AUSTIN MEADE | 7.5.2019
The Rustic, San Antonio, TX
Photos by Brad Coolidge
ABOUT AUSTIN MEADE:
“Life to me is like surfing. Whatever part of life you are in, it’s all waves. You have to sit there and take a few bad waves until you find the right one. The bad ones are inevitable…so, you just have to ride that shit out.” –Austin Meade
Whether it’s a battered heart or one in convalescence, the prison of addiction or the sovereignty of self-restraint, the anguished sounds of a weeping soul or the ethereal laughter of enlightenment, life comes in waves for all of us. It’s about taking all the growing pains in the best possible stride and walking it off until only dull aching remnants remain. This is Austin Meade’s personal thesis come in the form of his new album “Waves,” out on March 1, 2019. Some of the rides here are a bit daunting, some outright brutal. But in the midst of this raging sea one will find their perfect wave, and that ride, once they find it, will reveal a personal journey only they can define.
“I don’t like to spell out the meaning of a song for someone. I want the listener to decide for themselves.”
Meade’s fantastical mind is a deep, and at the same time, lofty place. His lyrical faculties run wild through both the landscape of his own reality and the realm of his imagination. Some might suggest that he writes his songs in code, laid out for the listener to figure out on their own. Others might say he writes metaphorically, the circumstances a bit more easily explained. Whichever the case, whichever the song, the honesty is always crystal clear allowing the listener to glimpse traces of their own soul in each tune. Meade is a child of the Millennium, yet his guitar style is descendant from the 70’s classic rock age with notes that writhe like exposed nerves. On stage his music is alive, living in the moment and fueled by animal instinct. This live show approach is a lost art, an audiovisual alchemy that brings the crowd directly into his world.
With songs that talk about corrupted love, cocaine, prison, church, and the hard living of the common working man, it’s rather surprising to learn that Meade nearly followed in his father’s footsteps as a church minister. It was his brief stint as a worship leader at his father’s church in Brenham, Texas playing music to the congregation that put him on the path to music, and it was the countless rock concerts his father took him to while growing up that cultivated his ambition to be a music artist. A former drummer, Meade played in a cover band for years while earning his business degree at Texas A&M in College Station before he peeled back another layer of himself and found a songwriter dwelling there. Now the front man of his own band slinging guitar licks with expert precision, his music rolled out with two releases in 2014, his first EP “Long Ways To Go” followed by his first full length album “Chief Of The Sinners.” His next EP “Heartbreak Coming” came in 2016 with a couple of singles to announce his commencement on the Texas Music Chart. Now based in New Braunfels, Texas with a tour schedule stretching outside the Lone Star state, Meade takes his next perfect ride with his second full length album “Waves.”
“Waves” keeps excellent company with 7013 Records who released fellow Texas artist Red Shahan’s two previous acclaimed albums. It took all of 7 days to record this album, a solid week of ideas traded back and forth between Meade and producer Elijah Ford who also played bass and sang backing harmonies. The brutal honesty that is the foundation of their relationship became the compass towards the album’s true north. “Waves” is pure nostalgia from an era of music when songs allowed more space to breathe and float comfortably in a vortex of sound. Nowhere on the album is that more evident than on the long desolate drive through “Mountain Past,” in the melting exhaustion of “Coming Down” and the bottomless hole of “Bad Habits.” The straight up rocker “7 Letters” is a highlight for the investigative listener who likes to read between the lines and “Pay Phone” follows suit written in classic Quentin Tarantino style. “Waves” comes at the perfect time for all of us looking for music of real substance that holds us firm in its embrace…thus, that perfect ride.
To see tour dates or to purchase Austin’s new album, “Waves”, go to austinmeade.com