Country songwriter Austin Jenckes to play Sisters Saloon
Last updated 8/2/2022 at Noon
Austin Jenckes always knew that music was going to be a part of his life. Growing up in the Pacific Northwest, in a small town in Washington state called Duval, Jenckes played music throughout his life. He started playing guitar as a boy because his dad also played, and he picked it up one day and knew that he wanted to pursue it further.
Jenckes grew up playing music at church on the worship music team, and in his young adult days, he played in rock n’ roll bands in high school before going to college at Western Washington University (WWU). During his time at school, he started playing some of his own written songs in coffee shops and was gigging around as much as he could.
“I started writing my own songs and playing them wherever I could on the coast of Washington during and after college,” said Jenckes.
Jenckes decided to fully pursue his music career when he met his wife in college at WWU. “I was kind of doing the troubadour thing hitchhiking and backpacking and just playing where I could and when I could on the side. Once I met her, I knew if I wanted to make a life with her, I needed to pursue music and be able to make money with it. That was a big turning point for me, was meeting her,” he said.
Jenckes moved to Nashville, Tennessee, at 21 to further pursue his music career. He and his wife now live in Nashville with their kids, visiting Washington during the summers.
He worked in a warehouse to pay the bills while still gigging around Nashville.
“I moved to Nashville to become a full-time songwriter, I really wanted to home in on the lyrical side of things and I wanted to write songs that made sense and meant something,” he said.
During his time in Nashville, he started to home in on not just the songwriting, but also vocals, developing as a full-fledged artist.
“You have to have good songs and music paired with good writing to really get into the fold as a known artist,” he said.
A few years into his artistic journey, he went on the popular singing competition show “The Voice.” He made it to the Top 10 on Blake Shelton’s team amongst other artists. Through his experience on “The Voice” and after, he was able to make connections and create a network of country singer-songwriters in Nashville.
“I was put into a lot of rooms with different singer-songwriters in the country music world, helping my music really transition into that space,” he said.
After “The Voice,” Jenckes signed a two-year record deal and was able to produce his first full-length record in 2019.
“The people I met in Nashville really helped me get into the country songwriter space and I was able to make my own record,” said Jenckes. “The songs I wrote for that record, (“If You Grew Up Like I Did”), I felt really told my story. I wrote about three times more songs than ended up on the record.”
The process overall took around four years for Jenckes to write, produce and promote the album.
The album was released in 2019, and Jenckes was in the middle of touring that album in Europe when everything shut down in March of 2020.
“I came back for two weeks which is what everybody was saying was the timeline; turns out two years later, I am just now rescheduling some of those European shows,” he said.
He recently played on tour in the UK with country artist Brett Eldridge. During the time off touring, Jenckes was able to write more songs and release singles in the last two years, his most recent, “River Jordan” that came out in May.
Jenckes is slotted to play the Sisters Saloon on Thursday, August 11, in a ticketed concert.
“The Saloon reached out to my manager to play there, and it worked out that I was on a tour run in the PNW and northern California,” he said.
Jenckes has been around the Central Oregon area but has never been to Sisters.
“I have heard so much about it from other artists and how much they love playing there,” he said.
Jenckes is excited to branch out from Washington into Oregon and California.
“This show is a perfect example moment to expand my fan base into Oregon and play at this new venue,” said Jenckes.
Jenckes will be performing Thursday, August 11, at 7 p.m. at Sisters Saloon as part of the Sisters Saloon Summer Concert Series. Doors open at 6 p.m. It is an all-ages show. For tickets visit www.bendticket.com/events/121596423/sisters-saloon-summer-concert-series-austin-jenckes.