Austin Hartley-Leonard

Artist / Band / Musician
Americana / Rock / Country
Mother West
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Austin Hartley-Leonard began as a solo singer/songwriter in Austin, TX. His first demo earned him an invitation to the SXSW Music Festival. Soon after, he started looking for other musicians to round out the band, and the group St. James Inc was born. The band went on to see success in the Austin music scene and was invited to perform at the Austin City Limits Festival.

After releasing the “8 Hours” EP in 2006, St. James Inc performed at the Lollapalooza Festival in Chicago and then relocated to Los Angeles, where they continued to see great success. You can hear their tunes in the film “Moving McAllister” and the hit show “Men In Trees” on ABC.

After meeting producer Charles Newman (The Magnetic Fields, Tim Myers, AM) in Los Angeles, the two began work on Austin’s debut solo record “Franklin Ave” in December 2007. With Mother West labelmates The Bowmans adding a sprinkling of harmonies, Doug Pettibone (Lucinda Williams, Tift Merritt) on pedal steel and guitar, Carrie Rodriguez on fiddle, Matt Ramsey on guitar and vocals, and members of Brian Wright’s Waco Tragedies as the backing band. Recording was finished at Mother West NYC in March 2008. Austin played 5 shows at SXSW 2009 including a slot on The Hotel Cafe Showcase night.

Austin has been commissioned to write a number of commercial television spots, the most recent of which being the theme for a nationally aired campaign for Troybilt Inc. His song "Call Me Baby" was recently featured in an episode of CBS's "The Ghost Whisperer," another song on the NBC show "Chuck", and the song "Heart Attack" from his album Franklin Ave can be heard in the new Steve Buscemi film "Handsome Harry."

You can catch Austin every month at Hotel Cafe in Hollywood, and other venues around southern California. He will soon be heading back into the studio to work on a new album to be released in Summer 2010.

"Austin Hartley-Leonard, formerly of group St. James inc, seems to have broken new ground on his solo full length debut 'Franklin Ave.' The concert cellist-turned-singer / songwriter has been disarming crowds at Lollapalooza, Austin City Limits Festival and the like for a few years now, and 'Franklin Ave' is sure to enhance his already solid reputation as one of LA's great unknown troubadours."

-West Coast Americana Review

"Given the onslaught of over produced country pop, it’s refreshing to hear Austin Hartley-Leonard’s soulful country-folk sounds: smooth without being glossy, charged with emotion without coming across as contrived. Country can be a dangerous word to throw around, but this music is sure to appeal to hipsters and high school girls as well as cowboys."
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