Austin Gilliam – I’m Sorry, I’m Fine – EP
While in my NYC ears, this doesn’t register as high-octane country music it does resound with the affirmation of outlaw music with its well-articulated but determined phrasing. There’s a brawniness here that in its beauty doesn’t usually avail itself through pure country music.
Gilliam has an instantly likable baritone in this showcase; the songs are like a buttery swipe across a slightly burnt slice of toast. All those crunchy crumbs & sweet tasting smears even make your front teeth smile with flecks of bread. I’ll take two pieces thanks. The 5 songs are each delicious in their own way.
This 17-minute, 5-song EP produced in Austin, TX by David Beck (bass/harmony vocals), I’m Sorry, I’m Fine, (Drops May 26-Independent) & features the expressive vocals of Austin Gilliam (guitars/vocals) on “A Little Dirt,” sung with such fine tone & clarity. He reminds me at times of the silky vocals of Doug Gray (Marshall Tucker Band) when he wrapped his stylistic voice around “Take The Highway.”
There are gritty honky-tonk tunes, a tug on some British rock styles & pub song treatments & don’t let anyone tell you a big fella can’t sing with beauty & force. There was a (1987) band of real heavyweights called Mammoth on the Jive label. They were known for their hard rock guitar onslaught planted in a soil of triggered melodies. Their lead singer Nicky Moore (“All The Days”) had a superb melodic voice that Austin displays in equal measure with his superb range & drive & his own propensity to dynamite your ears with melodies & guitars.
“Never Gonna Die,” is an excellent blistering rocker in The Pogues pub tradition & bagpipe-guitar spirit. Hold your beers, fellas, it’s gonna be a bumpy ride.
Highlights – “A Little Dirt,” “Runnin’,” “I’m Fine” & “Never Gonna Die.”
Musicians – Dees Stribling (drums) & lead guitar by Rio Tripiano on “I’m Sorry.”
The only suggestion I have — is don’t promote in the same style as many other Americana singers – in front of rusty trucks or old cars holding a guitar. Done to death. I was in PR for decades, if the songs are creative (and they are) the photography, image & signature style must also be something unique & original. If you saw it before – dump it.
Where’s the album, Austin? I’m looking forward to that. Video premiere: https://americanahighways.org/2023/05/22/video-premiere-austin-gilliam-im-sorry/
Color images courtesy of Austin’s website. CD @ https://www.austingilliammusic.com/