Austin Hartley-Leonard began as a solo singer-songwriter in Austin, TX. His first demo earned him an invitation to the 2005 SXSW Music Festival. Soon after, he started looking for other musicians to round out the band, and the group St. James Inc. was born. The band went on to see success in the Austin music scene and was invited to perform at the Austin City Limits Festival in 2005. After releasing the 8 Hours EP in 2006, St. James Inc. performed at the Lollapalooza Festival in Chicago and then relocated to Los Angeles, where they continued to see great success. You can hear their tunes in the film Moving McAllister and the hit show Men In Trees on ABC.
After meeting producer Charles Newman in Los Angeles, the two began work on Austin’s debut solo record Franklin Ave in December 2007. With Mother West labelmates The Bowmans adding a sprinkling of harmonies, Doug Pettibone (Lucinda Williams, Tift Merritt) on pedal steel and guitar, Carrie Rodriguez on fiddle, Matt Ramsey on guitar and vocals, and members of Brian Wright’s Waco Tragedies as the backing band. Recording was finished at Mother West NYC in March 2008. The record is currently available online everywhere and at many fine indie record shops nationwide.
In 2012, Austin formed new indie rock band Broken Anchor with Mike Duffy .