Larry Austin spent the first part of his young life in San Antonio, Texas. He received his first guitar at the age of 6 for Christmas, and from then on, he could be found wearing his straw cowboy hat holding that guitar wherever he went. Growing up, Larry played and sang in numerous bands at pool and birthday parties. During his high school years, his band was selected to perform in many high school dances. While attending college pursuing a degree in Criminal Justice, he was drafted and entered the military. After returning stateside in 1977, he co-founded a high-energy band named “Soul Survivor,” consisting of a ten piece “disco” band with a five horn section. They were featured in local magazines and on local television stations. Years later, he then met up with songwriter and vocalist Dale Cox and toured for two years together throughout Europe singing at numerous military bases for the Department Of Defense. Together they won local and regional talent contests that qualified them to audition for the world acclaimed entertainment group from the U.S. Air Force known as the “Tops in Blue.” However, due to upscale Middle East mission requirements, both were unable to be released for the required year. In 1984, Larry formed another band named “Hyrd Hands,” a 5-piece group who performed on a number of television shows, rodeos, and festivals. They were selected to open for Lee Greenwood during his “God Bless the USA” tour on July 4th with a reported crowd of over 56,000 fans! The next year, they were asked to open for Ricky Skaggs in front of a reported 40,000 fans. After retiring from the U.S. Air Force, Larry became a member of the Sheriff Department in Mississippi but still continued to sing at various venues, such as the Copa Casino, the Grand Hotel and Casino, and the Seaway Best Western Hotel. In 2002, Larry moved to the Dallas/Fort Worth area, where he set up his roofing business. In November 2006, Larry performed at the Annual Terry Awards in Fort Worth, Texas, where he was presented the State of Tennessee “Governor’s Award” for his contribution to country music throughout the years. In 2018 Rawstin had the honor of performing at the prestigious Terry Awards in Branson, Mo. Larry resides in Watauga, Texas with his sweetheart, Marcy.
Butch Rawlins, originally from Atlanta, Georgia, began performing at the age of 10 at a gospel revival tent meeting in front of a thousand people. It was then that he discovered how much he loved being on stage! Butch was raised in a loving Christian environment, and both his parents have had an enormous influence on him. As a child, he would often mimic different artists that he heard on the radio. He then went on to attend the Alliance Theatre of Arts to study acting as well as vocal performance. He traveled with the community theater performing musicals before finally arriving in Texas in 1982. Butch then began performing at many of the local oprys, including Grapevine, Mesquite, Wiley, and Johnny High’s. He has been nominated and honored by many music associations, such as “Male Vocalist,” “Entertainer of the Year,” and “People’s Choice Award.” He has also appeared on the CBS television show Positively Texas and was interviewed and given the opportunity to sing two cuts from his first album, Old Photographs. Butch has also co-hosted Fort Worth Music Scene with Terry Beene, founder of the Terry Awards. He received the opportunity to sing at the StarPlex in Dallas, Texas, being one of several artists opening for Joe Diffie and Chris LeDoux. In 2018 Rawstin had the honor of performing at the prestigious Terry Awards in Branson, Mo. Though he doesn’t try to impersonate any particular artist, he can change his voice appropriately, from whining like Hank Williams to crooning like Dean Martin and to smooth and velvety like Elvis Presley. Butch also appreciates the traditional country music style of Merle Haggard, who is his all-time favorite country music singer. Now, after releasing four albums, his singing style and his onstage professionalism continue to earn him a growing list of fans who keep turning up at every one of his shows. The people that stand by him are the most caring, good-hearted, and loving bunch of folks around. Butch is a shining example of someone who is graced with a huge talent and an understanding of how to use it to entertain. He sings with soul and feeling, and the audience loves it! Butch resides in Keller, Texas with his wife, Sue.
In 2004, a seemingly small miracle occurred. Butch and Larry met, and Rawstin was born: RAWlins and AusTIN. You need only three things to fall in love with these two…”two ears and one heart.” There is chemistry, electricity, charisma…it doesn’t matter what you call it because you can feel it when the two hit the stage together. Utilizing their unique singing styles and sharing their spontaneous humor on stage has been pleasing large crowds of country music fans. Their first release together, Back 2 Back Texas Country, is full of their unique brand of music. A mixture of traditional, cowboy, outlaw, and swing country music, their songs will touch many hearts. Texas will never be able to hold these two for long. Soon they will be known the world over and performing for fans everywhere. They are on a big mission: shooting for the moon. The worst that can happen is that they will land somewhere out there among the stars!
Born in Southern West Virginia, Mitch has always had a love for music, and it’s harmony. Born into a family where music was loved (his dad was a bass singer and sang on a local country radio station on Sundays), Mitch can never remember a time in his life where music was not around. His first exposure of significance was at age 4, when a local newspaper reporter saw him on a table in the restaurant of the local bowling alley with a plastic toy guitar singing along with Elvis on the juke box. The reporter took a picture of him, and it was in the paper soon thereafter, setting this young man on a course of loving to perform regardless the size of the audience.
His love of music and performing have a very different meaning to him than to other performers. You see, Mitch was born with several birth defects which impacted his ability to speak, and thus to sing. Doctors had told his parents that more than likely no one other than his immediate family would be able to understand anything he was saying. But they didn’t know his mom. She worked countless hours teaching him to shape sound and form words, determined that his defects would never prevent him from communicating with others. She taught him to talk as clear as possible for him, and frankly he hasn’t shut up since.
Growing up in a rural area in the South, his first exposure to music is that of so many others, gospel and bluegrass. He grew up listening to the wonderful four part harmony of the quartets that sang gospel and toured the Virginia’s. In the seventies, Mitch sang in some rock groups, and took up playing drums in high school. Singing rock in backup roles was fun, but honestly he was always drawn to harmony. Over the years he sang with several gospel quartets and groups in the Virginia’s and Carolina’s. He has performed in churches in front of 25 people, and at the West Virginia State Fair in front of ten thousand. But he loves most to tell of the highlight of his musical opportunities when he sang on the stage of the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville. Okay, so truth is he and his wife took a tour of the place and when the tour group got on the main stage, they all sang happy birthday to some lady….so he can say in truth he has sang on the stage of the Grand Ole Opry.
Possessing a strong voice and wide range he brings a versatility in the type of songs he can perform, but he has a love for country music, and can be caught in the car listening to the harmonies of Alabama, Oak Ridge Boys, and his favorite performers of all time The Statler Brothers. Butch and Larry met Mitch Blankenship in 2014 and at some point the two of them decided to talk him into drumming again, it took them two years but in 2017 Mitch joined Rawstin singing harmony and playing drums, and on occasion finding that natural growl his voice can offer and doing lead on a Conway Twitty tune. He is lovingly called Papa Blank.
He married his high school sweetheart Sue in 1977 and they have a family of 3 kids, and 7 grandkids and have lived in DFW since ’93.