Mark C. Austin, Houston Music's Biggest Fan, Looks at 40

HOUSTON PRESS | Jesse Sendajas Jr.

Austin and Tontons vocalist Asli Omar | Photo by Roger Ho/Courtesy of Mark C. Austin

The week of his 40th birthday, and just days away from tonight’s Heights Theater celebration in his honor, the Houston Press asked Mark C. Austin to answer some questions for us, please. As owner of The Convoy Group and manager of some of the city’s most notable music acts, we’re fully aware of how busy he always is. We can email questions, if he’d like, we told him.

“Can we not do this over tacos?” he asked.

So, we met Austin and begin to learn more about one of Houston’s most notable figures, in the music industry or otherwise. He invited us to West Alabama Ice House. It was the first day of spring in Houston, the skies were clear with an inviting breeze and we had some cold beers. Houston beers, of course, Saint Arnold Lawnmower on his side of the picnic bench and 8th Wonder Dome Faux’m on ours. The first thing we learned is he considers Tacos Tierra Caliente the city’s best. It’s right across the street, and the place he sends anyone looking for a good street taco in Houston. His go-to is the taco truck’s beef fajita taco. Going to Mexico City for the most authentic of street vendor tacos is on his soon-to-do list.

Austin admits he wasn’t always so hip on the chosen cuisine of the evening. 

Probably no one was more developmental to Austin than his mother, Alice, whose zeal for people and giving nature were obviously passed down to her son. Ask plenty of local musicians and they’ll tell you how Austin has shared advice and good fortune with them. He says those traits were instilled by his mother, who passed away prematurely at the age of 52 while waiting on an organ donation. Because of that, he’s donating proceeds from tonight’s event to Donate Life Texas, the official organ and tissue donor registry of the State of Texas.

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