Sound Bites Interview: Austin McCutchen


There's not a lot of serious country music in New York these days. There's gimmicky bands, and loads of singer songwriter type stuff but, for the most part, artists doing dusty honky tonk died out with No Depression. Artist doing the same in the bluegrass style are even fewer and far between. Austin McCutchen does both, staying busy with three musical endeavors. He's got a '70s style electric band, and a traditional bluegrass quartet, also making time to be part of the sprawling bro-verload that is Neckbeard Telecaster. 

MP3: Austin McCutchen – Honey Don't Be Sad (MP3)

The Austin McCutchen Quartet will bring the single-mike-style bluegrass to the Sound Bites Lunchtime Series this Wednesday (6/9) on the Pier 17 stage at South Street Seaport. As the show is in conjunction with the Fulton Stall Markets, I'm asking all the bands playing to answer some food related questions. 

You're playing opposite the Fulton Stall Markets. WHat's your favorite vegetable?

Quite possibly – the potato is my favorite vegetable.  There's nothing better than a plate of mashed potatoes and gravy.  Also you can use it to compliment dishes or use it as the basis for the meal.

Did you have a garden growing up?

My grandparents did. They lived on about five acres of land, so they grew summer squash, picked and canned things, all that kind of stuff.

Do you cook much here in NYC?

I don't. I'm spoiled. I have two roommates and we don't share anything. When I do cook, it's not very good. I'll go through periods where I decide I'm going to learn to cook something and then if it turns out bad I get turned off to the idea. Plus there's waste issues when you cook for yourself. It's hard to eat the same thing three days in a row.

Where do you like to eat here in the neighborhood?

I like Walter Foods, I go there maybe every other week. I eat at Robertas a lot, it's right around the corner from my house. There's not a lot else out there, unless I go out to the Jefferson stop for tacos. Taco Chulo is good too. Egg, the normal places.

You work at Oslo coffee. Do you have a signature drink?

I make a really good cortado. I, however don't have a crazy name for any drink that i've ever invented.

What's your hangover food?

I never get hungover. (Laughs) With my job, I don't really get the chance to get hangover food. But Robertas has amazing ricotta pancakes with apples and cinamon butter on top.

Any foods you dislike?

I pretty much like everything. I came upon liking more foods in the last four years — I used to be a picky eater but am trying to open myself up to everything. Raw tomatoes I dont' really like. Cooked are fine.

Has food ever influenced your songwriting?

I have a song that i wrote off the idea of melting sugar down into a liquid form…does that count?


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