Mike Justis began his musical career in northern Louisiana after leaving the U.S. Army in 1971. He started by singing covers of country artists Waylon Jennings, Jerry Jeff Walker, Willie Nelson, David Allan Coe, and others in the "outlaw" genre. One can refer to the song "Folksinger's Lament" on the new CD for a tongue-in-cheek history of how it all began. It wasn't until Mike moved to northern California in 1978 that he began the process of becoming a singer/songwriter. During this time, Mike was listening to a lot of John Prine, Townes Van Zandt, Bob Dylan, and Neil Young, all of whom have had a strong influence on his songwriting. Mike partnered up with musician friends Seven McLane and Kathy Barwick to form "Poetic Justis", an enduring folk/blues/country group that played in and around the Sacramento area for over 25 years. The three now comprise the heart of the Mike Justis Band. They continue to be close friends and perform together throughout northern California. As band leader and songwriter, Mike provides lead vocals and plays rhythm guitar and harmonica. His songs reflect a keen interest in the concept of fleeting time and embrace a healthy blend of idealism and cynicism. With this in mind, Mike encourages the musicians who play with him to interpret his mood in a song and then translate the lyrics through their instruments. Steve McLane, a master journeyman guitarist, has his musical roots in folk, rock, classical, and jazz. He attended the Guitar Institute of Technology in Hollywood, California and then brought his musical talent to northern California. Steve plays electric, acoustic, and resonator guitars, tosses in some bass and percussion, and sings harmony on the album. He also produced, engineered, and mastered the entire project. Kathy Barwick is an accomplished musician specializing in acoustic, bluegrass, and Celtic music. She plays a variety of instruments, including guitar, dobro, banjo, and bass. Kathy plays dobro and harmonizes on the album. You can hear more of Kathy on the Mountain Laurel and Nine-8ths Irish albums, which are also available at CD Baby. For band information and bookings, call or e-mail Mike Justis at 530-758-8877 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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