Austin McCarthy Made The Most Of A Collingwood Summer

In the next few weeks Austin McCarthy will be finishing up his summer job and returning to school.  As a young singer-songwriter with an eye on a future career, his summer job has been to perform as often as possible in his home town of Collingwood.

“That was the goal for the summer,” he says, “to get comfortable performing for people in a variety of settings.  In all, it’s been 36 shows this summer.”

In the second week of May he returned from Nashville where he’d played an open stage at Bobby’s Idle Hour just to get a taste of performing in Nashville.  He’d gone there on a family pilgrimage with his parents  Mike McCarthy and Erica Prinn-McCarthy, a duo that plays often locally, alternating between just the two of them and full gigs with their band.  Austin grew up in this musical family and they are behind him all the way, with Erica acting as his manager and booking agent.   Since his early teens, Austin has honed his musical skills locally, winning the Collingwood Idol Contest in 2014 and finishing that same year in the Top 5 finalists of the CBC Searchlight contest.

Since returning from Nashville in May, Austin has played almost every day locally.  He’s played at The Huron Club, Lounge 26, Gustav’s, Brisges, Doneleigh’s, the Leeky Canoe, and through the remainder of the month he is the musician in residence at Crow Bar and Variety, a venue that didn’t even exist at the beginning of the summer.  He’s been part of the Port Music Festival, the Georgian Triangle Music Festival, the Music Market, Park It, and at the Blue Mountain Village mainstage. While honing his performing skills, he has also been gaining fans. “It’s been a great summer.  I have people coming up to me and saying ‘I saw you at such-and-such.’”

 Last week he played a sold out concert at the Simcoe Street Theatre, which was both a showcase and a fundraiser.

“All that money raised is going toward my upcoming EP” he says, “I’m going into the studio at the end of August.  It’s also a great send-off.”

In addition to joining his parents’ band on stage occasionally, he has been “playing with a band that has given the songs new life.”  It includes Mike Giles on drums, Dave Giles on guitar, and Trevor Robertson on bass.  He’ll be recording with engineer  Adam Fair at Tim Thorney’s studio, Villa Sound, in Singhampton.

“I’m not sure which style I’m going to fall into yet,” he says, “It’s mainly just where I’m at at twenty-one.”  He’ll be using the band and suggests, “I’d like to get some horns in there too.”

The recording is another step in the progress of someone who has clearly decided on music as a career.  He realizes that he needs a good studio recording in order to move on to the next step.  “An EP or a small album is like a business card,” he says.

Austin still has a year-and-a-half left in his studies at the Finance Program at the John Molson School of Business at Concordia University, and he’ll be returning to Montreal after his current residence at CROW ends on August 30th, but his home is clearly Collingwood and we can expect that he will be back playing local spots whenever he gets a break from school.  It will give all his local fans an opportunity to follow his progress as he moves forward in his career.  And before long the EP will give them something to listen to when he’s not around.

Return to Front Page for today’s update

One Response to Austin McCarthy Made The Most Of A Collingwood Summer

  1. Gillian says:

    I enjoy these posts about the process of young musicians just as much as your reviews of shows and coverage of established bands. Thanks!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *