Austin performing at the 2007 High Sierra Music Festival
|Born||April 25, 1974|
Arlington Heights, Illinois, United States
|Died||June 24, 2019 (aged 45)|
Seattle, Washington, United States
|Labels||Frog Pad Records|
SCI Fidelity Records
Yep Roc Records
|Associated acts||Yonder Mountain String Band|
Although Austin was born in Arlington Heights, Illinois, United States, he grew up in Elk Grove Village, Illinois and attended Rolling Meadows High School. Austin attended the University of Cincinnati, but soon made his way to Urbana, Illinois, where he met future banjoist Dave Johnston. Receiving a request from Johnston to perform in his band The Bluegrassholes, Austin picked up the mandolin for the first time. After some time, Austin moved to Nederland, Colorado; Johnston, after seeking improvement in his playing ability, also moved to Nederland. While attending a club called the Verve, Austin met Adam Aijala and Ben Kaufmann, with whom he and Johnston would form the Yonder Mountain String Band.
In late 2013, Austin announced that he would be taking a leave of absence from Yonder due to the pending birth of his child. As of April 23, 2014, Austin was no longer a member of Yonder Mountain String Band. Citing creative differences and conflicting career goals, the band announced an amicable parting of ways.
Austin released his solo debut album on Yep Roc Records on February 10, 2015. The project, titled The Simple Truth, features the likes of Cody Dickinson, the Royal Horns, Todd Snider, Jennifer Hartswick, Brendan Bayliss and Sarah Siskind, as well as Jeff's touring band — Danny Barnes, Ross Martin, and Eric Thorin.
In March 2004, Austin released a full-length studio album with Chris Castino (The Big Wu) called Songs from the Tin Shed. This album of wistful cowboy music features Nick Forster and included guest appearances by Darol Anger, Sally Van Meter, and Noam Pikelny.
In February 2006, Austin recorded Rex (Live at the Fillmore), a live album under the band name Grateful Grass featuring fellow musicians Keller Williams and Keith Moseley (The String Cheese Incident). Available only for digital download, the album features non-traditional bluegrass versions of songs by the Grateful Dead with 100% of the proceeds going to the Rex Foundation.
In 2010, he partnered with Brendan Bayliss of Umphrey's McGee to form a group called 30db. They put out an album called "One Man Show" on May 11, 2010 and played a small seven-show tour in May 2010 to promote the new album. Joining them on tour was Cody Dickinson from the North Mississippi Allstars, Nick Forster from the bluegrass band Hot Rize, and Boulder based Eric Thorin.
- "The Band; Jeff Austin Biography". Yonder Mountain Enterprises. 2001. Archived from the original on November 11, 2006. Retrieved 2006-12-07.
- Demming, Mark. "Yonder Mountain String Band Biography". AllMusic, LLC. Retrieved 2019-06-30.
- "Jeff Austin Leaving Yonder Mountain String Band". Jambands. 23 April 2014.
- "Jeff Austin "The Simple Truth" Out February 10, 2015 On Yep Roc". Jeff Austin — Official Website.
- "Jeff Austin, Formerly Of Yonder Mountain String Band, Has Passed Away". LiveforLivemusic. 25 June 2019.
- "Jeff Austin Passes away at 45, Death Confirmed by Facebook Page". Union Journalism. 25 June 2019.
- Keller Williams album for REX charity Archived 2008-06-11 at the Wayback Machine, news.jamradio.org, May 7, 2008, Retrieved May 7, 2008.
- ""I Know That Voice" — New documentary featuring original music from Jeff Austin". Jeff Austin — Official Website.
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