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Santa Cruz-rooted singer-songwriter, guitarist and producer Austin Shaw has always believed that everyone has a story to tell. “You can look into people’s eyes and get a glimpse of where they have been, where they are, and even where they might be going,’ he says. Austin Shaw catalogs his own stories and the in-depth feelings of other people in his life on his upcoming full-length debut, FELT.
His songs are diaries glowing with warm, intricate layers. They feature catchy guitar hooks and soul-baring lyrics that offer up Shaw’s perspectives on love, loss, longing and self-discovery. A natural improviser and a born collaborator, Shaw has created handcrafted recordings and intimate performances that carry on the tradition of the rock poets and storytellers who have inspired him. Innocent Words Magazine said, “Austin Shaw shares a passionate, distinct sound, pouring himself into the lyrics with the intensity of a man with something to say.”
Shaw grew up in a home full of uplifting music. The joy and comfort of folk, pop and rock songs by artists like James Taylor, Elton John, Neil Diamond and Neil Young fully overtook him as a young boy. Their way with words and music became ingrained in Shaw. He picked up the guitar in his early teens and started writing in a journal. As he continued to explore his instrument and the writing craft, his words morphed into song lyrics. I’m Music Magazine notes, “His diverse balance of sampling from life’s musical buffet went into molding him into the talented artist that he is today.”
”Many of the songs are autobiographical and some are just from experiences we’ve all had through life. Hopefully my songs can be a breeze that blows back the curtain and gives one a glimpse into a window in time or an experience in life. It’s all about love, loss, heartbreak, rebirth and renewal,” explains Shaw.
Shaw played in bands throughout high school and college, but he didn’t begin recording and sharing his own music until he left his job in corporate America. With a desire to reconnect to his passions, Shaw “played in bands and then did what society said I should do and took a corporate job. Slowly but surely, I played less and less until I finally put down my guitar for good. My music was my meditation, it’s what kept me balanced in life. I lost my balance and times grew dark. So, I took a leap of faith and I decided to move from New York to the West Coast for a fresh start. I picked up the guitar again and started playing, writing and recording.”
Since January 2017 Shaw has been crisscrossing the country on tour with David Bromberg and playing to sold-out crowds. He also released an EP in the early spring that included songs from his upcoming debut full-length album, FELT.
His songs take you on a journey, combining energetic rock bombast with soulful melodies. Felt kicks in with a sharply infectious and very personal opener Citrine. “Essentially it’s a story about a daughter losing her father at a far too early age. Something I endured and watched my family struggle through,” says Shaw. The song I’ve Been Leaning is a heartfelt, soul-searching melodic blend and the title track Felt crafts an honest and uplifting spirit with its chiming guitar lines and impressive vocal delivery. Shaw says, “It’s about meeting your soul-mate and knowing it just by the feel of it. Even before you get to know them, you just know.” Love on Both Sides will pull at your heartstrings, but in a “long live romance” kind of way. CenterStage Magazine said, “There is something about his voice and personality that is quite soothing. Perhaps that is why listening to his songs is so appeasing. They just feel good for the soul.”
With his new album, FELT, Shaw is set to deliver a cohesive body of work that would be the envy of any artist. Produced by Robert Smith (Defy Records), the album also features the talents of guitarist Larry Saltzman (Paul Simon), drummer Joe Bonadio (Sting), bassist Malcolm Gold and vocalist Clara Lofaro.