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Backtrack Band

THE GUYS in local breakout band Augustana had dreams of signing with a major recording label. They just didn’t expect to ink the deal with Epic Records so soon. The early-twentysomething band members were living in Del Mar and cultivating local fans with gigs at college parties and clubs like Epicentre and Soma. They’d also worked their way up to a standing slot at House of Blues. Still, their 2005 Epic debut album, All the Stars and Boulevards, didn’t receive the attention they’d hoped for.

“We had to work our way backward and build a fan base,” says Jared Palomar. For the past two years, they’ve done just that, opening for hugely successful groups Snow Patrol, Counting Crows, The Fray, Goo Goo Dolls and Switchfoot (another local breakthrough band). Appearances on the late-night TV circuit and The Ellen Degeneres Show further fueled album sales, and their smash hit “Boston” climbed to the number-two spot on the VH1 Top 20 Countdown.


After an East Coast tour this summer with O.A.R, Augustana will start recording their highly anticipated follow-up record, Can’t Love, Can’t Hurt. Amid all that, they’ll squeeze in visits home for burritos (those at Mexico Viejo’s are a band favorite) and beach trips. And maybe an impromptu concert? “I want to do an acoustic show at the Belly Up,” says Palomar.

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