Filed Under:

We Are Augustines: Old Wounds Inspire Recovery Songs

Play associated audio

Billy McCarthy lost his mother to suicide when he was a teenager. He cared for his schizophrenic brother as best he could after that, but his brother landed in solitary confinement in prison, where he eventually took his own life, too. Somehow, McCarthy found a way to rise above his anguish — as a songwriter. He began playing music while living in foster care in California.

"I think I was always a sensitive kid. There was a sense that it wasn't my fault, and I think I knew that," McCarthy says. "When I got to one of the foster homes, there was a piano. I remember it clear as day ... hitting notes and letting them ring out. And it just brought something out in me. At such a young age, [it was] such a complex feeling, and I don't think I ever stopped chasing it."

NPR's Laura Sullivan talks to McCarthy about his band, We Are Augustines, and its debut album, Rise Ye Sunken Ships.

Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit


NPR News Nuggets: Yoga Pantspalooza, Bob Dylan's Cold Shoulder, & Go, Cubs, Go!

Here's a quick roundup of some of the mini-moments you may have missed on this week's Morning Edition.

Discovering The Science Secrets Of Sourdough (You Can Help)

Many bakers treat their sourdough starters like a family heirloom. Some starters date back decades, even centuries. Now researchers want to analyze your starters to unlock their flavor secrets.
WAMU 88.5

The Politics Hour - October 28, 2016

Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton joins us as the new series "Good Girls Revolt" based on her early civil rights work debuts.


A Moment Of Silence For The Black And Brown Talent That Grew On Vine

We'll miss Vine, but not just for its goofy, raw, six-second looped videos. We'll miss the platform for its ability to incubate young black talent.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.