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Frame Job: Carson Brock

Former U18er steps into another league on new full-length
William Harries Graham, 10:47am, Tue. Mar. 26, 2013
photo by Mathew Sturtevant

Another generation of local musicians continues coming on strong, especially sons of fathers. Carson Brock, offspring of Kyle Brock – Eric Johnson’s bassist – has dwelled near the top of the U-18 category for the Austin Music Awards in recent years. At 19, the younger Brock steps into the major leagues with his new LP, Finding Frames.

From a young age, he “gravitated toward musical instruments and how they worked. The whole aesthetic of how guitars looked and how they sounded appealed to me and made me want to start playing.”

He pauses, reflectively.

“Once I learned to really play, I was able to express emotions that I wasn’t able to before.”

Ever since he began playing out in his hometown, he’s been noted as an outstanding guitarist. His music captures the classic Austin sound, blues-rock, reminiscent of Stevie Ray Vaughan. Brock says his band’s biggest influences remain Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix, and Cream. If asked, Robert Plant would probably still say that his biggest influences were American blues – that which ties all genres together.

“When I was young, I heard ‘Black Dog’ on the radio and I was knew that was it. Those riffs, and Robert Plant’s voice. I thought there was nothing cooler than playing that sort of music and rocking out,” laughs Brock.

“Growing up with a musician was great, having a lot of musical people around the house. My dad was a great mentor. I’m self-taught, but my dad taught me the loopholes that many guitar teachers lack.

“As a teen, I started playing Antone’s and the Saxon Pub. And now there’s a great new venue that just opened up called the One-2-One on South Lamar that’s one of my favorite clubs to play. The stage is great. The lighting and sound is awesome. It’s a great club to chill out. We’ve been playing there a lot lately.

“I recorded Finding Frames at Fifth Street Studios, down the street from Whole Foods. We used analog tape because we loved the sound more than Pro Tools. It’s a more efficient, old-style way to record.

“I saved up on my own money. I paid for studio time, mastering, mixing, and CDs. We also used Eric Johnson’s studio, Saucer Studios, for two of the tracks.

“Fender guitars have always been my favorite and I’m now endorsed by them. I play a 1962 reissue Sunburst Fender Jazzmaster and a Stratocaster.

“It’s a great blessing to have grown up in a town like Austin with such authentic musicians.”

Advice to young players?

“Record yourself and listen.”

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