Justin Angelo Singer/Songwriter
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Justin Angelo Singer/Songwriter

Marietta, Pennsylvania, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2015 | SELF

Marietta, Pennsylvania, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2015
Band Folk Blues




"Father's influence drives local musician Justin Angelo"

Justin Angelo grew up in the Lancaster music scene.

He was his dad’s personal roadie, helping to haul drum equipment to local venues for open mic nights and gigs. His father, Randy Angelo, was a songwriter, drummer and percussionist.

Angelo’s father fostered his son’s interest in music, from giving him his first guitar, a yellow Telecaster, to signing him up for guitar lessons.

Angelo’s father frequently played drums for local musician Stu Huggens — a connection that led to Angelo’s first live performance at an open mic, when his dad was playing with Huggens.

“Randy told me that (Justin) was starting to play, and he said, ‘He’s getting pretty good,’ ’’ says Huggens. “I said, ‘Well, bring him out!’ ’’

Huggens let Justin Angelo use his guitar so he could show off his new skills.

After his father died on Dec. 23, 2012, Angelo could have given up their shared hobby and sworn off music forever.

He did anything but that.

Angelo, 22, is preparing for the release of his EP, “Down to Earth.” He hosts a monthly open mic night at Shank’s Tavern, and he’ll also play Strasburg’s Raise the Rafters benefit concert on Saturday. Proceeds from the concert will help build a stage in the amphitheater at Strasburg Community Park.

When he’s not working on his own recordings, Angelo works in sound engineering at his uncle’s establishment, WACO Studios in Marietta, where the singer-songwriter now lives. He took what he describes as “a semester’s worth of classes” in one week through ProMedia Training in New York City.

“It’s not that I don’t trust other people to do it, because there are definitely people who are far more skilled at it than I am,” Angelo says. “But for as much as I write, it just made more sense for me to go to school to do it myself because it was much more cost-effective.”

“Down to Earth” is finished, and Angelo will announce a release date for it soon. The band he used to play with, The Experience, separated amicably due to other projects and attending college. Angelo, however, didn’t want to settle for an acoustic album.

“Everyone would have expected for me at the time to put out just an acoustic record,” Angelo says. “That’s what everyone would have expected. And that’s not really me. That’s what I play out, that’s what I like to do, but my preference was definitely full band.”

Angelo enlisted the help of a few friends and used a drum machine to give “Down to Earth” a fuller sound.

“He’s a talented kid,” says Huggens.

Angelo’s main influences are John Mayer, Dave Matthews Band and Jason Mraz, which are reflected in his laid-back music. Angelo’s demeanor is reminiscent of singer-songwriter Jack Johnson, as he speaks calmly and thoughtfully about the importance of staying humble, knowing yourself and mindfulness — especially in terms of his music.

When he writes, Angelo says, he tries to achieve “a meditative state.”

“I find that my writing process is pretty much a surrender,” Angelo says. “I usually write the melody first and decide how it makes me feel. I try to hone in on that feeling without labeling it, which isn’t easy for someone that doesn’t meditate all the time.”

Angelo says losing his father has made him persevere in his musical endeavors.

“It drives me,” Angelo says. “I know the kind of person he was, and a lot of people tell me that I emulate that.”

Huggens says he sees qualities of his friend in the younger Angelo.

“I think Justin’s the same type of person,” Huggens says. “If you’re a friend, he’s willing to put a hand out there for you.” - Janelle Janci staff writer of Lancaster Newspaper


Down To Earth- 2015 (9 Song Album)
From The Bedroom Sessions EP (3 Song EP)