About

Bio

A songwriter always seems to have a story to tell.  The story of Austin Rife couldn’t be a better representation of this statement. Austin was passed down an old Ibanez guitar from his grandfather, Jim Rife just days after the elder’s death. A few months later, the decision was made by this eleven-year-old boy’s parents to get him guitar lessons with a PA native and guitar master, Jace Hyde.  It took time and the young boy didn’t take to music right away. Austin was more concerned with playing football than picking up some old piece of wood. Years later though, Austin found his calling.  He started learning punk rock songs, oddly enough playing Green Day and Blink 182 songs, but later experimented with crossover songs by Johnny Cash and David Allan Coe. Then, Rife unconsciously realized he was returning to his grandfather’s roots. By the time Austin started penning his own songs, he realized the realness and honesty country music is synonymous with fit him like a glove. He then took his talents to local venues playing benefits and open mics. Austin recalls playing at a little open mic with a bunch of older guys in a band jamming to vintage country music: “I think I was the youngest kid in the place by about 50 years, but the music was awesome.” Then Austin hit the studio to cut a grass roots demo with an independent York, PA studio called Ted E. Bear Productions with producer, Jeff Hassinger. “It wasn’t pretty at first, but I knew I loved music and that was all that really mattered. If I kept playing, maybe I could make something of myself.” Austin started picking up the pen more and wrote numerous songs about life the way he saw it. Two years later in 2012, Rife cut his own fully original twelve song album, “Days Gone By.” This is what brought the senior in high school at the time to landing his own gigs at a local venue called Brookmere Winery. It was small progress but it shaped Austin into the entertainer he is today. “We started out with fifteen people and then thirty the next show and by the fourth or fifth show, eighty people packed the little winery. I couldn’t believe that many people would actually sacrifice their comfort standing shoulder-to-shoulder to hear me play. I didn’t understand it but it was life-changing.” So Rife kept playing and landing shows at the winery, parties, restaurants, and other local venues. Then, reality hit and Austin realized the music industry wasn’t a legitimate guarantee so he decided to enroll at Appalachian State University in Boone, NC to pursue a degree in marketing. He struggled at first but learned to love the mountain views and the southern hospitality in the little mountain town. He landed multiple shows in Boone. He learned to fit in and find friends who also played music. “I never met a banjo player before and now I have buddies that play the banjo, mandolin, fiddle, and upright bass. It’s so cool.” Rife released his second fully original album, “Back for More” in May of 2014.  This record fused southern rock, country, and Americana with ultra reflective songs like the album’s title track and “The Best of Me” while also keeping a wilder side with tunes like “Whiskey and Wine.”  Rife graduated in May of 2017 with a bachelor’s in marketing.  He now works for his family’s business, the Caskey Group while playing shows locally.  “Life comes full circle.  I wanted to make sure when I took a career, I could keep playing and writing music.  Caskey allows me to do that.  Music flows through my veins, and it will always be a part of me.”  Rife now plays shows locally and still writes songs when he can, penning uncut titles such as “The Makers”, “Keystone”,  “The Devil out of You”, “Lived for the Day”, “Lost and Found”, and others.  “It’s all about the journey.  I’ve been blessed with great people around me.  I can’t wait to see what the future holds.”