Michael Austin is living the good life.
Not only is “Good Life” the title of his new single and album, but it also sums up life since the country singer appeared on Season 4 of NBC’s hit show “The Voice” and overcame a health scare that had forced him to take a break from singing.
“I recovered and everything is great. I’m 100 percent. Now we’re just kicking it and having a good time,” said Austin, who will perform at the Hampton Beach Casino Ballroom tonight with Ted Nugent on “The Music Made Me Do it Again” tour.
Austin’s stop in Hampton will be the first visit to New Hampshire for the 49-year-old who got his big break in 2013 when he was a member of “Team Adam” on “The Voice.”
“I was asking Ted what his favorites on the tour were going to be, and everybody on his crew just speaks so highly of that venue that it seems like we’re going to have a blast. The food there is amazing. The interaction there is amazing. We’re super excited about that,” said Austin, who has had chart success with his debt CD “Neon Halo.”
An Air Force veteran and former deputy sheriff in California, Austin landed a spot on “The Voice.” He was playing in Las Vegas when he decided to sign up online for open auditions in Los Angeles. He arrived to find 19,000 people.
“Out of the 19,000, I think they took seven of us from the L.A. auditions,” he recalled.
After a lengthy audition process, he finally made it on the show.
The road hasn’t been easy for Austin, whose career faced some uncertainty when a mass was discovered in his sinus cavity while shooting “The Voice.” He was diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma and underwent multiple surgeries, but has since been given a clean bill of health.
Austin grew up in Missouri and describes himself as a “real-life hillbilly.” He recalled being 7 years old at a bar and grill in Warsaw, Mo., when a guitar player offered to pay him $10 if he sang a song, and the crowd liked it. Austin sang “Coward of the County” by Kenny Rogers and “It’s Hard to Be Humble” by Mac Davis.
“It was addictive. I loved to sing when I was a little kid anyway, but after I got paid for it I was like, ‘Wow, this is a lot of fun,” he said.
Singing was always a passion for Austin, whose first job was selling gas and minnows on a fishing dock in a marina and singing with a band on the weekends.
“I never knew that it would lead to what it’s led to, but it’s been a lot of fun,” he said.
When he’s not singing and writing music, Austin can usually be found riding his Harley, fishing, hunting or cooking.
“I’m not operating as an officer anymore, but my need to want to help is still there. I’ll talk to anybody about anything. I want people to know that I’m just like them. God just gave me a little gift, and I’m just happy to share it with everybody,” he said.
Austin’s advice for anyone hoping to break into the business is to perfect your craft and be yourself.
“If you’re not true to your sound then you can’t represent your talent 100 percent. You have to be who you are,” he said.