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music – musings – mission

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“I grew up among the Redwoods…”

It’s the opening line on Seabright, Justin Fox’s ninth album, and it’s all true, starting way back in the upper reaches of the Golden State. Justin grew up in Arcata; a college town nestled in the Redwood Forest, where he found little to do but skateboard, play guitar, and write songs. At age 18, he toured high schools across the nation, performing over 500 school assemblies for half a million teenagers in just ten months! He not only survived, but excelled during that whirlwind year, and things became quite clear that Justin was destined for a life on the road.

A few years and a college degree later, 1993, still before the age of the Internet, email, cell phones, or the widespread popularity “indie music”… Justin began the adventure of his life, touring full-time with just a batch of original songs, a trunk full of cassette tapes, and his acoustic guitar. He was on a brand new road to where music was going, and logging thousands of lonely miles up and down California, at odd hours of the day and night, joining the rushing current of 18 wheelers – it felt like he had finally achieved his childhood dream; of being a truck driver.

Thankfully, so much more than that was happening, and it’s now been 25 years since those formative days. Keeping the pace of over 130 concerts a year, every year…crisscrossing America and nine other countries, recording ten albums – yielding several Top 10 singles, and producing a concert DVD, Justin has in many ways seen it all, yet still has a keen sense of wonder and openness. Fox has sold over 30,000 CDs in all, making him one of the most successful independent artists of the modern era.

In the last several years, he’s pioneered new mission strategies as City Pastor at Rockharbor Church in Costa Mesa, led small groups, retreats, and spiritual formation initiatives in Richmond, VA, and created new liturgies and leadership development programs at Grace Church in Seal Beach.

Justin Fox’s life is a rich tableau of songs and stories, and there’s still more to come. He’s been lost in Bangkok and found at a summer camp, been arrested for trespassing and married the love of his life, spent the night in a Greyhound station in Seattle and a VIP lounge in Hong Kong, sailed a record company president’s yacht and had to run from a burning tour bus, experienced great heartache and intense joy, heard the voice of God and the silence of doubt, felt the crush of singing to 20,000 people and the passion for singing to 20, slid down the massive face of a Honolua Bay set wave and tried to open a can of beans at midnight by the side of the freeway with a pocket-knife.

Justin’s enjoying the satisfaction of a colorful rear-view, but he knows there’s more ahead, and he’s keeping his eyes on the road.

“The groove is acoustic, the voice is just raspy enough to bring you in like a warm embrace, and the songs are thoughtful, mature and show a lot of depth…” -CCM Magazine

“Justin Fox is the real deal! If you haven’t listened to Justin yet…do it!” -WAY-FM

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