Photos/Videos via @SCIofficial, @kellerwilliams, @leftoversalmon and @umphreysmcgee on FB
Following the June 24 passing of mandolinist Jeff Austin, friends and colleagues have shared their memories of the late musician.
“Hard to believe that my old neighbor Jeff Austin is gone,” wrote Bill Nershi of String Cheese Incident. “I had some great times pickin’ with him, whether with String Cheese, Yonder, the Travelin McCourys or the JABand. Peace be on you Jeff. Sending your family love from everyone in the SCI camp”
Vince Herman of Leftover Salmon and Keller Williams both shared videos to honor Austin.
Sitting in front of a serene lake, a visibly saddened Herman sang what seems to be a new original with the opening line, “Sometimes it seems the pain’s too much to live with,” and culminating in the refrain, “I think of those good times we had together, don’t let yourself believe that its time to leave.”
Williams chose to cover Austin’s own “New Horizons,” which appeared on Yonder Mountain String Band’s 2001 LP Town By Town. Williams also posted a number of photographs with Austin, with the simple message, “Rest peacefully old friend.”
After dedicating “With A Little Help From My Friends” to Austin at Umphrey’s McGee’s June 22 Red Rocks gig, UM guitarist Brendan Bayliss shared a lengthy remembrance of his 30db bandmate.
“Austin was just like a giant tidal wave,” Bayliss wrote. “A genuine force of nature that you simply could not ignore. Either you get on board and enjoy the ride, or get out of the way cause he’ll knock you over before you even knew what hit you. I have seen him move mountains with his voice, his mandolin, his songs, his wit, and his boundless energy.
“Every time I went on stage with him I knew it was gonna be good and I was gonna be fine,” Bayliss continued. “He’d often remind me that his back hurt from having to carry me on his shoulders for the whole show. I know he would have taken a bullet for me, stood right back up and gotten back to the punch line… and up until last night I thought he was invincible. I’m still in shock. I know I will never ever meet anyone like Jeff again, and the world will never know anyone like Jeff again. And that is what makes me cry at random times – the realization that I don’t get to have one more hug, one more laugh, I know we all could use just one more.”
If you would like to make a contribution to help the Austin family, please visit https://sweetrelief.org/jeff-austin-fund/.
Check out the video and photo tributes below: