Austin Forrest

Austin Forrest


Austin writes and plays rhythmic, melodic soul, blues, pop, rock and singer-songwriter tunes, both acoustic and electric, with bouncy, bluesy lead guitar licks. Using live percussion and guitar loops, it's a refreshingly different sound than what you hear from most live solo artists.


Raised largely in Georgia and North Carolina, Austin Forrest has brought his southern soul to roost in Texas. Having settled down in San Antonio, he makes his living entertaining audiences with energetic, soulful performances of blues, pop, soul, R&B and singer-songwriter tunes. From song to song, Austin shifts easily between soulful belting and breathy serenade, likewise changing his lead guitar flavor from fast swinging blues riffs to tasteful melodic improvisation. Whatever the nature of the tune, though, he remains fully committed to rhythm and groove, and his bluesy roots are ever apparent.

Not your typical solo artist, Austin Forrest takes audiences by pleasant surprise as he puts out as much sound as a trio, thanks to a unique rig that he has put together over the years. With skillful employment of a "looper", he lays down bongo and cajon (a Latin box drum) beats live on stage to establish a groove, and then plays both rhythm and lead guitar over it, making for a full, bouncy syncopated sound. In addition, he accompanies himself in two and three-part harmony using a vocal harmonizer, completely defying what most people have come to think of as a "solo act".

On Forrest's debut CD, Eating the Elephant, it's easy to hear his influences, though his own style is well developed. One can pick out guitar work reminiscent of Dickey Betts and James Taylor, vocal stylings in the vein of Stevie Wonder and Bill Withers, and song-writing approaches of more contemporary artists such as John Mayer, Jack Johnson and Ben Harper. All the while, however, he makes a point not simply to walk the beaten path, and to make sure that he's bringing fresh ideas to the table, both musically and lyrically.

Austin Forrest's love of music is apparent, well-conveyed and contagious. If you enjoy rhythm, melody and lyricism, there's a good chance that you'll enjoy his music. And, whether he's performing his own tunes, or creatively reworking those of his predecessors, his delivery is such that you'll likely be back for more.