Austin Miller

Jan 19 2014

Fort Lauderdale, FL

I start every tour the same way- with high hopes that I will accurately document it through this very weblog. I don’t think I’ve ever made it through an entire tour. I usually end up settling for just taking a bunch of cell phone pictures.

So here I am in a SoFla Starbucks where I brought in my own jar of honey to put in my tea. I started this tour kinda sick, and my girlfriend was kind enough to send me off with this honey. Gonna recap a bit.

Friday, day one, Gainesville. With two of my three bandmates living up there now, it only made sense to make it a full band show. With Matt added to the bill, we had the four of us ready to go. We ran through five of our ten songs in Sam’s garage before we went over to the venue. Was hoping to get there with time to go eat some free pizza across the street between load in and the opening of doors, but no such luck. The sign said they’d be open until 3am. We would just have to wait until after.

Not a whole lot of people were coming through that door at first, and I was worried that it would be one of those poorly attended shows. These are less and less in frequency these days, but they still happen. Which would have been a huge shame with a stacked bill, me dragging my full band out, and the fact that I’ve played in Gainesville a countless number of times in the past. Luckily, towards the beginning of Matt’s set, people started trickling in. By the time I played, there was a solid amount of listeners, and by the time Ricky Kendall went on, it was pretty close to packed. Crisis averted.

I was super happy with how the band sounded, especially considering the rushed rehearsal, and that we hadn’t played a show together in almost a month. Kyle brought out a lot of his friends, and there was some dancing and singing along. 

One of my favorite things that happens at shows is mid-song applauses. Glad to say that we got one after the jamout of I’ll Walk. We never really play the songs the same way, but Matt especially nailed the solo here. After we got as loud as we could and brought it back down for the last verse, a huge grin came across my face as the claps and “woo”s came from the audience.

Ricky Kendall and his enormous band crammed up on the stage after. It was our second time playing with them, and they are quickly becoming some of my favorite musicians and people out there. Stunning covers of Angel From Montgomery and When The Stars Go Blue.

The pizza place closed early on us. Why, why, why. We went to Flaco’s instead. Can’t complain there. We ate Cuban sandwiches with Ricky and Co. and watched the drunks come in and out.

My friend Megan was out of town, but was still kind enough to stay in her empty house. (I did feed her cat though). Didn’t get back there until 3 am, and sleep didn’t come until 3:30. Kind of forgot that I had to be up at 7:30 for a video shoot. Quickly put myself to bed to get whatever sleep I could. Morning came early, and I briefly considered skipping it to go back to sleep. I’m glad I didn’t though. I think this may end up being my favorite video shoot yet. I’ll be sure to post it when it’s up in a week or so. 

We went and got breakfast with the video crew after. Biscuits and gravy and apple fritters and yogurt. Yum. I was having trouble keeping my eyes open at this point. Went back to Megan’s to get another hour or so of sleep before heading out of town, and to feed the cat again.

After a two hour drive, car and gear swap, a tea, a coffee, Jimmy John’s, various snacks, and another three hour drive, I made it down to Boca Raton around 11pm. I was staying with Andrew and Alison. No show that night, I wanted to get down there ahead of time since I was playing at 2pm the next day. I was anticipating a quiet night in, but Andrew was set on going out. I reluctantly agreed. It had just been a long day. But after we arrived at the local bar, I ran into some 20 familiar faces, and I was glad I went out. Only a few of them knew I was rolling into town, which made it all the more interesting. After staying out until closing time, it was another late night with another early (not so much this time) morning a few hours away. I slept on the pull out couch, a rare surface for me. Where are all of these disappearing to? It’s like the most practical piece of furniture ever made.

Not much sleep to be had again, this time because of strange dreams. Alison woke me up, as I asked her to, on her way out around 10am. “Austin, wake up. I’m off to work, have fun at your festival.” Hopped in the shower and I was off.

South Florida Folk Festival, Ft. Lauderdale. I think I might have been the only performer that was a millennial. Or maybe even the only one at the entire festival. Not that this is a bad thing. I played early in the day on the smaller of the two stages, which was underneath a giant, cool looking tree. I wanted to cram as many songs as I could into my time slot. But I couldn’t not talk at length about how nice of a day it was. My song Revealed really seemed to hit home with my listeners.

An older gentleman came and found me in the performer hangout area as I was putting my guitar back in the case.

"Hey, can I get one of those CDs?"

"Of course."

"You said they’re only five bucks? That’s so cheap, most people charge ten or fifteen."

"I know, I like to keep them affordable."

He quickly handed me a five. He started the conversation back up.

"Is music all that you do for a living?"

"For the most part, yes."

"Do you do okay?" 

"Um, well.. I do alright I guess."

"Just alright? Well, here, I can help some more. I really liked your songs."

He reached into his pocket and gave me a twenty, on top of his previous five. Talk about generous. Stuff like that keeps me afloat.

(For the record, the “just alright” response was strictly in regards to finance stuff. I am so thankful that I am able to do this, even if I’m just barely scraping the bottom of the barrel. Every tour gets better. Every day I wake up with a huge grin knowing that I am traveling and sharing my music with people. Everything else seems trivial after I take that into consideration.)

I went for a hike after my set, late in the afternoon. Ended at a park bench along the intracostal. Laid down and fell asleep to the sound of the slowly passing boats and waves hitting up against the sea wall. Woke up a little later to a beautiful sunset, and it was much colder. Put on a jacket, and went back to catch a few more acts at the festival.

So far, so good. Another video shoot awaits tomorrow morning.

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Oct 08 2013

A small collection of cell phone quality photos from tour

I’ve been on this tour for a little over a month now, and I still have a long ways to go. Thanks to everyone who’s made it great so far.

Wells River, VT

Gravel selfie

Back road in NY state

Macon, GA

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Sep 11 2013

Boca Raton, FL

Still grinding away at Florida, and will be for another week. Florida is being kind to me as always, but I’m definitely ready to start trekking north.

After our show in Ft. Myers, Chris and I said our goodbyes and parted ways. I’m sure we’ll end up sharing a car and shows again soon. I then ventured into the land of Southeast Florida, SoFla. Quickly greeted with the harsh reality that I could no longer sleep while Chris drove. I guess that means I have to learn to sleep at night.

After several attempts, I had never been able to set up a show in Miami. Finally got one for this tour, a backyard show. It ended up being my most southern show ever. Earlier in the summer, I played my most northern show in Fairbanks, Alaska. Which is 5,000 miles away. My head started to spin at this realization. The house I played at was a cool one. There was a horse, chickens, cats, dogs, and even honey making bees. It cooled off just enough to have a bonfire too. I played a fun set standing on some stair-like structure by the fire. Afterwards we talked about Florida from anthropological points of view. Lots of ideas were tossed around, but we all mostly agreed that Florida is a very interesting and diverse place.

I wanted to explore Miami the next day since my drive was only an hour. But I didn’t realize how overwhelming of a place it is. I explored for a few hours and found some good Cuban food. But man… it’s just such a BIG place. It really is just huge. And traffic is scary. But for some reason, Miami overwhelms me more than most any other big city. More than NYC, Chicago, Philly, Atlanta… I decided to get out while I still had my skin and sanity in tact.

That night, Monday, I played at Dada in Delray Beach. It was another nice evening for an outside show, made even nicer by night-blooming flowers emitting some nice smells, a cool breeze, and some funky lighting. I played to a small but enthusiastic crowd of a dozen or so friends and a few kind strangers. At the end of the night, I sat at the bar to enjoy a cocktail after most everyone else had left. I’m glad I did, because I struck up a conversation with some strangers who were so very kind. They missed the show, but were still enthusiastic and interested in my music and the tour. We ended up hanging out until the bar closed. 

Couple days off after that, hanging with Andrew and company in South Florida. Possibly the highlight of tour so far- a drunken game of H-O-R-S-E at 3 am with my friend Mike. I had an epic come from behind win. Didn’t know I was such a baller? To be honest, I didn’t either.

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Sep 05 2013

St. Petersburg, FL

24 hours hours in to two and a half months on the road. Currently sitting at a Panera with Chris Bell, where the power has just gone out. Both of us were on a roll of getting work done, but no power means no WiFi. And no AC. It’s hot out. Gonna bust out of here soon…

I’m going to make more of an effort to document this tour via blog. It’s my longest one yet, and I’m going to so many new places. I’ll end up traveling to 30 states total. For now, I’m still in Florida. My home state, and the only state I’ve ever lived in. Chris and I played in Tampa last night. It was an outdoor show, at the wonderful New World Brewery. We were greeted with big plates of food and glasses of beer. It was a slow night due to it being a porch show on a rainy night. We played to a small crowd, consisting of some friends. The bartenders came out too and were awfully kind to us. Hung out for a little afterwards and made some new friends, sold a few CDs, and listened to the thunder crash late into the night.

Couldn’t find anywhere to sleep in Tampa, so we got in touch with the venue owner for the next night. He was kind enough to let us stay at the venue. There was a back room with a futon and some floor space. And a dog. I took the futon and Chris tripled up on air mats. Chris woke up early to go work out. I tried to sleep in, but didn’t have much luck. It’s just too hot in Florida, even with an AC unit in the other room and a small fan. Tossed and turned in and out of sleep for a few hours, finally decided that it just wasn’t coming. It was late enough in the day at this point. 

I try not to eat out too much while on tour, just because it can be expensive. But there are a few places that I’ll never pass up, one of them being Taco Bus. There was one just a mile a way from where we were. But would it have indoor seating with adequate AC? This was the deciding factor. Luckily it did, sorta. Either way, we gorged ourselves with delicious Mexican food, and even had some leftovers. “This may be the only thing I have to eat all day.”

I was feeling pretty out of it. “It’s too early in tour for this!” Luckily, a large amount of iced coffee hit the spot in just about every way. I try to drink as little coffee as I can on tour, but I really needed it today.

Power is still out here. People are just milling around, and the emergency lights are dimly lighting the bathroom. Feels sorta apocalyptic. Waiting for the zombies to storm through the door.

3 notes

Aug 06 2013

I will tour and tour and tour and then tour some more. Just when you think I am done, I’ll tour a little while longer. I’m addicted to touring.

August
6 Savannah, GA- Lulu’s
7 Awendaw, SC- Awendaw Green
8 Wilmington, NC- Fermental
9 Augusta, GA- M.A.D. Studios
10 Macon, GA- Roasted - Cafe and Lounge
11 Brevard, NC- 185 King Street
12 Charlotte, NC- The Evening Muse
13 Greenville, SC- House Show
14 Greenville, SC- House Show
15 Birmingham, AL- Seeds Coffee
16 Navarre, FL- Navarre Park
17 Lake City, FL- The Cafe
18 Orlando, FL- lil indies

I got back from three weeks in Alaska a mere six days ago. Right before touring Alaska, I spent three weeks on the road with a full band all over the East Coast. It’s been the greatest summer of my entire life, and it’s not over just yet.

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Jun 12 2013
Jun 07 2013
June 11

June 11

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May 19 2013
Florida’s summer is making its presence increasingly known. With that being said, I won’t be around to experience much of it. I have two tours planned. In June, I’ll be touring the East Coast with a full band. And in July, I’ll be on a solo tour of Alaska. I really can’t decide which I’m more excited for! More dates coming soon to fill these out, specifically in Alaska, and yet another tour of the South in August. After all, school is out for summer, and ultimately, forever.June12 St. Augustine, FL- House Show14 Saxapahaw, NC- Eddy Pub15 Virginia Beach, VA- That’s How I Beat Shaq (By far the greatest venue name ever)16 Stroudsburg, PA- The Living Room17 Philadelphia, PA- North Star Bar18 NYC, NY- Pianos19 Lock Haven, PA- Avenue 20920 Williamsport, PA- Bullfrog Brewery21 Pittsburgh, PA- House Show22 Grand Rapids, MI- House Show23 Michigan, help?24 Ypsilanti, MI- Woodruff’s25 Bloomington, IN- Rachael’s Cafe26 Newport, KY- Southgate House Revival27 Cincinnati, OH-House Show28 Charleston, WV- Taylor Books29 Knoxville, TN- Blue Plate Special on WDVX fm29 Knoxville, TN-Preservation Pub30 Atlanta, GA- KarvarnaJuly. Alaska!11 Anchorage- S Lounge12 Funny River Bluegrass Festival13 Funny River Bluegrass Festival16 Palmer- Vagabond Blues17 Talkeetna- Fairview Inn18 Fairbanks- Ivory Jacks19 Fairbanks- The Marlin22 Trapper Creek- Big Su Lodge25 Homer- Down East Saloon

Florida’s summer is making its presence increasingly known. With that being said, I won’t be around to experience much of it. I have two tours planned. In June, I’ll be touring the East Coast with a full band. And in July, I’ll be on a solo tour of Alaska. I really can’t decide which I’m more excited for! More dates coming soon to fill these out, specifically in Alaska, and yet another tour of the South in August. After all, school is out for summer, and ultimately, forever.
June
12 St. Augustine, FL- House Show
14 Saxapahaw, NC- Eddy Pub
15 Virginia Beach, VA- That’s How I Beat Shaq (By far the greatest venue name ever)
16 Stroudsburg, PA- The Living Room
17 Philadelphia, PA- North Star Bar
18 NYC, NY- Pianos
19 Lock Haven, PA- Avenue 209
20 Williamsport, PA- Bullfrog Brewery
21 Pittsburgh, PA- House Show
22 Grand Rapids, MI- House Show
23 Michigan, help?
24 Ypsilanti, MI- Woodruff’s
25 Bloomington, IN- Rachael’s Cafe
26 Newport, KY- Southgate House Revival
27 Cincinnati, OH-House Show
28 Charleston, WV- Taylor Books
29 Knoxville, TN- Blue Plate Special on WDVX fm
29 Knoxville, TN-Preservation Pub
30 Atlanta, GA- Karvarna

July. Alaska!
11 Anchorage- S Lounge
12 Funny River Bluegrass Festival
13 Funny River Bluegrass Festival
16 Palmer- Vagabond Blues
17 Talkeetna- Fairview Inn
18 Fairbanks- Ivory Jacks
19 Fairbanks- The Marlin
22 Trapper Creek- Big Su Lodge
25 Homer- Down East Saloon

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May 05 2013
Here’s a gif of a dude surfing while playing bass. On a somewhat related, and much less important point, recording completion is approaching. Songs dropping like flies. The light at the end of the tunnel.

Here’s a gif of a dude surfing while playing bass. On a somewhat related, and much less important point, recording completion is approaching. Songs dropping like flies. The light at the end of the tunnel.

(Source: pushthemovement, via aabondy)

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