NAHS graduate plays role in ‘Boyhood’

  • Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Submitted Photo Shown is the band The Austin Steamers. Pictured, from left, are Sean Tracey, North Augusta native Daniel Zeh, Richard Linklater, Joe Sundell and Ben Hodges.

Those who go out and see the film “Boyhood” may notice a familiar face.

Daniel Zeh, a North Augusta High School graduate, is a part of the band The Austin Steamers, where he plays upright bass and sings. His band was asked by Richard Linklater, the director of the film, to be part of a scene. In the scene, the star of the film, Mason (Ellar Coltrane) and his sister scout out where to go to college.

“They came to a local bar here, called the Continental Club,” Zeh said. “That’s where we did the scene. It’s pretty short, really. About 25 seconds in total, but we are the only Austin band featured in the film, which is kind of shocking given the shear volume of bands in this town. In the movie, we perform one of our original tunes that is song No. 1 on our debut album, which came out in 2012.

“It’s called ‘Old Black Crow,’ written by our guitarist, Sean Tracey. ... Kind of fitting for a movie where the audience watches children and parents alike age before your eyes.”

The Austin Steamers started in 2012, and in Zeh’s words, were a “hodgepodge of musicians from all over the country that found each other in the musician melting pot of Austin, Texas.”

“We all share a love of acoustic folk music and bluegrass, and found a natural chemistry between the four of us,” he said. “None of us individually are masters of our instruments, but when put together, the sum is truly greater than its parts. We recorded our first album in my recording studio in my backyard, affectionately known as the Kinky Lizard. Billy Lee Meyers Jr. was our recording engineer, and he worked for 20 years as the head sound engineer for the popular television program on PBS called ‘Austin City Limits.’”

Zeh said two of the band members, Joe Sundell (banjo, vocals) and Tracey (guitar, harp and vocals) are full-time musicians, who have other various solo and group projects on the side. He joked that he and Ben Hodges (mandolin, vocals) can’t quit their day jobs quite yet, though.

The Austin Steamer’s album is available on iTunes and can be streamed on Spotify. For more information on the band, visit www.theaustinsteamers.com.

“Boyhood” is showing theaters around the country, including the Regal Augusta Exchange Stadium 20 in Augusta.

Scott Rodgers is the news editor at The North Augusta Star.

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