Briscoe Brings Folk and Friendship to Texas and Beyond
How two University of Texas students are selling out shows and building a fan-base with their Americana-inspired tunes
By Lainey Gonzales
With sold out shows across town, their very first festival sets and a debut album in the works, things are just getting started for the college students turned folk-stars, Briscoe.
Composed of Philip Lupton and Truett Heintzelman, the Americana duo have already etched themselves a solid spot in Austin’s storied music scene, along with nearby cities like College Station and Houston.
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Their quick trajectory is largely due to the reception of their debut EP, “Briscoe EP.” The record is filled with lively stomp and holler anthems and timeless folk storytelling, alluring audiences across Texas and beyond.
Though the pair didn’t start writing music together until 2018, their friendship goes back to their grade school days when they attended the same summer camp.
Both graced with red hair and freckles, Truett recalls having a Parent Trap-esque encounter when he first met Philip.
“I walked out onto the back porch where everybody was hanging out of our cabin and the first thing I saw was a dude wearing the same shoes that I was,” explains Truett. “Then I looked up and was like ‘Oh my gosh this guy looks exactly like me!’”
From there, the boys learned that they shared far more than similar facial features.
“Phil brought his three quarter Yamaha travel guitar and we figured out pretty quickly that we both played and sang a little,” says Truett.
By the end of the summer, the two had perfected covers of their mutual favorite artists and secured a slot in the closing night talent show. They aptly performed John Prine’s “Paradise.”
Their days at camp came and went, but their connection never wavered. They continued to stay in touch and eventually found themselves together again at UT Austin in the fall of 2020.
The pandemic threw their musical ambitions some not-so-slight curveballs, but the pair persisted by organizing some successful house shows.
“We were lucky to have friends with backyards and college kids who were excited,” explains Philip. “We’d like to think people showed up for us too, but nobody had seen live music in over a year, which is crazy to think about.”
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They’ve since come a long way from playing in their buddies’ yards. Fresh off sharing a stage with Tame Impala at Innings Festival and a slew of standout sets at SXSW, the band is gearing up for even more shows (once their coursework is done, of course).
Many breakout artists forgo higher education, but both Philip and Truett are determined to complete their degrees.
“It can be a big turn off for somebody on the business side,” says Truett. “They can say ‘Well if you’re going to finish school, I’m going to pick somebody who’s really committed,’ but I think they understand that we are really committed.”
“I think people can see that we are devoted dudes because we want to graduate,” explains Philip. “They can see we are showing some level of conviction.”
“And our parents would appreciate it a lot,” adds Truett.
This conviction translates to their devotion to folk music, even if it’s not the most popular genre.
“Some of our favorite artists of all time are considered folk. That’s the type of music that we love and it’s fun to play,” explains Truett. “I get that folk music is older and not as cool and that might turn some people off, but it differentiates us quite a bit.”
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“It makes me way more excited to realize that people aren’t going to listen to us because they like dancing to our music,” adds Phil. “People are going to listen to us because hopefully they like what we’re saying, which makes me so much more excited to be an artist.”
Though it is early on in Briscoe’s journey, it’s safe to say that fans are already listening and eager for more.