Justin Carlson

Justin Carlson

BandPopFolk

A refreshing and thoughtful blend of pop, folk, jazz, and country. Strong craft of intentionality and integrity. A solo performance of life and energy.

Biography

Justin, a 26-year-old native of Nashville and resident of Memphis, Tennessee, has always been a man of timing, never wanting eagerness to precede wisdom or carelessness to blind intention, and when you hear his music, you will understand his aim and the eagerness he has cultivated over the years. He has been a writer for years but has recently discovered a renewed richness in the process—a richness that has ironically come from a decision to not immediately pursue the music thing after college. Other opportunities led him to Memphis, where he was able to continue his writing, but in the context of new relationships and experiences. The choices we make sometimes delay our desires, but it is often in those choices that we begin to understand the true intentions of those desires. Justin calls this patience, and he has certainly been patient over the years. Simply put, he is thankful for the growth. Patient years always bear good fruit.

On his debut album, Our Sea, Justin has built a collection of refreshing diversity, blending pop, folk, country, and jazz into a message of hope and resiliency. Resting within the template of an acoustic guitar is a sound that travels between the straightforward and the eccentric—the playfulness of a pool’s shallow end to the heavier breath of the deep end. Engaging his influences—Patty Griffin, David Gray, and David Wilcox to name a few— Justin has not only achieved carefully-crafted folk/pop music, but he has intentionally pieced together a lyrical canvas of joy, humor, grief, and sadness. But this canvas does not exist without the support of a hopeful message, even in the presence of life’s harder realities. Hope is the best description of his musical pursuit. His writing always begins with the connection of life and hope, and that is where it ends. Even in the song, “Her Name Means Cleansing,” a sobering account of Hurricane Katrina, Justin leaves the listener to decide between eventual hope and endless sadness.
Hope is in every place, and Justin does a fine job taking the listener to those places.

In the live context, Justin offers a solo performance that presents the folk-like elements of storytelling and delivery with the energy that one would find at a pop/rock show. The message of hope is carried even further as he invites the listener deeper into the urgency of his writing. The live show is an affirmation of his recognizable giftedness and his ability to bring fresh life to his songs and to the audience.

Refreshing. Honest. Hopeful. These words describe the sound and direction of Justin Carlson’s music—a direction that began long before his debut and a direction that will hopefully carry him toward greater maturity and insight.

*www.myspace.com/justincarlsonmusic

Lyrics

Grace

Written By: Justin Carlson

Grace
Written by Justin Carlson

Something pulls at you, something from the past
You couldn’t bear to let it go
You couldn’t shake it fast
You fist your hands in lost regret
And you throw them at yourself
The brokenness has worn you thin
You’re looking for some help
Let me try to lead you to the way
By showing you to something I hope that you’ll embrace

It is grace that rescued you
It is grace that wanted you to cry
And you cried the tears that broke you heart
Where the light came down inside
And gave you new life
Grace is on your side

You walk with a heavy load and carry all the weight
It beats at you and slows you down
But you still know the way
You lose you breath and fall down on your side
I hope you know that love’s been with you all this time
You can run away, you’ll only go so far
You stop and then you realize
Grace is where you are

Chorus

Now I see you in your peaceful form
And the laughter on your face
I want to hear you sing so loud
I want to hear you say

It is grace that rescued me
It is grace that wanted me to cry
And I cried the tears that broke my heart
Where the light came down inside
And gave me new life
Grace is on my side

©Marion's October Music (ASCAP)

Stronger Than You Know

Written By: Justin Carlson

Stronger Than You Know

I guess you went to far, you went to deep
You fell in love, and then you fell asleep
You don’t want my help, you don’t need hand
To pull you from the sinking sand

You are stronger than you know
You’re trying too hard just to stay away
Come on and let it go, this drug in your soul
That’s keeping you away

You spend all your time, wasting time
You’re getting tired and wonder why

You are stronger than you know
You’re trying too hard just to stay away
Come on and let it go, this drug in your soul
That’s keeping you away

I can see you going under
You say you’re crying ‘cause you’re angry
No, you’re crying ‘cause you’re sad
Pull away the cover with the strength you have/I know you’re sad
I see those tears in your eyes because you are sad

You are stronger than you know
You’re trying too hard just to stay away
Come on and let it go, this drug in your soul
That’s keeping you away

©Marion's October Music (ASCAP)

Love (Full of Words)

Written By: Justin Carlson

There are roses in her garden, so she can picture love
Brightly red in dozens of affections
But you have brought her words, a drought so full of words
Waterless words of connection,
Have you made the connection?

You’ve got to love
You have got to love her
And love to show her you’re in love

She’s waiting by a door, a door that needs your hand
‘Cause words can only tease a hinge
Don’t say another thing
Throw your hand and swing that door wide open
And show her that your words are making sense
Am I making sense?

You’ve got to love
You have got to love her
And love to show her you’re in love

You have got to love, love, love, love
Come on and give, give, give, give
You have got to show her that you’re in…

Remember what you’ve heard
That you can say “I love you”
And still be full of words.

©Marion's October Music (ASCAP)

Discography

Our Sea-October 2006

Currently in rotation on:
- Moozikoo Radio
- i-channel Radio
- last.fm Radio

Set List

A typical set can range from 30-90 minutes depending on the need of the venue. A set is mostly originals with occasional cover tunes.

Set list:

1. Not Again
2. She Is
3. Love (Full of Words)
4. Stronger Than You Know
5. Her Name Means Cleansing
6. Hammer
7. Big Enough For Two
8. Shining Bright
9. Delight
10. Wearing Television
11. Change My Mind
12. Three
13. Hold For You
14. Grace