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L.A. Beat

Julian Austin puts the rock into country music

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The music business is an increasingly vicious and unforgiving game, thanks in part to record companies who won’t develop artists and audiences with the attention span equivalent to a fruit fly’s life span, so it is pretty admirable that Sussex, New Brunswick born born, Calgary based country singer Julian Austin is still out there doing it as he has since the mid-90s.

He brought the rock and a little bit of country to Coyote Joes for two special fundraisers, Feb. 26 and 27. Julian Austin returned to lethbridge for two shows last week. Photo by Richard Amery

While I missed  the  Feb. 26  fundraiser for  Coyote Joes’/ Average Joes softball teams, I made it in time for  the Feb. 27 fundraiser for the U of L Aggies Club and ULSA Agriculture Student’s Association.

Looking a little worse for the wear , that didn’t stop Austin from giving it  his all  as he played a variety of original songs going back to his 1997 debut “ What My Heart Already Knows,” right up to his latest single“Let’s Get Out of Here.”

He grinned and strummed his  big black, electric guitar while sounding  like Dwight Yoakam in places. he told stories and  brought the  audience, most of whom sat contentedly drinking  in their seats at the back of the room, back to the ’90s.

It was a pure set of rocking country with nary an acoustic guitar to be seen on stage, just Austin playing rhythm, a twanging lead guitarist and a bassist setting down the groove on a six string bass as the young drummer kept toes tapping and dancers dancing when they played  a variety of countrified classic rock covers ranging from Brooks and Dunn to Jimmy Buffet plus Meatloaf’s “Two Out of Three Ain’t Bad.”

He noted he played that  after relating a story  with his management about what covers he could countrify after being denied the chance to turn Iron maiden and The Scorpions  songs into country tunes. That  lead to a series a popular covers including his always popular  version of Queen’s “Fat Bottomed Girls,” which he dedicated to all of the women in the audience.

He tested out his vocal range on a medley of hits including Bob Seger’s  “Night Moves,” Poison’s “Every Rose Has It’s Thorn” and a few bars of Bryan Adams “ Cuts Like a Knife.”

The covers got the audience on their  feet, but they cheered for originals like “Pussycat,” and “Holding On For 8” and “Hard Time Loving You” from his first CD.

He noted he wrote a couple of songs with the hopes of getting Dwight Yoakam to record them, though he had no idea how to get them to him.
 he prefaced “Holding On For 8,” by relating his own experiences getting injured riding bulls “when I was young and crazy.”

He also played a couple of new songs.

— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 09 March 2016 12:05 )  
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