George St Clair is a unique songwriter – true to his West Texas roots, yet critically sensitive to other sides of the story. Living for the past several years in the UK has given him a renewed perspective on the land where he grew up, and these reflections shape his new 2018 album Ballads of Captivity and Freedom.
Growing up on the high plains of Texas bound him to the places, people, and sounds of the vast American West. But those epic landscapes were also where vicious battles were fought over the possession of land, and where the native ways of life were decimated. George’s bilingual mother made sure to regularly take her children deep into Mexico, where they learned Spanish, acquiring a broad view of what it means to be American.
George St. Clair cut his musical teeth in Austin, playing Country, Flamenco, and Salsa, and co-founding the band Soniquete, a stalwart of Austin’s Alternative Latin music wave. Though immersed for years in Latin American music, the country ballad was always in his blood. These influences come together to form his truly original sound – poetic storytelling infused with soaring melody and pulsing rhythm.
Alongside music, for over 20 years George has pursued a career as a professional archeologist and anthropologist, living for extended periods of time in remote places in the American Southwest, Mexico, Peru, and Brazil. His travels re-crossing the US-Mexico the border ignited his historical imagination and sharpened his awareness of life in the region. In an unexpected turn, George was offered a chance to pursue a PhD in Anthropology at the London School of Economics, followed by years of lecturing and research at the school.
His reading, writing, and reflection kept fuelling a vision that would emerge in his songwriting - a nuanced, poetic voice full of wit and rigor, ever-grounded in his connection to home. Now fully committed to music, George is a formidable, mature songwriter with his own sound and point of view. His songs penetrate beyond the standard view to take the listener to places and times where untold possibilities once existed, and still do.