Short Biography (150 words)
Justin Farren, Sacramento native, Winner of Kerrville New Folk in 2016. Along with Justin's songwriting, guitar playing, and performance pursuits, he is also a recording engineer, house builder, 82 Toyota truck whisperer, and family man. Justin approaches songwriting with intense focus. The end result is a multidimensional creation that is enchanting, and also seems effortless. Justin's songs, although uniquely him, are also highly relatable. You may find
yourself thinking, Justin can make a song out of any topic. Justin Farren fan's have been known to say, "There's your next song right there, Justin!", in reference to almost anything. Rich Warren of Folk Stage Chicago said about Justin "He is an incredibly original artist with a lot of verve and energy, and a terrific guitarist. He will absolutely charm you with the strange humor and cleverness of his lyrics."
Justin Farren was raised on the outskirts of Sacramento. Riding bikes up dirt hills with his brother and the neighbor kids. He was always a person of intense focus, I call it his master focus. The story goes that he learned to read at three, and ride a motorized dirt bike at four. But legends are common in his family, from grand larcenist to circus perfomer ancestors and a solo pilot Grandma.
Justin was the lead shot putter at his school, and had a perfect basketball shot. He loved sports, football, soccer, basketball, and hoped to play professionally one day. Then, there was a bend in the road when his brother decided they should start a band. Justin got a bass and his brother a guitar. They bought a book of basic chords, and Justin switched lanes. His master focus shifted from sports to songs and, since then, songs have been what mattered most. He learned albums by ear from start to finish, it was the real beginning of 'doing it yourself' for what became a do it yourself man.
At 15, he bought Yellow, the truck of his life. He rebuilt the engine, twice. (The first time it burst into flames.) This is just one example of how he became an independent, stable person well before his peers. In truth, Justin seems to be aging in reverse, younger and younger as the years pass. He is way more likely to toilet paper a house now than he ever was as a kid.
Justin wanted to record albums, so he became a recording engineer. Justin wanted his own house, so he built it from the ground up. Justin wanted to work for himself, so he took his house building knowledge and became a handyman extraordinaire. Really, he's like what many of us may think of our grandparents: Intense, hardworking, autonomous, highly skilled in their pursuits.
Which leads us back to songwriting. I feel like I would implode if I tried to write a Justin Farren song. He looks at a song in such a multidimensional way, but the end result is enchanting, and feels effortless. Justin plays a cheap guitar, But is often asked about its tone. I think the sound they hear is in his playing. I can only barely explain what he's doing, a combination of unboxed fluidity, and muted space when it serves.
Justin lives a humble life in small house in the most working class part of town. He even still drives old Yellow. He lives abundantly, he eats real food, and plays music with his favorite people. He would say he's the lucky one, but I think we are the lucky ones to have him around. Maybe I'm biased, I married him. ~Kerry Farren
Justin Has played with:
David Wilcox, Pierce Pettis, Brett Dennen, Matt Costa, Amber Rubarth, Jackie Greene
Falcon Ridge Folk Festival Emerging Artist, 2018
Winner Kerrville Songwriting Competition, 2016
Winner Wildflower arts and Music Festival "People's Choice" award, 2016
Planet BlueGrass Rocky Mountain Folks Fest 2nd place, 2013
Justin Has Taught Songwriting at:
Wilcox Weekend 2017
Sisters Folk Fest Americana Song School 2017
Lamb's Retreat Harbor Springs, Michigan 2017