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The SCENE Magazine

SCENE Songwriter Spotlight: Radio Springs

Feb 18, 2014 01:59AM ● By Corinne Moore
By Rhonda Meredith

Being hit by a freight train feels pretty good – Musically speaking, that is…

Local musicians Matt Elliott, Ryan Harbuck, and Austin Haynes are Radio Springs, a “slamgrass” band with harmonies.

And the trio has a powerful sound.

“It seems as though there are a lot more people on stage,” said Elliott (vocals, acoustic guitar). “We surprise the crowd with how loud we can sound.”

Elliott and Harbuck (mandolin, vocals, bass guitar) have been friends since the ninth grade and were in a blues band while in high school. They met Haynes (guitar, vocals) at their regular weekly open mic appearance in Friendswood. Haynes asked to jam with the duo, and they all bonded while jamming to a Jimi Hendrix song. To make a short story shorter: What used to be billed as “Matt & Ryan” became “Matt & Ryan & Austin.” You could say, they clicked – and fast.

That was a mere six months ago. It was just weeks later that the trio received a call from local singer/songwriter Chris J. Hardy offering them a spot at Scout Bar and encouraged the guys to come up with a band name. “We came up with a name in less than an hour,” said Elliott. “Radio Springs has an organic feel to it, and the name stuck. We liked it.”

Now Radio Springs is performing “a mix of rock, bluegrass, singer/songwriter and jam” music at venues from Galveston to Houston in front of enthusiastic crowds. “We take a lot of pride in what we play,” said Elliott. “It’s what we do. We know people use their hard-earned money to come see us, and we want to make each show unique as possible and change it up.”

The past six months have been long and busy for Radio Springs and “more than a blessing,” according to Elliott.

Currently, Radio Springs is excited to be recording an EP at Big Door Studios. At press time, the EP is said to contain seven handpicked songs and is tentatively set to be released this spring with a limited run on vinyl to support local record stores.

Included on the EP is a song titled “Walking In The Shadow” that was performed once during an open mic night and the response included a standing ovation. “It’s haunting,” said Elliott. He notes that the recording process is inspiring – and if it’s not, then something is wrong. He also teases that two or three of the other songs will have that “freight train” feel – once again, musically speaking, of course.

Radio Springs’ dynamic sound, musical ability and improvisation serves them well when performing song covers. A favorite cover is “Bird In The House” by Railroad Earth. Elliott isn’t one to boast, but he did say Railroad Earth sent an email to say Radio Springs’ version was fantastic! The band also performs a “Sweet Medley” which features “Your Time is Gonna Come” by Led Zeppelin and “Can’t You See” by The Marshall Tucker Band.

Radio Springs aspires to be a breath of fresh air in modern music. In 2014, they want to broaden their fan base in the Bay Area and enjoy performing at regional festivals.

Visit the band’s ReverbNation page ( to preview a song and see why they are ranked No. 1 in Houston. For booking information, contact Matt Elliott at [email protected]

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