Monday, July 18, 2011

Young Austin

I was planning on doing an extensive interview with fifteen-year old Austin Young, but after his performance yesterday at Arvada, CO’s Blues and BBQ Festival, it can’t wait. He’s just that good.

With sixteen-year old Noah Mast on bass, and Austin’s father, Tim, on drums, Young Austin and No Difference are becoming one of the area’s more sought-after bands. And with damn good reason. Before I continue, here is a paragraph from his bio:

"...Austin Lee Young, a Colorado native, has been described by some as being a “phenom” guitar player. His youth and energy lend to his own style of music which he calls “Texandrix Blues”. At 15 years old he exudes unbelievable passion and displays electrifying musicianship in his performances. His inspirations span the likes of Stevie Ray Vaughan, Jimi Hendrix, Albert King, Eric Clapton, Robert Johnson, Muddy Waters, Tim Young, and Ted Johnson..."

Although the guitar is his instrument of choice, Austin is able to participate in any jam on the drums, bass guitar, and keyboards. His stage presence and relationship that he builds with audiences can only be described as “crowd pleasing”.

Crowd pleasing, indeed. I’ve been watching his talent develop for about three years now, and yesterday was the most electrifying performance of his that I’ve seen to date. He dedicated Muddy’s “Honey Bee” to me, and he tore up the long solo. To shreds. Not only would Muddy have been proud, I know his mentor and recent Pinetop Perkins Foundation Masterclass Workshop teacher, Steady Rollin’ Bob Margolin, would have been as well.

Bob and Austin first took the stage together at the Outlook about a year ago, and they’ve since developed a friendship that I’ve no doubt will continue to grow. Neither one can sing the praises of the other enough, and after several days together in Clarksdale, MS, last month, I heard the results: there was quit a bit of Bob’s influence in Austin’s cover of “Honey Bee.” I have a feeling these two are headed for some pretty heavy creative collaborations. And we’ll all be better for it.

Yesterday, in ninety-plus degree heat, Austin came out blazing, stunning the large crowd assembled at the Blue Star Connection Stage. I had spent most of the festival under the protective Colorado Blues Society tent when I wasn’t visiting the Blue Star Connection tent, two tents over (they had a fan. I visited them a lot), but braved the direct sun in front of the stage for Austin. It’s always fun to try and count how many times I hear, “Oh my God!” Or, “How OLD is he?” Austin has the handsome, young, and joyful face of a teenager, but the talent of a seasoned artist.

And he knows how to entertain as well. He jumped off the stage during that “Honey Bee” solo, and I could barely keep up with him while trying to film (it didn’t come out very well...), as he walked just about every square foot of the audience, while playing amazing riffs, reminding me a little of Ronnie Baker Brooks. Like Ronnie and Tommy Castro, Austin has a natural and genuine rapport with his audience because he is so completely in love with playing that guitar, and has such confidence in his passion. His passion is involuntary, it’s not what he does, it’s who he is.

He’s also funny, thoughtful, kind, happy, enthusiastic, grateful, and just about exploding with joy. He’s a special kid, and not just because he’s such an amazing musician. He’s special because he’s an amazing young man. I’m proud of him, and just yesterday, I told his parents, Tim and Krisanne, how happy I am with the way they are raising my son. I’ve told them this before, and they still laugh. And then smile with pride, as they should.

Austin, Tim, and Krissane are my friends, but we also have a professional relationship, and it's always a joy to work with them. Any time Bob is in town, I make sure Austin knows well in advance so as to give them a chance to play together. I know they both enjoy it tremendously, but I’m afraid I have to disclose that neither of them could possibly enjoy it as much as we do. We know we’re bearing witness TO the birth of Blues history, and we’re all happy and lucky to be along for the ride.

Thank you, Austin, for keeping the Blues alive, and being such a great friend.

Honey Bee Sepeda~


  1. And he is well-spoken and much more mature than his years on earth. Thoroughly enjoyed my chat with Austin on Music On The Couch, which can be found at

  2. Well written and all so true. Austin is a great talent and a terrific person. Dave K

  3. This kid is very impressive. Could you post his schedule so I could see him perform?