This young artist has everyone yapping-and for good reason. Justin McKee was born in San Mateo, CA, and grew up a celebrated talent in theatre, musical theatre, and film from an early age. He worked constantly in Bay Area productions, and spent his remaining time evading schoolwork and pouring his energy into producing films, music, and theatrical productions. With his penchant for roguery and passion for artistry, he built an impressive resume of wild and entertaining shenanigans that left everyone around him amused and left him with an unimpressive GPA at the end of high school. With formal education a waning prospect, he moved to Santa Barbara to live by the beach and his then girlfriend's twin sister. Thirteen days into his stay, he had a prophetic dream. He woke up that morning, packed his bags, and drove to San Francisco to begin his life as an artist. He immersed himself in the bohemian lifestyle and began exploring various mediums of art before discovering music as the most sincere for him at the time. He connected with musical sensation Richard Nickol and pianist John Florencio and began honing his chops to bring his act to the San Francisco club scene. Performing everywhere from neighborhood cafés to San Francisco's finest venues, he quickly engaged the city in his musical quest, drawing recognition for his versatile performances and captivating personality. With no formal instrumental training and little knowledge of theory, he wrote and composed his first full-length studio album, which he aptly titled Entelechy. 'My process was/is really kind of ridiculous. When I started playing music, it never phased me that I had no idea how to play a chord on the guitar, or that my masterpiece on the piano was still hot-crossed-buns. There was music I needed to play, and I just found out how to play it. I remember when I started to get interested in the guitar, I walked down the street to my buddy Dave Giannini. Dave and I had grown up together jamming to Springsteen in his garage; He was the guitar player, and I sang and made the best with whatever instrument I could get my hands on. Dave taught me three chords that day, thinking that would occupy me for a while. I came back the next day with four songs written using those chords. My desire was to write music, and I didn't need to be a virtuoso in order to do it. As I started teaching myself, I would attempt to learn from music books. I would read the first page, learn a few new chords or techniques, and take off with those to write as much as I could. Even today, I'll hear a song in my head and just move my hands around until I figure out how to play it. My desire was to write, and not knowing the musical landscape couldn't stop me. If the desire is strong enough, you just make it happen. It's quite a gift, but the downside is that the learning piece becomes something I have to push myself to do everyday. In one respect, it's an amazing blessing. But I can't take it for granted, or I'll be lost as soon as the talent runs out." Entelechy was released in March of 2005 and was met with international sales and excellent reviews. "The album really defied it's original blueprint. It started out as a demo of a few rough songs I was writing on a piano and an acoustic guitar...really prehistoric gear. It was supposed to be something for me to put out there and mark my process. The next thing I know, I'm working with Jeffrey Chin (Chris Issak, Ray Charles), Billy Johnson (Santana), and Uriah Duffy (The Family Stone). We pooled our talents for some of the songs, and we left some with very minimal production to reflect how they were composed. Someday I'll re-issue those tracks, but I wanted some documentation of the ridiculous simplicity I endured while writing this stuff. As far as the writing goes, it tells a story of a specific personal journey. I was simply trying to capture a succession of moments in a style that was somewhere between illustrative and organic. This was the beginning of my life as a working writer, and I was just beginning to find my voice. I'm proud of it for what it is.' Entelechy was produced by Jeffrey Chin, and features Justin's dynamic and artful song craft, as well as a lineup of keen musical talent. Justin covers the vocals, piano, and guitars on two tracks; shredders Tim Landis and Aaron Arabian split the remaining guitar duties; Uriah Duffy thumps the bass lines; Billy Johnson goes to town with the beat; Jeffrey Chin sticks the dagger with a savory cello performance on the closing track. McKee's poetic flair and gift of melody are on full display, and he combines evocative and intricate storytelling with a groove and soul that everyone can feel. With songs such as the dynamic "Livin' Lady", the raw and bluesy "That Ain't Right", and the tender, haunting "Sweet Summer Sadness", the album is solid testimony of an inimitable artist who is quickly bringing more and more to their feet.
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