Austin Meade at Gruene Hall

  • February 4, 2023
  • 9:00 PM
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  • On Black Sheep, Austin Meade delivers songs and stories that, like the young singer/guitarist himself, are contradictory yet cohesive. His influences—musical and otherwise—are as varied and rich as the small-town Texas soil that nurtured his talent, yielding 12 stellar songs ranging from the insinuating multi-layered musicality and storytelling of “Déjà Vu” to the dark alt-pop of “Happier Alone,” and on further to the new-age, Sabbath-inspired “Dopamine Drop.” Thanks to his metal- and classic-rock loving dad, Meade got to see bands like Judas Priest and worshipped Whitesnake. In junior high he related to the intense emo-rock of Paramore and Fall Out Boy, and the power of songwriters like John Mayer. Yet, thanks to plainspoken but deep heartland songwriters like Tom Petty, and cutting his teeth touring in the Texas and Oklahoma Red Dirt scene, Meade’s music overflows with wide-open soulfulness. He was a drummer for years, even teaching to pay the bills, but Meade found his true voice when he began playing guitar as a teen in his pastor-father’s church. Those experiences lend both a gravitas and rebelliousness to Meade’s songs and self. The songs on Black Sheep, produced by Taylor Kimball (Koe Wetzel, Read Southall, Kody West) are instantly memorable, but far from simplistic. Meade challenges the status quo, both musically and lyrically. To that end, he’s been following his muse and paying dues for most of his young years. Playing every dimly lit restaurant stage that would help pay bills in college. (At Texas A&M he studied for agricultural economics, which he terms “a business degree, just a little bit more Texan.”) Meade’s also spent the last six years honing his songwriting skills on two indie EPs and two albums prior to making Black Sheep. And his talent has not gone unnoticed, the Dallas Observer writing that Meade’s “rich guitar-driven melodies and tone call back to times when Tom Petty and Jimmy Page ruled the stage. … His songwriting prowess is beyond his 26 years, with lyrics and characters acting as conduits into the mind of a young man trying to sort out his feelings as the state of the world smacks him in the face.”

    GEN ADM: $20