Locally connected musician sets out to follow his dreams
The standing-room-only crowd at Sinclair's was in for a treat last Friday night.
Singer/songwriter Kyle Austin, who first appeared in front of an audience at the Blue Springs restaurant and bar on North 7 Highway three years ago, was giving his goodbye performance.
He held nothing back. He sang many of his original tunes, including the popular "Out-Law," and many of the patrons joined in. He brought his band, and he made sure to thank Sinclair's owner Shane Miller, for his generous support.
"My dad used to come into Sinclair's, and he got to talking about Shane and told him that I was doing some singing and songwriting, and like they say, the rest is history," Austin said earlier this week, as he packed his gear in preparation for the big move to Nashville.
"I was working construction, and got in an accident when my trailer jackknifed and swung around and hit my vehicle and I broke my back," he added, with a sly grin. "The biggest break of my life."
He traded his hammer and saw for a guitar and a microphone, and began writing fulltime.
"I don't know if it would have happened if hadn't been for that accident," said Austin, who grew up in Lawrence, Kan., but worked construction projects in Lee's Summit and Blue Springs.
"I didn't want to do that the rest of my life, and it was like when I got hurt, I knew it was time to make a change, so I'm heading to Nashville - but I couldn't leave without a final farewell at Sinclair's."
Miller is one of Austin's biggest fans, and like everyone who attended the farewell concert, can't wait to see what happens.
"If you've ever been to Nashville, who know there are talented musicians at every restaurant and bar in the city, and they're all hoping to make it big," Miller said. "But I have a good feeling about Kyle. He works hard, his music is great, and he's great on stage.
"Everyone who comes to see him loves him. I think he has a great chance of making it big."
It's a long way from the community centers and nursing homes he used to play with his grandfather, and inspiration, Joe Coyne, the sheriff of the tiny community of Lakin, Kan.
"My grandpa passed away when I was 19, but I still sing every song for him, and know he's looking down and smiling, like he would when we played for whoever would listen."
Well, the right people are listening now, and that is a big reason for the move.
"I'm not going to be a name dropper, but a few names people might recognize heard my stuff and asked, 'Where you from?' And I told them Kansas. And they said, 'Get your butt down here to Nashville. I want to write with you.' And that's what I'm doing next Monday. I can't wait."
While Austin has no idea what the future might bring, he knows that initially he will stay with some friends and in a few months be joined by his drummer.
"We'll see what happens," Austin said. "But without Sinclair's, and Shane, and their support and my grandpa helping me get a guitar when I was 10 and sharing his love of music, none of this would have happened.”
"We'll see what this boy from a small town in Kansas can do in the big city!"
Go to kyleaustinmusic.com to learn more about his music.