‘We Play Music for No Other Reason Than We Love It’

The Austin Carson Band debuts new EP June 22 at Red Dog

With grandpa on the guitar and grandma playing the keys and calling out chord changes, eight-year-old Austin Carson strums along from his post at the back of the stage.

Omemee’s Coronation Hall is packed with an elderly crowd in its Sunday best, out for a good time on a Friday night with live music, round-dancing and square-dancing.

Austin recalls falling asleep in the balcony of the glorious historic building sometime after the clock struck midnight. He also remembers how the experience with his grandparents — his grandfather still fronts the band Emily Creek, playing acoustic guitar and singing — ignited his passion for music and performing.

“I’m really excited for the people there, who’ve been coming to our shows and following us since 2009, to give them something else that’s ours.”

Now, at age 24, Austin is “Hangin’ on a Memory” in more ways than one.

The musician, who sings lead vocals and plays rhythm guitar with the band that bears his name, is gearing up for a June 22 EP release party.

Featuring the single, “Hangin’ On A Memory”, The Austin Carson Band will debut Young Hearts, a new five-track EP of original music, at The Historic Red Dog Tavern at 189 Hunter St. W.

Close to nine years after recording its debut EP called studio twenty-nine, The Austin Carson Band recorded Young Hearts in October 2018 at Subterranean Sound Studios in Toronto.

“It’s been a long-time coming and there’s an entirely different feeling when you’re playing your own stuff that you connect to,” Austin tells Electric City Magazine.

“I’m really excited for the people there, who’ve been coming to our shows and following us since 2009, to give them something else that’s ours.”

Austin will be joined by band mates Scott Garvey (lead guitar), Pat MacDonald (bass) and Matt Goody (drums).

The Austin Carson Band is a staple of the vibrant Peterborough music scene and has been for some time, having played The Social monthly for two years and headlining the Rotary Peterborough Victoria Day Celebration in Del Crary Park for the past six years.

While performing a fan-favourite cover like “Sweet Home Alabama” at 2:30 a.m. after last call and during a third encore is energizing, Austin’s especially stoked about the new material.

The bulk of the new EP was recorded in just two days and Austin credits Peterborough sound engineer Scott Lake for his willingness “to work with us” and help capture the band’s live show vigor in the studio. The session in Toronto was an epic experience.

“For musicians like us from Peterborough to be in a studio of that calibre” kept the energy level high during the 16-hour and 12-hour days.

There was something else.

“The board we recorded on is from George Martin, producer of The Beatles. Tom Petty’s been on it, Bruce Springsteen’s been on it, Bon Jovi’s been on it.

“As musicians, to sing through a console that recorded some of the music that all of us know so well, that’s like a soundtrack to our lives, is pretty cool. That’s the board that was in the room when it all happened.”

As for The Austin Carson Band’s new EP, Austin describes the songs’ feel as nostalgic; a reflective look back at what once was and how that shapes what one becomes. He brings his own life experience into the lyrics, noting “Hangin’ On A Memory” is based on his youth.

That track is now available on all major streaming platforms including Apple Music, iTunes and Spotify. Young Hearts will follow suit.

Pre-orders of vinyl copies of the EP will be taken at the release event with a copy, signed by band members, mailed directly to each buyer.

Doors open at 8:30 p.m. Admission is $10.

“I’m so pumped,” Austin says. “We play music for no other reason than we love it.”

Check out The Austin Carson Band Facebook page here.

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