FOX 7 Unplugged: Austin Gilliam

 Austin Gilliam is Americana Rock’s favorite Viking! Fans recognize Austin Gilliam as a guitar player… maybe it’s his six-foot-five Viking-Esque stature. Or his nine-inch signature pin-up-girl tattoo. Or maybe it’s just that he’s a really, really good guitar player.

But fans of the Americana/red dirt/alternative country scene have always known what the media recognized more than five years ago: Austin Gilliam is a heckuva guitar player — but he’s a guitar player with a killer set of pipes! He is also a featured BMI singer/songwriter, sponsored by Rebecca Creek, and is also currently the music director and instructor at The School of Rock in New Braunfels working alongside a dozen local NB musicians, as well as Shannon and Cody Canada… even being the guitar instructor for Dierks Canada.

He is shaping the musical minds and growth of the community.

Austin Gilliam made regular blues jam appearances downtown Corpus Christi when he cut his teeth in the Americana scene, and then in a new zip code, playing lead guitar and singing harmony vocals with the Scott Wiggins Band in New Braunfels. His guitar and vocal work on the band’s sophomore album, “Burn” (Adam Odor, Keith Davis) was critically acclaimed and the CD netted two of the Top 25 singles in 2009.

After departing the Wiggins Band, Austin played most notably with Drew Kennedy, Wes Nickson, and Javi Garcia and the Cold, Cold Ground before joining Matt King and the Cutters, playing highly technical electronic lead. The Cutters kicked off its emerging, national-touring presence with a stop in Nashville, where the band recorded “The Cutters” (Vance Powell) EP.

From doubling riffs and runs on bass guitar with Brandon Jenkins to jamming again on lead with Johnny Chops and the Razors, Austin Gilliam has become a veteran of the road, refining and redefining his own sound and influences in between, and building strong relationships and musical connections with his friends, colleagues, and artists he grew up watching work the Texas Music Scene.

Using his own transformative voice, Gilliam released his own, critically-acclaimed debut EP shortly after moving to Austin, Texas.

“Sunshine” is a perfect reflection of Gilliam’s sound: high energy, edgy without trying too hard to be.

The songs are tough and upbeat, it’s lyrically direct Americana roots rock that pulls the roots out of the ground and then spits them back at the audience. “Sunshine,” (2013) gave fans a taste of what was to come, and also what still could be. This record is still spinning and being requested on KNBT and KOKE FM, and got him featured on both SA Live and FOX 7 Austin just in the last 3 months.

His hit, “Strawberry Lemonade” is also being covered by Copper Chief on their new record!

Because Gilliam’s still growing, evolving and synthesizing as an artist — just when you think he could not possibly be any more talented than he already is, he gets even better. His new record “Little Dirt” has already been written and is currently in the works.

With a true passion for music, Austin is known to fill his schedule and often play as many as nine gigs a week - sometimes supporting other bands with lead guitar and vocals – all over the San Antonio, New Braunfels, Austin and coastal area. 

Gilliam continues to play and write mostly in Central Texas, and continuously tours all over the U.S. from California to Colorado, to Tennessee, from coast-to-coast and on any stage in between! Music literally drives him. And he’s still raw, still a Viking, venturing on. Austin is a singer-songwriter with a direct honesty that is unfiltered and true. He’s taken influence from each project he’s had the pleasure of being involved with and combined them the best way he knew how, and continues to do that to this day.