Another bluegrass proposal – Katie Springer and Austin Koerner

Two North Carolina musicians, Katie Springer, fiddler with Sweet Potato Pie and Drive Time, and Austin Koerner, mandolinist with Drive Time, have been making beautiful music together in a band, now they are going to do it in life. The young couple has announced their engagement.

Springer of Troy, NC, shared, “We knew of each other in our late teens, but didn’t officially meet until IBMA of 2010 or 2012. We can’t remember which one. We were around each other briefly at different jams and festivals throughout the years. I always thought Austin was way cooler than I was, and was surprised when he would know my name. When I joined Drive Time, I was real excited to get to  pick with Austin and just hang out with him.”

“I just assumed Austin only thought of me as his goofy band mate until this past October. We had just played the Doyle Lawson Festival in Denton the week before, and he called to talk about the festival and band stuff. He then called back a second time and asked if I had ever thought about the two of us together. It really surprised me because I had no idea he thought of me like that.”

“We went on our first date two weeks later when he drove down to South Carolina to go camping with my family at the beach. The whole crowd was there and he didn’t leave within the first 5 minutes, so I figured that was a good sign.”

I knew that he was the man for me when, about a month later, we realized we had the very same fishy shaped, Rubbermaid lunchbox back in 1996. I’m jealous that Austin still has his.”

It didn’t take long for their relationship to turn serious.

“We have been talking about getting married for a while now, but I thought Austin wanted to wait a little longer before getting engaged, so I was very surprised when he did propose. We had gotten back to my house after camping with Tyler Jackson (Drive Time’s banjoist), Tori Jones (Sweet Potato Pie’s fiddler), and Tyler’s family. We had put on a record and were dancing in the living room when he got down on one knee. It didn’t register in my mind what was happening until he pulled the ring out of his back pocket. I quickly said yes.”

Koerner of Bunnlevel, NC, interjected, “Well I had a crush on her for a long time, ten years or so. I always thought she was real pretty and loved her fiddle playing. I got real excited when she joined Drive Time. I enjoyed our professional friendship, but it was always in my mind that I liked Katie more than a friend and colleague.”

“When I found out she felt the same way about me, my mind was reeling. That night I could barely sleep. Fast forward to when I proposed… I was real nervous, but she quickly said yes! I may or may not have gotten emotional. I’m so thankful for her, and I’m very proud of her. I love her and I can’t wait for her to be my wife.”

Currently, the young pickers haven’t set a date for their nuptials, but plan on playing lots more beautiful music together as husband and wife.

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About the Author

Sandy Hatley

Sandy Chrisco Hatley is a free lance writer for several NC newspapers and Bluegrass Unlimited magazine. As a teenager, she picked banjo with an all girl band called the Happy Hollow String Band. Today, she plays dobro with her husband's band, the Hatley Family.