Lovie Austin

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Lovie Austin has been playing keyboards and producing gospel, soul, and funk records since the early '90s, and was heard by many fans of the latter style while on tour in the late '90s with the rowdy…
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Lovie Austin has been playing keyboards and producing gospel, soul, and funk records since the early '90s, and was heard by many fans of the latter style while on tour in the late '90s with the rowdy Mary J. Blige. Ironically, much more attention gets paid to her namesake, the historic blues and jazz performer who was born a century before the modern Austin cut her first tracks. The senior Austin, who also used the pseudonym Cora Calhoun, has been acknowledged as the first female bandleader in these genres' histories, and there are those listeners who might make the contemporary version out to be some kind of spiritual reincarnation. The two keyboard-playing, songwriting ladies named Austin even share the classic musical conflict between secular and religious material, a recurring subject in interviews with performers from this background.

Gospel music is a much bigger part of the modern Austin's career, however, making up a bit more than half of her recording credits. There are some deacons who might be quite shocked, on the other hand, by some of the material she has recorded with Blige and Jerry Braxton. The latter performer helped her write romantic numbers such as "Must Be Love" and "Beautiful You." Austin's production credits include Braxton's self-titled debut album and Billy Cook's Certified Platinum. Her work on recordings includes arrangements for strings and brass, background vocals, and keyboard playing ranging from an acoustic piano like the first Lovie Austin would have tinkled on to the sort of drum programming, bass samples, and synthesizers that would no doubt have driven the elder woman mad.