Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Beware the headless mad scientist

If you live in Austin, you know that Halloween is a really popular holiday here. None of this "Halloween is for kids" bunk - people of all ages decorate and dress up in these parts!

It's a lot of fun to see people get so creative and be so uninhibited (Note: People who dress up are way more fun than people who won't because they're afraid of looking silly. Just FYI.), but I'll admit, it can be a bit of a distraction when you're trying to perform - not because people are looking at other people instead of you, but because YOU are looking at everyone, and it's very easy to find yourself suddenly wondering, "Wait - what song are we playing again?"

I had a moment like that this past Friday night.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Rebranding complete

Those of you who have been along for the ride with us for a while now know that we didn't start out as The Staylyns.

When the band first started, it was just Johnny with his very talented friend Scott on drums. Scott is a lifelong friend of Johnny's and a fantastic drummer. But Scott prefers to work individual gigs on a freelance basis, rather than being a standing member of a particular band. So, Johnny knew from the start that Scott wouldn't be his long-term drummer. Thus, he performed essentially as a solo act - Johnny Austin:

Wednesday, October 10, 2012


We did it! We hit the big time - we headlined a festival! 

No, not ACL. That's this coming weekend, and we admit that we're not quite that big-time. In fact, I suppose if I really look at it up close, it's probably not "big" time, in the sense of the festival being, say, "large" in terms of attendance...or physical presence...or money. It's probably more like "not big" time. Maybe even "small" time.

The festival in question was Manor Fest. Manor is a small (but growing!) town just east of Austin. And apparently they hold a festival every year as a fundraiser for the town. Let's take a look at what this fiesta entails, and you can help us decide on the proper characterization for it.

Manor Fest features:
Delicious bbq, cooked in biiiiiig, Longhorn-themed smokers,

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Road trippin'

Last weekend (if you start the weekend on Thursday, which we will for this post), we had three gigs in a 48-hour period, which is a lot of gigging. What's most interesting, though, is that one of those gigs was 5 1/2 hours away. Yup - that's 5 1/2 hours each way. Road trip!

We actually decided earlier this year that we were going to be judicious about our long-distance gigs. We'd done a couple of trips to Nashville with marginal success (okay, one marginal success and one total disaster), and one trip to El Paso, which was almost a bust except that Johnny worked something out with the booker to make the trip at least a break-even (the event we'd been hired to play had been double-booked, and they almost sent us away without playing and with less money than our expenses to get there - it's 9 hours away).

We learned some lessons in those experiences about what kind of guarantees to get, and what to get in writing, if we were hired to play a gig outside of our usual Central Texas area. But as a general rule, we just don't like to book anything more than a few hours away. In this case, though, the money was good, we could go up and back in a day, which keeps our expenses down, and the people we dealt with were professional and put the things we needed in writing. So, last Thursday, off we went to play the Big Apple Deli in the bustling West Texas metropolis of Snyder, Texas!