Music on the Square
Part of being church at the heart of community is nurturing the arts and culture
that help all of us thrive. Music on the Square is a roots music concert series produced by musician/producer/organizer/educator Alex Lacquement. More about Alex here.
Join us for a wonderful night of music and connection!
April 14, 2023
With roots in the Mississippi Delta, Chicago, and the Piedmont of Virginia, Richmond-based guitarist and songwriter Justin Golden’s origins are deeply vested in the blues. First picking up the guitar at age 19, Golden did what came naturally and let the music flow through him. With an extremely diverse musical palette, Golden aims to bring some new ideas to traditional blues forms. In addition to his work as a recording and performing artist, Golden maintains a busy teaching schedule and works with the non-profit The Rhapsody Project to provide community enrichment through anti-racist cultural heritage programs.
Blues isn’t just twelve bars and a hard luck story. On his debut record, Hard Times and a Woman, this guitarist and songwriter showcases the full breadth of the genre and its downstream influences, everything from country blues to Americana, soul, indie roots and beyond. Golden was raised on the Virginia coast and is steeped in the distinctive, fingerpicked Piedmont blues of the central part of the state. He’s studied country blues and can name any number of influences from Blind Boy Fuller to Taj Mahal, but his key inspirations have always come from the indie guitar realm, specifically friends like Phil Cook and J Roddy Walston, with a little Hiss Golden Messenger, Daniel Norgren, and Bon Iver mixed in and maybe a hint of James Taylor.
Though Golden’s influences range far and wide, the blues will never be far from his heart. That’s because he doesn’t see the tradition as limiting, but rather a musical form open to any emotion. “The blues is not a box,” he says. “They try to make it seem like it’s just twelve bars or it’s gotta be sad or it’s gotta be this or that, but if you listen to so much old pre-war blues, there are so many feelings involved. There’s happy blues, sad blues, just got paid and spent all my money blues, gonna go see my girl late at night blues, there’s blues for anything. It doesn’t have to be a specific form or feeling, it can be whatever you want it to be, but you know it when you hear it.”