Achilles Tenderloin | Richmond, IN, USA

Achilles Tenderloin is Joe Augustin -- a college librarian by day who travels the tri-state area by night as an original folk blues artist from Indiana. His music is heavily influenced by pre-war blues artists, especially Skip James and Son House, but also reflects a passion for the more lyrically focused songwriting of the American folk movement and beyond.

'Stronger than Wine', Achilles Tenderloin’s third and latest full-length release (August 2014), features six original, roots blues-inspired songs, as well as four renderings of songs by Tommy Johnson, Blind Willie Johnson, Leadbelly, and The Toadies. Graham Clarke of Blues Bytes* calls 'Stronger than Wine', “a fascinating and innovative interpretation of the blues.”

After a 3-year hiatus, Achilles Tenderloin returned to the stage in 2012 and has been playing concerts and festivals across Indiana, Ohio, and Kentucky, in addition to appearing on numerous terrestrial and online radio shows throughout the region. Joe, along with fellow songwriter Kevin Milner, is a cofounder of SoNA, a charitable humanist organization which employs music to raise funds and awareness for various causes in and around Dayton, Ohio. He has also organized several concert series, festivals and other charitable events in the region, over the past few years.

JL: What is the story behind the song you submitted?
J: Cold Morning Blues is about feeling like an outsider in the place where you grew up, even though everyone knows you and everyone else. You take comfort in cold and rainy weather that keeps people indoors and invites you to cover your head, when you're out walking the streets. I wrote the song in 2005, or maybe 2006, shortly before taking a long hiatus from music. It's still among my personal favorites to play. 

JL: Why do you write music? 
J: Cathartic expression is my primary motive for singing, playing, and writing music. When I write, I take hold of an idea and use it as a sort of lantern to to explore my hidden caverns. In the end, I have an idea with all these bits of myself stuck to it. If all goes well, I'm able to see those parts in a different light and explore them a little further every time I play the song. 

JL: What are your fondest musical memories?
J: My fondest musical memories...that is a tough one :) Some of my best memories, bar none, are of times when large numbers of people come together through music (or otherwise) for a cause. To look around and find everywhere the beaming faces of artists who see their art serving a greater purpose and effecting positive change in the world--the love is so strong in a room full of people who are experiencing that. Some of my best and closest friends to this day are people I met through charity work.

JL: If you could open a set for anyone, who would it be?
J: Skip James
JL: Why is independent music important to you?
J: What I get out of making music, I wouldn't want to deny anyone. Nobody should be made to feel like they have to kiss ass and jump through a bunch of hoops to do what they love, or feel pressure to make their art market-friendly. The "independent music" designation is blurrier and blurrier, these days, but I don't think that matters much. Honestly, I don't care who foots your bills or books your shows, as long your music means something to you. 

JL: What is your advise to fellow independent artists?
J: Advice to independent musicians? Be a good citizen in your musical community and the world around you at large. That means treating others with respect and not starting petty feuds or talking trash. Be patient when it's time to be patient and eager when opportunity arises. Lift up your fellow artists with your words and actions, as well as the people who otherwise facilitate and/or support music in general. Embrace projects, events, and communities that excite you, even if you're just taking tickets at the door sometimes. Create opportunities for yourself and others. Reach out to business owners, non-profits, and other artists who have potential but maybe not the time, energy, or know-how to engage the arts.

JL: When is your next release?
J: Next studio album release is set for 2016, but I will be releasing a live session in the next couple of weeks, featuring a handful of new, previously unrecorded songs. Achilles Tenderloin Live at Depauw University: Greencastle Songwriters Showcase. It will have 8 songs overall and be available in CD and MP3 format via

Booking Contact: I'm most easily reached via my Achilles Tenderloin Facebook page, but I also check email: achillestenderloin(AT)gmail(DOT)com. For best results, include the words Booking Achilles Tenderloin in the subject line. If you prefer to talk on the phone, send your name and number in a written message and I'll call you.

Achilles Tenderloin Links:

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