Six-time Minnesota Music Award winner and WC Handy nominee Reneé Austin calls her mix of R&B and classic soul with gospel influences “roadhouse soul,” and it’s an apt description of the energy and passion she brings to the stage.
Raised in Kingsland, Texas, this multi-instrumentalist and singer-songwriter has opened for or shared the stage with such artists as Jonny Lang, Los Lobos, Blues Traveler, Big Head Todd & The Monsters, Keb’ Mo and Robert Cray.
Singer-songwriter Reneé Austin turned quite a few heads with her 2003 national debut, Sweet Talk. Critics marveled at her nearly five-octave range, her stunning vocal dynamism, her poignant and insightful songwriting, and her remarkable versatility, comparing her to Janis Joplin and Tina Turner. Calling the CD “an impressive grab bag of original roots music,” Blues Revue said, “Her stunning vocal range grabs the listener from first song to last…The auspicious Sweet Talk is a harbinger of great things to come for this talented and soulful vocalist.”
Sadly, as Austin’s star was rising, tragedy struck when a routine medical procedure robbed Austin of her voice. After 9 long years of struggle, there is an amazing happy ending to this story; Austin’s voice has miraculously returned! Says the artist, “I never thought I would sing again. I had no hope. I had resigned myself to the fact that it was over. But now I have a chance to do the thing I love to do the most – write and perform my music.”
Austin offers razor-sharp reinterpretations of American roots music styles and brings them to life with an arsenal of vocal twists – husky and swaggering, breathy and vulnerable, angelic and clear-as-a-bell. A multi-instrumentalist and prolific songwriter, she’s been honing her craft since early childhood, and has nurtured her singing voice to astounding, operatic heights.
Reneé’s sound has been molded by an expanse of influences, and she credits that to her early environment. Born in San Diego, California, Reneé relocated to Texas by the time she was three. Growing up in the small town of Kingsland, Reneé immersed herself in Texas’ spirited musical melting pot – one that has helped shape dozens of other seminal artists from the American Southwest.
Find out more »