Some of you may or may not know that when I was 14 my mom, stepdad and I re-located from the Portland area to a small rural town in Washington. A town so small, that it didn’t even have it’s own high school… we had to go to the neighbor town, Duvall, for school.
CHS was one of those schools where everyone knows everyone, at least in your own grade. I may not have hung out with everyone, but I knew them, & most of them knew me… everyone grew up together, so a new face was a big deal.
As any high school we had kids with many talents… but one stood out, no matter who you were. Austin Jenckes. He was known for his guitar skills and amazing vocals. Even when his family had a tragic event when we were 16…. he wasn’t known as the guy who had something bad happen in his family, he was simply known for his beautiful talent.
I only hung out with Austin once or twice, we had plenty of friends in common, but nothing actually in common other than we graduated the same year. After high school, and after I moved out of the valley (contrary to Blake Shelton’s beliefs, not mountains haha.) After I had moved on from my high school life, I still kept tabs on Austin’s music… He relocated in early 2012 to Nashville, I think I attended only one or two of his shows after high school… but he was making a name for himself, and achieving his dreams. In mid 2010 (maybe 2009?), my best friend, Thomas, came home from college and was telling us about this show he wanted to go to… this guy he had a communications class with this awesome and talented musician. It was about 10 minutes into our conversation when it hit that he was talking about Austin Jenckes. Small world… He took EverSoLightly to the show that night, I stayed home sick.
A few months later I heard through the grapevine (probably twitter or instagram) that Austin had a kickstarter. I backed it, hoping to help him get enough funds to record a new album. Of course, the funding was reached and he was able to record his album.
I’ll admit, that was the last I had heard about it until the album was released. I received the download information, saved it (I was at work.) I’ve watched friends from high school post photo after photo from his shows, but never made it back to one.
A week ago I received an email from the kickstarter campaign, Austin announcing that he was going to be on the tv show The Voice. How exciting! I tuned in Monday night & made sure my mom knew to tune in. (Side story, he performed at our graduation & she of course thought he was ridiculously talented. He managed to make most of the people in the room tear up.) We watched Monday night’s episode but he wasn’t on. So, Tuesday night I tuned in (and my mom did too.) We watched… the news had already been spoiled by excited folks on the internet, I knew what was going to happen but we watched anyway. About 9:20 they showed Austin. His story touched the hearts of those that knew him & people hearing it for the first time. I had friends texting me constantly telling me how touching his story was, and how they were tearing up. Then he performed. It was a song he had performed many times for many people… not a new, not his own original song…but it felt like it. He did such a fantastic job. Ceelo Green & Blake Shelton both pushed the button to have their chairs turn. He chose Blake’s team. Though we were not the best of pals in high school, I fully plan on supporting him as long as he has a music career.
I urge you to tune into the Voice each week and watch Austin’s progress with me! Lets show him the support he deserves!
(If you have the time, click some of the links in this post, you’ll see what I’m talking about.)