Austin plays BB's ::
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By Big Dave
Pig Recording Artist Renee Austin recently graced
BB's Jazz, Blues and Soups with her multi-octave
vocal prowess. Renee spent a few minutes talking
with STLBlues, and shared her story. Her meteoric
rise to fame, and a recording contract with
Blind Pig, began with her 1997 indie release
of her debut CD, Dancin' With Mr. Blue, which
was honored locally as Best Blues Recording
by the Minnesota Music Academy (MMA). Her path
of music began early, in Kingsland Texas, and
hasn't ever stopped. "I realized at the
age of 4, music is what I wanted to do".
She credits early influences for her were Mavis
Staples, Aretha Franklin, and Tina Turner. "I
also loved that Austin sound, Angela Strehli,
Marcia Ball, Delbert McClinton (who was impressed
enough by Renee's ability that he hired her
for the legendary Sandy Beaches Blues Cruise,
a prestigous music event!) "Los Lobos sat
in the front row of my show, for the entire
evening". Small wonder, as she has a blazing
sound, ranging from a sultry whisper all the
way to a roar that rivals anything Joplin could
-- More about Renee from Blind Pig
Singer-songwriter Reneé Austin turned
quite a few heads with her 2003 national debut
on Blind Pig Records, Sweet Talk. Critics marveled
at her nearly five-octave range, her stunning
vocal dynamism, her poignant and insightful
songwriting, and her remarkable versatility,
comparing her to Janis Joplin and Tina Turner.
Calling the CD "an impressive grab bag
of original roots music," Blues Revue said,
"Her stunning vocal range grabs the listener
from first song to last…The auspicious
Sweet Talk is a harbinger of great things to
come for this talented and soulful vocalist."
With her highly-anticipated follow-up release,
Right About Love, Austin validates those early
raves and predictions of greatness.
Austin offers razor-sharp reinterpretations
of American roots music styles and brings them
to life with an arsenal of vocal twists - husky
and swaggering, breathy and vulnerable, angelic
and clear-as-a-bell. A multi-instrumentalist
and prolific songwriter, she's been honing her
craft since early childhood, and has nurtured
her singing voice to astounding, operatic heights.
Although Reneé could
be most broadly categorized as a blues artist,
her sound has been molded by an expanse of influences,
and she credits that to her early environment.
Born in San Diego, California, Reneé
relocated to Texas by the time she was three.
Growing up in the small town of Kingsland, Reneé
immersed herself in Texas' spirited musical
melting pot - one that has helped shape dozens
of other seminal artists from the American Southwest.
"In Texas, the older, more seasoned artists
garner the most respect. So, I learned early
on to respect styles by musicians of all ages,
makes and models - there's a tremendous reverence
for tradition," says Austin.