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Former student balances career with dream of managing music

PROVIDED
“Somebody’s Darling” will open for “Quiet Company” at the Grand Stafford in Bryan on Friday.
PROVIDED “Somebody’s Darling” will open for “Quiet Company” at the Grand Stafford in Bryan on Friday.

Austin Hill, Class of 2007, is a lawyer by day and a band manager by night.
Hill is the manager of the Dallas band “Somebody’s Darling,” which will be playing in Bryan on Friday. Hill has wanted to break into the music industry for some time, waiting for the opportunity to present itself.
When the former manager got a job at a venue in Dallas in February and became too busy to continue, Hill, who had been already helping with the band, said he was eager to step in and help his friends.
Hill said after witnessing a recording session, he went home to write a letter to the band to express how much he wanted to help them.
“You know, I never really got to do something like that before, sit in the control room and kind of watch them,” Hill said. “You know, it was just so inspiring to watch how hard they were working. It wasn’t like they were partying in the studio or anything like that.”
Guitarist and longtime friend David Ponder said he had met Hill on a golf course in high school and has been friends ever since.
“I believe our first conversation was about music,” Ponder said. “We were commenting about something that was on the radio, I forgot what the exact song was, but ever since then we’ve been talking about music.”
Ponder said he always goes to Hill for advice about his music and has always been interested in what Hill has to say.
“I would sing him tunes that I had written for ‘Somebody’s Darling,’” Ponder said. “I would show him recordings of stuff before it was released or before it was completed.”
Since Hill’s involvement with the band has increased, it has recorded its third studio album, played in the Dallas area regularly and booked more than 100 dates this year, including a recent trip to CMJ Music Marathon in New York City.
Like Hill, other members of the band have day jobs as well. Ponder and keyboardist Mike Tally both give music lessons, drummer Nate Wedan and bassist Wade Cofer play in other bands and lead singer Amber Farris is a carpenter.
“Amber was doing an interview the other day, and she told someone she’d often hear their song on the radio on the way to work,” Hill said.
Hill also manages several bands based in Houston, although he doesn’t receive any income outside of his lawyer career.
Even though the pay isn’t great, members of the band continue to do what they love most about music, which is playing in front of an audience.
“I think for everyone in the band, performing for people is like a drug,” Ponder said. “You only get it when you perform for people.”
Having graduated from A&M, Hill decided to bring Somebody’s Darlings energetic shows to his former alma mater.
“I think Aggies will dig it. It’s got a lot of different stuff in there. It’s bluesy, it’s got country elements, it’s just good ol’ rock and roll,” Hill said.
Somebody’s Darling has played in College Station before, as Ponder said they’ve always had a good time here.”
Lead singer Amber Farris said playing for a college group is different because there’s an age difference.
“I feel like they’re a little more into the music, a little more passionate about it,” Farris said.
Somebody’s Darling will open for Quiet Company Friday night at the Grand Stafford in Downtown Bryan.

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