Bloomington, Indiana-based songwriter Austin Lucas is no stranger to the road — he’s spent decades making the haul to clubs and concert stages all over the world, performing alongside artists like Willie Nelson and Jamey Johnson. And now, the Country/Folk singer finds himself stranded a long way from home.
“This was my third time in Europe in 12 months,” he says from Germany, “and my fourth tour outside of the United states this year. I was wrapping up a string of European tour dates when the pandemic caused borders to begin closing and flights to be canceled.”
Lucas was overseas promoting his latest studio release, Immortal Americans. It is an album that took shape as Lucas became sober, helped a partner battle cancer and after leaving the record label he’d been with for years. What’s more, it was an album written after Lucas had returned to call Bloomington home — a town where he was raised and had watched his father, Bluegrass musician Bob Lucas, perform.
This Friday, Lucas will be performing via a Facebook livestream from a studio in Germany, where he’ll be recording a new acoustic album. He’ll accept tips for the free performance, and he’ll take presale orders for the eventual LP/CD/download.
It’s also an opportunity to support others in need.
“All proceeds from digital downloads will be donated to grassroots Mutual Aid and Harm Reduction organizations,” reads the event notice, “thereby lending my solidarity and some monetary support to my hometown of Bloomington, and the doubly devastated and still recovering community of Nashville (a reference to the recent Nashville tornado).”
Like the rest of us, Lucas is eager for life to get back to normal. He’s also coping with a changing world.
“I'm writing a lot, as well as trying to catch up on reading and communicating with old friends and family,” he says. “I have a difficult time imagining myself as returning to the type of situation that might be unfolding in the USA very soon. I may want to weather this in a country (with) a much more stable collective health and social infrastructure.”
Foremost, family and friends are on his mind. “I'd most love to hug my family and spend as much time with my mom as possible. I'd also love to get back to training and being a kickboxing coach at my local gyms.”
As for the streaming performance/recording on Friday, it’s his prescription for the no-club blues that fans are singing in chorus.
“Y’all stay sane and healthy out there,” he advised in a recent post on his website. “We’re all in this together.”