Photo: Matchless Exposure | Christina Feddersen
Meet Austin Gilliam: Americana Rock Viking
It is bizarre to think of 6’5” Austin Gilliam, Americana Rock’s favorite Viking, as a man with growing pains. But the evolution of the rock guitarist is one of his most intriguing qualities. Just when you think Austin Gilliam has reinvented and recreated himself, evolving for the last time, he grows even more, striking into his full potential as an artist.
Raw and angsty, Gilliam was an employee and made regular blues jam appearances at downtown Corpus Christi’s Dr. Rockits when the Scott Wiggins Band offered him a new job in a new zip code.
Austin moved to New Braunfels where he became friends and colleagues with the artist he had grown up watching working in the Texas Music Scene. From playing the highly technical, electronic lead for Matt King to 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.
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 to 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. 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.
As Gilliam continues to tour, play and write in Central Texas and he’s still raw, still a Viking, venturing on. Maybe not raw in the way his early fans will remember from his first appearances on the Red Dirt scene, but still with a direct honesty that is unfiltered and true.