What best-selling country music artist do you know who can successfully pull off the quintessential line “even the dog knows she ain’t comin’ back” on the same album on which he records covers of tunes by Queen, Elvis Presley and Rod Stewart?
Born in Sussex, New Brunswick, Julian Austin has written and played music since he was in his mid-teens, dabbling in every genre from heavy metal to rock to 80’s pop before falling in love with the new country music sound that was taking shape in the early 90’s. In 1998 Austin moved out west to Calgary Alberta to live with his then fiancée Angela. While living out west Austin further honed his musical skills in both writing songs and entertaining the fans. His first album, “What My Heart Already Knows”, more than justified that musical choice, earning Julian a certified CRIA gold record (50k+ sales) and the 1997 Wrangler Rising Star Award from the Canadian Country Music Association. His first single “Little Ol’ Kisses” went #1 on radio and also made the CMT Top 30 Videos of 1997, followed in 1998 with the Best Country Single award at the first annual Canadian Radio Music Awards. That year Julian also earned several Juno nominations.
Julian’s second album, “Back In Your Life”, though delayed several months due to a bull-riding accident which resulted in serious injuries for the artist, ultimately attracted 6 Canadian Country Music Award nominations in that same year. It was followed up by “Bulletproof” (recorded on Myles Goodwyn’s – of Canadian icon April Wine fame – label) and finally “The Red & White”, an album that paid tribute to Canada’s troops and saw Austin not only visiting Canadian Forces bases all over the country, but performing for them in Bosnia, Southwest Asia and Afghanistan as well. In 2004 Julian and his now wife Angela moved from Calgary to her home province of Manitoba where they still reside today.
Julian rejoined with good friend Daniel Leblanc (who produced both his first and second albums) to record his current, fifth album, "One For One", set for release on May 26th. The first single is “Fat Bottomed Girls”, a remake of the 1978 hit by Queen. “I am extremely pumped and excited about my latest album which consists of 5 new original tracks and 5 remakes of some of the greatest classics ever made, including my version of ‘Fat Bottomed Girls’. Reuniting with Danny has been good for my musical soul and I think it really shines through in this album.”
The other covers on “One For One” illustrate the range of Julian’s musical repertoire from the early days, of Rod Stewart’s “Maggie May” to the Elvis classic “Burning Love”, “ ZZ Top’s Legs” and even “Islands In The Stream” a duet with fellow Maritime born Melanie Doane, a classic hit made famous by Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton in the 80’s. Mixing it up like this is a “fun release” for Julian, but it by no means is meant to detract from the country music that is Julian’s “real genuine passion”.
“I like to write (songs) we can all relate to”, says Julian as he describes the writing of the 5 originals on “One For One” which embrace the basics of great country music. “She Knows About Cryin'” is the “song for the ladies”, “If Houston Doesn’t Want You” offers unconditional friendship and support, “Goodbye Exit Sign” is “one of those driving and thinking songs, for when you’re trying to get over someone”. Julian admits “I Am Who I Am” is completely autobiographical. “It was written when I was in a real dark place, and really messed up. It’s a real song”. The CD’s final track, “Brake Lights” is an arms-in-the-air, sing-along heartbreak song with the impact of a classic power ballad—in which the aforementioned dog predicts a sad and lonely future. Baxter, Julian’s beagle, is sure to shed a sympathetic tear.