Jake Austin & The City Limits to perform at The Blue Note

The St. Louis band will compete for a spot at the 2011 Roots 'N Blues 'N BBQ Festival on Saturday.

By Katie Yaeger | Aug. 12, 2011

Tags: Music

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Crowned St. Louis’s 2011 Missouri Lottery King of the Roots, the band Jake Austin & The City Limits uses trombones, saxophones, guitars and basses to create their distinct sound.

Lap steel, rhythm and slide guitarist Zach Ingle says although their music is a conglomerate of four to five genres, they named their debut album "Country Soul" after the two most like their songs.

Lead vocalist Jake Austin and Ingle met through a mutual friend. After realizing they were both into the same kind of music, they began collaborating in 2009 and started looking for others to join them. Austin and Ingle have since recruited six other members through mutual friends and online auditions for the band’s current lineup.

“I knew the band would change as it evolved; members come and go,” Austin says. “At the time, I was the primary songwriter. I tried different names (with mine), but nothing fit. I cracked a joke about 'Austin City Limits,' and it just kind of hit me. It still works to our advantage. People would say, ‘Oh yeah, I’ve heard you guys,’ and we hadn’t even played a show yet.”

Jake Austin & The City Limits made their stage debut in May 2010 at a Haiti benefit concert. The show’s purpose was personal for Austin, whose wife survived the Haitian earthquake unharmed.

“I don’t believe in coincidences, but it’s telling that the band got its start with something so inspirational,” bassist Dennis Sanders says. “Part of music is to help people feel better about situations.”

Country Soul features songs such as “Never Be Mine” that get audience members in the mood to sing and dance like no one’s watching, Sanders says.

“If I could have people walk away with one thing, if even just for 10 minutes,” Austin says, “it’s that they’d forget about bills, stress and headaches and just relax.”

Ingle says he relishes his relationships with the other band members when both playing and relaxing. Lead guitarist Joe Giaimo agrees.

“I really enjoy getting to go onstage and play with great friends and musicians,” Giaimo says. “When (the music) all comes together, it’s a really cool, awesome sound that no one else has, and you see the crowd really get into that.”

Jake Austin & The City Limits will play with three other bands, all crowned their regions’ Missouri Lottery King of the Roots. They will compete for the state title and a main stage appearance at the 2011 Roots 'N Blues 'N BBQ Festival, on Sept. 9 and 10 in downtown Columbia.

“(The festival) is just an array of some of the world’s greatest roots and blues artists,” Giaimo says.

Performances begin at 8 p.m. Saturday at The Blue Note. Tickets are $5.

“It’s our first show in Columbia,” Giaimo says. “We’re excited to get new people to hear our music and party with us.”

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