“Superb guitar player, singer, songwriter well worth seeking out…exquisite, emotional and powerful!” - Maverick Magazine (UK)

Justin Roth picked up the electric guitar in ninth grade with a dream of playing in a rock band. Two years later, he had his proverbial ‘Beatles on the Ed Sullivan Show’ moment: having gone to a Crosby, Stills, and Nash concert, when he saw innovative guitarist Michael Hedges open. “It was Hedges’ music that truly spoke to me,” Justin says. “I was enthralled by his expressive playing and inventive compositions. He redefined my entire view of how the instrument could be played and I was immediately hooked. Seeing that the guitar was capable of so much more than I had ever experienced before, from that moment on, I knew it would be the root of my musical world.” 

Justin began experimenting with alternate tunings and exploring the two-handed tapping technique he learned from watching Hedges and acclaimed fingerstyle guitarist/composer Billy McLaughlin. From there, Justin added more layers to his playing using partial capos to create an even wider range of textures and voicings to his compositions and live performances. Justin began honing his craft as a writer, marrying his accomplished guitar playing with his already strong vocals.

Justin has continued to woo, wow, and win audiences across the country, performing at such renowned venues as the Old Town School of Folk Music in Chicago, the Ark in Ann Arbor, and Saint Paul’s historic Fitzgerald Theater, home to Garrison Keillor’s A Prairie Home Companion. He has toured with Red House recording artist John Gorka and has shared the stage with some of the biggest acts in the acoustic music scene, including Shawn Colvin, Martin Sexton, Lucy Kaplansky, David Wilcox, Darrell Scott, Susan Werner, Willy Porter, Ellis Paul and Richard Shindell. Equally, his guitar playing has earned him shared stages with some of the greatest fingerstyle players of today, such as Andy McKee, California Guitar Trio and Pat Donohue.

A dynamic live entertainer, Roth is known for his stage presence and spontaneous delivery — often composing songs during his shows with the help of his audience. Gaining recognition as a songwriter as well as performer, Justin has won numerous songwriting awards. He has twice been a New Folk Finalist at the Kerrville Folk Festival (TX) and has won the Indie Acoustic Project’s award for Best Song of 2005 for his song ‘Shine.’ Roth’s fan-funded fourth solo album, Now You Know, which he recorded, produced, played and sang every single note himself in his home studio, was recently voted as one of the Top 100 Folk Albums of 2011 by Roots Music Report. Festival appearances include: Rocky Mountain Folks Fest (CO), Kerrville Folk Fest (TX), Sisters Folk Fest (OR), Storyhill Fest (MN)