Justin Klump is an American singer-songwriter whose accessible modern-folk-pop music comes directly from his heart. This ability to craft catchy but sincere songs has garnered comparisons to James Taylor, Phillip Phillips, and Damien Rice since his arrival on the scene in 2006. He’s a musician’s musician (having once recorded and mixed a full album in a makeshift studio of blankets and a ping-pong table in his brother’s family room), and is an engaging performer whose songs are the perfect soundtrack for sun-drenched picnic days and shared starry nights. But Justin’s complete mastery of the guitar is the cornerstone of his ability to connect with any audience, and is at the foundation of his Spring 2014 release, The Night is Young.
Growing up in a musical home in Vancouver, Washington, Justin was exposed to an expansive range of influential sounds from an early age. His mother played cello in the symphony conducted by his grandfather, affording him a unique peek into the life of practice and performance he would eventually embrace as his own. Starting at five, Justin sang in choirs and played piano, but it wasn’t until he was introduced to Dave Matthews Band at the age of fifteen that he was inspired to pick up the guitar. His ensuing discovery of songwriting, and the decision to study classical guitar, meant he wasn’t ever going to put it down again.
Justin’s pursuit of a career in music was certainly inspired by his natural talents, but he knew his reality would be endless practicing, crafting, and learning the intricacies of the industry. The result is a consummate professional, a musician who understands all aspects of what it means to truly chase that dream and work for it, every day.
Between 2006 and 2011, Justin independently released three albums, logged more than 100,000 miles performing across America and garnered attention in national publications including Minor 7th Acoustic Guitar Magazine, IndieMusic.com and Entertainment World. The Vancouver Vector raved about a concert at Portland, Oregon’s Alberta Rose Theatre and declared Justin an “excellent performer” and “wonderful songwriter” with an enviable ability to “drag his audience inside his head.”
Wanting to build on these successes by continuing to develop as a songwriter, a newly married Justin, his wife, and their dog Norman moved to Nashville, Tennessee in 2012. That year, he released the album Sticks & Stones, which debuted at #9 on the iTunes U.S. Singer-Songwriter Chart and was featured as a “New & Noteworthy” release. American Songwriter, Seattle Weekly and Music City Unsigned each praised the album while the single “Sticks and Stones” received airplay throughout the U.S. & Canada on stations including 101.9 KINK.FM (Portland, OR), Lightning 100 (Nashville, TN) and The Coffee House (Sirius XM). Tastemaker site I Think I Love It labeled Justin their “Unsigned Pick”, and Sirius XM invited him to perform on “Coffee House Live!” at their studios in New York City.
Justin wrapped up 2013 in the studio with Grammy award-winning Producer/Engineer, Andy Hunt (Drew Holcomb & the Neighbors, Buddy Guy, Matthew Perryman Jones). The sessions culminated in his most promising and anticipated work yet: The Night is Young, an EP of poignant acoustic guitar driven songs that offer rays of hope in the midst of darkness, emboldening the listener to relish each minute of our varied days. The finished product is his fullest sonic offering to date that will feel right at home on today’s airwaves alongside The Lumineers and Mumford & Sons. The Night is Young is Justin’s most assured step forward in his progression as a relatable and relevant artist.
Straight from the heart of Portlandia, Samsel And The Skirt is an alternative band with sincere lyrics and energetic songs.
Fronted by singers Cary and Kelsey Samsel, the band is built on a commitment to each other and music. Cary’s blues background is evident in his singing but well complemented by Kelsey’s smooth, heart-wrenching vocals. The two sing tales ofheart break, love and disconnect.
Samsel And The Skirt is diverse in their musical tastes. Funk drums (Nathan Powell), R&B bass lines (Spencer Buckle), and Rock & Roll guitar (Alex Sneath), The Samsels create a sound that is unchained to a genre.
If an album can be judged by its ballads, Samsel And The Skirt’s debut release, “Shoebox,” does not disappoint. Kelsey’s vocals burn through on “Static,” a reserved emotion of longing. While “Microphone” and “Shoes” showcase the band’s love of a party.
Whether you’re stomping your feet at a show or in your bedroom, you’re invited to the family.