Up Until Now
Fom an early age, singer/songwriter Justin Roth stood out as a musician. A very determined and independent child, in the third grade he declined an invitation to sing with the St. Croix Valley Boys Choir because he did not want to miss his Saturday morning cartoons. Since then he has put that dedication to cartoons behind him and applied it to music. We can all be glad for that. Blending intricate guitar work, smooth vocal melodies and a groove, Justin offers up a rousing potpourri of new acoustic folk. Knowing that he stands on shoulders of those who came before him, he's been compared to the likes of Michael Hedges, David Wilcox, Martin Sexton and Willy Porter. A fan once said after that when Justin plays guitar, 'it's more than just an instrument but an extension of himself.' Seeing him perform, you see what they meant. Take an eye off him for a second, and you would swear that there were more instruments on stage. As a self-taught fingerstyle guitarist, Justin's inventive technique leaves people asking themselves 'how did he do that?' as he expresses a new voice of the guitar. This voice is what creates his unique and engaging sound. His songwriting style is an artful mix ranging from insightful metaphors, to clever stories with unpredictable humor, to the familiar imagery of the world around us. Seeing Justin perform live, you better be prepared to write your own song too. He is well known for involving his audiences by having them write their own song during his set. After having the audience pick subjects to write the song about, a piece of paper is passed around the room for each person to write a line to the song. When the lyrics are completed, the audience votes between two guitar parts made up on the spot and then the lyrics and music are improvised into a full song at the end of the show! As his audience has grown, Justin has opened for many artists including: Shawn Colvin, John Gorka, David Wilcox, Martin Sexton, LJ Booth and Cheryl Wheeler.