Just the Way I Feel
On JUST THE WAY I FEEL the singer/songwriter/guitarist/pianoman meets the challenge that is breaking into the music industry as a solo artist. Andrew Austin's debut CD follows his performance as a member of the top 22 of Canadian Idol, and marks his first turn as producer. It is his soulful, exciting collection of songs and unmatched vocals that catch the ears of listeners time and time again. JUST THE WAY I FEEL is a small collection of songs among a huge catalogue that have been just waiting for a moment to be displayed and finally have that moment now. The last few years have seen Austin go from piano/guitar player to leadman, "I had always been the lead singer in bands growing up," says Andrew, "but I had to pay my dues in the professional settings and in the public eye as a back-up guy to get to where I am now, and I think I am better for it." In addition to his own writing, recording, and touring, he has worked and shared the stage with with Canadian icons and contemporaries like - Andy Kim, Ron Sexsmith, Ed Robertson and Steve Page, Danny Michel, Andy Stochansky, Blair Packham, Donovan Woods. In doing so, Austin says his own interests and influence has grown and perspectives expanded. For the last two years Andrew has been working with great Toronto musicians like drummer David MacDougall and bassist Kurt Neilsen and whether they are playing as a trio or with the full 8-piece the band never disappoints. "These guys keep me honest and musical when presenting material to them, and keep me thinking about the groove all the time and how to use the space it provides." Born in Toronto, but growing up in Sarnia ON, Andrew had a lot of music in his life growing up, and the influence of nearby Motown is certainly present in his songwriting. As a young kid Andrew was influenced most by Stevie Wonder and Michael Jackson and the Jackson 5. Though he took piano lessons from age 7, Andrew didn't really develop his own musicality until he began teaching himself guitar from age 14 and re-teaching himself piano through that and through his discovery of the music of the Beatles. Andrew played Paul McCartney in a Beatles Tribute Band until he was 19 before moving to London. A few members of the Fab 4 tribute stuck together in a quintet called Corduroy. "We were developing a small following, and trying to break into that Toronto scene, but after close to 2 years the writing in the band was growing in different directions and it just stopped working." Andrew went solo and after spending some time playing and recording overseas came back to Toronto. This is when he met legendary Singer/Songwriter Andy Kim who was in the middle of making a strong comeback in Canada with an EP he released working with Ed Robertson of the Barenaked Ladies called "I Forgot To Mention." Andrew became the leader of Andy Kim's live touring band for a year and a half. "Andy Kim is the best. He has this perspective on life and music that turned out to be a great influence on my life and writing." After being nominated in 2006 for 'Live Band of the Year' at the Toronto Indie Music awards, in 2007 Andrew made a last second decision to audition for Canadian Idol, and was selected as a member of the Top 22. In the week of the top 18 Andrew became the first performer to ever play an instrument in a solo performance on Canadian Idol. Now back to real life, ultimately, JUST THE WAY I FEEL represents maturity, both musically and thematically. 'The songs I tend to be writing are usually representations of relationships; whether it is with a person or with an idea or my relationship to the music itself. Some songs are more literal or personal than others." Look for JUST THE WAY I FEEL in stores and concert venues this fall.