A few years ago, Austin Shaw took a summer vacation from his demanding work in high finance in NYC to visit his sister in California’s Bay Area. During this soul-searching trip, he rediscovered his desire to create music. So, he called up his boss in NYC and gave notice, packed up, and moved to Santa Cruz. CA. Now, the songwriter and singers journey has come full circle, voted ‘Best Local Musician in Santa Cruz, CA’ by Good Times Magazine, he has been touring with the likes of dada and David Bromberg, had a standing room only crowd at his album release show in Santa Cruz and he released of his debut full-length album FELT.
Recently, Austin has kicked off a “Live Series,” of videos featuring live performances from FELT and a few great cover tunes. Today we premiere the live video of Austin’s take on Sugar Ray’s “Fly.”
Santa Cruz-rooted singer-songwriter, guitarist and producer Austin Shaw changed his life and chased down a dream. At the peak of his corporate career Shaw quit his job to pursue his true passion, music. With a desire to reconnect to his passions “I played in bands in high school and college, but then did what society said I should do and took a corporate job. Slowly but surely, I played less and less until I finally put down my guitar for good. My music was my meditation, it’s what kept me balanced in life. I lost my balance and times grew dark. So, I decided to go for it and moved from New York to the West Coast for a fresh start. I picked up the guitar again and started playing, writing and recording.” explained Shaw.
His songs feature catchy guitar hooks and soul-baring lyrics that offer up Shaw’s perspectives on love, loss, longing and self-discovery. A natural improviser and a born collaborator, he has created handcrafted recordings and intimate performances that carry on the tradition of the rock poets and storytellers who have inspired him. Shaw grew up in a home full of uplifting music. The joy and comfort of folk, pop and rock songs by artists like James Taylor, Elton John, Neil Diamond and Neil Young fully overtook him as a young boy. Their way with words and music became ingrained in him. He picked up the guitar in his early teens and started writing in a journal. As he continued to explore his instrument and the writing craft, his words morphed into song lyrics.
Shaw’s debut, FELT was produced by Robert Smith (Defy Recordings), the album also features the talents of guitarist Larry Saltzman (Paul Simon), drummer Joe Bonadio (Sting), bassist Malcolm Gold and vocalist Clara Lofaro.