The Austin Songwriter Team


At Austin Songwriter, we believe in the power of the song and the songwriter. We like music that challenges the mind and grabs the soul, that strikes common chords and makes us remember. Our goal is to introduce you to the many varied and talented songwriters living, working and writing in and around Austin, as well as artists from other locales. We believe that their music will enrich your life, and hope that you will spread the word about the writers and the songs you love.

Michael Allison, Co-Founder


Michael was a student in Austin in the seventies, when the live music scene there began to explode, and has since followed Austin music in its many forms and genres. He particularly loves the artist who both writes and plays, as nothing moves the heart like a beautiful song performed by its maker.

Steve Hamilton, Co-Founder


Steve was born in Texas, graduated from the University of Texas in 1986 and has been trying to get back to his roots ever since. He founded a financial services company in 1994 and currently splits time doing that and managing Austin Songwriter. Steve brings a unique set of marketing and financial skills to the team, and spends the rest of his time enjoying the sights and sounds of Austin.

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Shavone Otero


Shavone Otero is a music fiend in search of the audible fix, and what better place for this music junkie to relish in delight and discovery than the “Live Music Capital of the World”. As a former arts columnist in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Shavone buzzes on hearing and sharing people’s stories and learning what drives an artist’s passion to express.

Kevin Hopper, Creative Team


Kevin has twenty-five years of experience in journalism, advertising, branding and website development. His first love is music, or is it design? He can’t remember. Kevin has interviewed hundreds of artists over the years, seen even more live performances and listened to as many records as possible to gain a keen insight about music through the eyes of a designer.

Francine Maher, Creative Team


Francine owned and operated her own culture magazine for ten years. Prior to that, she ran the design desk at award-winning daily the Albuquerque Journal. She has a knack for crafting and carrying out creative projects big and small. From large-scale festivals to the management of bars, newspapers and people, Francine dots the ‘i’ and crosses the ‘t’ every time.

Board of Advisors

Folks with similar minds, hearts and love for Austin music…as well as true connections to the Austin music scene.

Walt Wilkins

Walt Wilkins

Born a Texas songwriter, Walt Wilkins plied his trade in Nashville for a while before moving to Austin. He has since grown into a pillar of the Austin scene, with a deep catalog of compelling music and a daily impact on the direction of that scene, both as an important musician and a fine human being. Catch him solo or with his band, the incredible Mystiqueros. Walt’s lovely wife, Tina Mitchell Wilkins, is an excellent writer and performer in her own right, and the two of them on-stage together is a simply beautiful experience. Be sure to check out his profile.

Jeff Plankenhorn


Jeff Plankenhorn is a renowned songwriter, singer, multi-instrumentalist and most recently, producer, as well as an esteemed citizen of Austin. Plank is active in advocating for his fellow artists, in supporting wonderful charitable institutions like the Austin Food Bank, and helping Austin Songwriter remain true to its primary mission of helping singer-songwriters. His musical repertoire is both broad and deep, moving effortlessly through country, blues, bluegrass, gospel, rock, soul and folk. Be sure to check out his profile.

Grant Gist

Grant Gist 2

Grant Gist is a long time entrepreneur and real estate developer, having handled successful projects in Texas, New Mexico and Arizona. He now resides in downtown Austin, and has become a connoisseur of the live music scene and the Texas Hill Country. Grant brings another finely tuned ear to Austin Songwriter, and beats the streets in search of important new artists.