rutherfords"). But I digress...In observance of long-pants weather, I'm giving away free downloads of my song, "Dance With No Pants". Go to the music player at the bottom of the page and click on the "Download mp3" button, take off your pants, and enjoy!
10/08/2012- Just in time for Oktoberfest, "Back to Bakersfield" has been added to the Country / Folk station on Lufthansa Airlines' in-flight entertainment. Yet another reason to go visit Europe! If you can't find the time or money for a flight to Germany, just buy the cd and open a nice German beer.
10/03/2012- OK, I give up. In order to get the search engines to send people to the correct site when they search for "Steven David Austin", I shall now adapt the alter-ego of Stephen David Austin, aka Steven David Austin. More than one reviewer has written about "Stephen David Austin - A Bakersfield Dozen" and gone on to spell my first name "Steven" throughout the review. These are the little things that most people don't think about, unless they have a name with multiple possible spellings (or -- like me -- just happen to be a little obsessive-compulsive). So, for the record, the actual spelling is the Biblical version, "Stephen", but it's pronounced "Steven" (not "Stefan"). Just for the 3 or 4 people who otherwise may not have found this site through a search engine due to misspelling, I'll let Google call me Steven David Austin. The rest of you can just call me Steve. And if you think the entire purpose of this rant is to add keywords to my site, you're right. Why let Steven David Austin wallow in anonymity?
08/15/2012- I've grown increasingly conflicted over participation in "social media" Aside from spending far too much time chatting away with other people I'd otherwise never get the opportunity to talk to and making friends I'd otherwise never get to meet, I'm finding that I'm also able to alienate people I don't even know with my sometimes bizarre sense of humor and take on life in general (see my "Lyrics" page if you need proof). I'm also finding that some of the people who don't "get" me get really pissed at what I see as nothing more than harmless potty humor. Countless people (publicists, etc.) have told me that I need to create a "web presence" if I want to get my music noticed. I think I need to learn to choose the virtual venue in which to deliver what. If anybody else has found themselves in a similar quandry, I'd like to hear from you. Send me an e-mail and let me know what you're doing to adapt in a virtual world. I need some help here...
08/02/2012- August is a tough month for Deadheads. In loving memory of Jerome John "Jerry" Garcia (August 1, 1942 – August 9, 1995) I'll be offering free downloads of my song "Heroes and Heroin" on my web site through August 9, 2012. The third verse is about Jerry. The first two verses are about Gram Parsons and Charlie Parker, respectively. For your free download, just go to the music player at the bottom of the screen and click on the "Download mp3" button next to the song title. Rest in peace, Captain Trips. The musical and cultural legacy you left behind is immense, and we thank you for coming to visit.
07/13/2012- A Bakersfield Dozen is one of the Indie Top Sellers on cdbaby! Now I can get the car elevator I've been wanting to put in my garage at the beach house in order to shuttle my wife's Cadillacs around! http://www.cdbaby.com/Top/361/p1
07/13/2012- "If everyone on country radio had Austin's goals and drive, I sure as hell would be listening to country radio a lot more. "...Roctober Reviews
06/20/2012-As a songwriter who generally does the lead vocals on my recordings, I don’t necessarily think critics are doing anyone a disservice by not liking the lead vocals on a song, (assuming they feel the material is otherwise valid).
What may well be the best thing yet to happen to my career came in the form of this slightly backhanded compliment from Robert Christgau:
Stephen David Austin: A Bakersfield Dozen (StephenDavidAustin.com)
“The kind of writer who remembers the day Buck Owens died, the kind of singer who hopes someone covers his song about it ("Best Ex I Ever Had," "The Cage") **”
I’ve had plenty of reviews from critics who don’t mind the sound of my voice at all, and more from critics who get past the lead vocals to recognize that I’m a writer first. I’m singing the songs because my voice is the only vehicle I have through which I can deliver the songs. Personally, I wish my voice was better, but we play the cards we’re dealt in life.
I took the "singer..." part of Mr. Christgau’s comment with a grain of salt. I've never built my self-image around being a gifted singer. Robert Christgau's a big deal among living music critics (RIP Lester Bangs & Buddy Siegal), and I'm really just thrilled that he listened to the whole album and deemed the songs worthy of being covered. I'm pragmatic enough to know I'll make a lot more money if somebody like Tim McGraw or Brad Paisley covers one of my songs than if I release it on my own. And I'll gladly stand in the lobby at Sony, Universal, or WEA and sing it until they call security -- or Toby Keith -- to kick me out.
05/02/12- I will be playing an acoustic show with John Groover McDuffie this Sunday, May 06 from 1-5p at the Historic Rock Inn in Lake Hughes. For details, check out the "shows" page on this site.
05/02/2012-To get a free mp3 of "MySpace", go to http://www.StephenDavidAustin.com/ and click on the “download mp3” button on the music player at the bottom of the page. To a curmudgeon like me, social media is a necessary evil to get our music out there. I hope you "like" the song.
04/10/2012- Nice interview on the Country Startpage! (click for link).
“The 11 tunes here make up a brilliant CD debut by an immensely talented creator and performer of a fresh helping of roots Americana… It's a fine mix by a newcomer who could be on the national radar soon.” -- KEN ROSENBAUM, TOLEDO BLADE
"I just got around to listening to it last night... and it is awesome.
Usually it takes two or three listens to fully appreciate new CDs but this was clearly a winner after one play.
Whatever it cost you, it was money well spent.
Now if somebody big decides to record a song or two, it will really be well spent.
But it's money well spent regardless.
When is the next one?" -- ROBERT PRICE, THE BAKERSFIELD CALIFORNIAN / AUTHOR OF "THE BAKERSFIELD SOUND"
..."[Stephen David Austin] is a wit and a writer of prose, reminiscent of Robert Earl Keen. Most [songs] are autobiographical and more than a few involve bad, bad men. In "The Cage" Austin picks up a hitchhiker who just finished serving his sentence for beating a man to death. Heroes and Heroin take a look at the lives of Gram Parsons, Jerry Garcia, and Charlie Parker.
I think the song that best sums up Austin is, "Best Ex I Ever Had" – a high-energy shuffle about a woman who is only happy when he’s sad. It’s funny, it’s fun, and I like it that way. There has been some use of the word “poet” in conjunction with Stephen David Austin, and I’m not sure that’s fair. Those who want REAL poetry may feel let down and those who hate poetry will be missing out. If it’s poetry, it’s Hank Williams poetry. It’s pain- shares. His band is top notch, full of guys from I See Hawks in LA and Dwight Yoakam’s band. A Bakersfield Dozen is a collection of great music and better stories."spoken rural poetry, which I think is a harder stunt to perform and more fun to listen to.
Musically, Austin has a low and round warble that works great with the stories he shares. His band is top notch, full of guys from I See Hawks in LA and Dwight Yoakam’s band. "A Bakersfield Dozen" is a collection of great music and better stories.
-- GRANT LANGSTON, SOUTHLAND SERENADE, 03/24/2012
"Love the lyrics of these pure country songs".
-- THE COUNTRY STARTPAGE
CLICK HERE TO SEE FULL REVIEWS ON THE "PRESS" PAGE