Blake Shelton Is Releasing an Acoustic Version of ‘Austin’

by Suzanne Halliburton

Blake Shelton is releasing an acoustic version of “Austin.” So it’s time to get all nostalgic and back to the time when the country music superstar was a hopeful unknown sporting a long, curly mullet.

Shelton announced via Instagram his plans to reintroduce his fans to a stripped-down version of his very first hit.

“Can’t wait to finally share the acoustic version of “Austin” on streaming platforms this Friday,” Blake Shelton wrote. Y’all are gonna love it.”

Given how popular Shelton is these days, it’s difficult to fathom a time when he wasn’t the highest-paid country singer in the country. But this time 21 years ago, Shelton released his first song, a ballad about a guy and a girl who months after a breakup found themselves still in love with each other.

“Austin” is the nickname the guy gives his girlfriend. He calls her that because that’s where she’s from and she moved back there when they broke up. And because it’s 2001, the song has references to the then technology. That’s why an answering machine is a big part of the song’s story.

Austin starts calling her ex. And she keeps getting the answering machine. Her ex leaves a lot of info on his outgoing message. He changes it on a daily basis. The first time she calls, it’s a Tuesday. Her ex-boyfriend is out bowling. He doesn’t want any messages from salesmen. And, by the way, he already sold his car. Then she hears:

“If it’s anybody else wait for the tone. You know what to do. And P.S., if this is Austin, I still love you.”

Well, Austin dropped the phone the first time she heard the message. She called three days later in hopes of catching her boyfriend at home. But the message said he was out at a ballgame and that by tomorrow, he was headed to the lake for a weekend getaway. Then she heard: “But I’ll call you back when I get home on Sunday afternoon And P.S., if this is Austin, I still love you.” This time, she left her number.

Austin finally called her back. She had a message of her own. “If you’re callin’ ’bout my heart it’s still yours. I should have listened to it a little more, then it wouldn’t have taken me so long to know where I belong.
And by the way boy, this is no machine you’re talkin’ to. Can’t you tell, this is Austin, and I still love you. I still love you.”

That’s when country music fans first fell in love with Shelton. His song premiered at No. 58 on the country charts for the week of April 28, 2001. By August, “Austin” was No. 1. It spent five weeks atop the charts. And that tied a record for first-time releases originally set by Billy Ray Cyrus. Back in 1992, Cyrus, his mullet and his “Achy Breaky Heart” rocked the country music world. Like Shelton’s “Austin,” Cyrus’ song spent five weeks at No. 1.

So now, he’s going to rerelease the acoustic version. And yes, we found a video of Blake Shelton singing an acoustic version of Austin in front of a small crowd, which included Vince Gill and Larry Gatlin.

It’s Wednesday night, and Outsider is kicking it country music old school. Enjoy.