We review Justin Farren
By Rob Dickens
Justin Farren is based in Sacramento, California and has been acknowledged a few times for his songwriting, so many nods in fact that his lyrical cred. is pretty much a given (see list below).
His fourth full-length album, Pretty Well (released October 23, 2020) demonstrates again his way with words. His voice is crisp and evokes plenty of life’s emotions, in particular a sense of fun and insight into the absurd. But the listener can connect with serious moments as well. Above all, the album contains nuanced life glimpses that we can joyfully draw on in these troubled times.
Songs about being a husband, father and handyman. “They are as comfortable and familiar to me as my old truck or my work boots” Farren says.
A self-professed home recording geek since he was twelve, Farren recorded Pretty Free in a small shed in his backyard, playing many of the instruments on the eleven tracks himself and drawing on his experience of creating professional recordings on a tight budget.
Pretty Free is a searing testament to his creativity and talent.
Here’s the imagery-packed “There’s No Such Thing As A Bad Day” featuring his wife and daughter, plus a sound clip of “Always A Little Less Time”:
Justin Farren was born and raised in Sacramento, where he lives in a house built with his own two hands – or as he likes to refer to it, “a living museum of my own mistakes”.
‘Pretty Free’ Track List and Credits
1. Always a Little Less Time (4:25)
2. Eyes Be Healed (5:03)
3. How’s Your Garden Grow (3:30)
4. Fixer Upper (3:15)
5. There’s No Such Thing as a Bad Day (1:48)
6.My Uncle Bill (3:56)
7. One More Night (4:10)
8. Two Wheel Drive and Japanese (3:58)
9. Mama (5:06)
10. Worthy of the Sea (3:31)
11.Last Year Was The Best Year(2:45)
Recorded and mixed at home by Justin Farren
Produced by Brian Rogers, Aaron Smith and the Farrens
Mastered By Eric Broyhill at Broyhill Masters
Winner Songwriter Serenade, 2019
Falcon Ridge Most Wanted Song Swap, 2019
Falcon Ridge Folk Festival Emerging Artist, 2018
Winner Kerrville Songwriting Competition, 2016
Winner Wildflower arts and Music Festival “People’s Choice” award, 2016
SWRFA Official Showcase Artist, 2015
2nd place Planet BlueGrass Rocky Mountain Folks Fest, 2013
Honorable Mention Planet Bluegrass Telluride Troubadour Competition, 2013
Winner The West Coast Songwriters Song of the Year, 2012
Regional Finalist Newsong Mountain Stage Competition, 2012
Best Musician – Sacramento News & Review, 2009 / 2010
Best Lyricist – Sacramento Magazine, 2010
Via Broken Jukebox Media
We review Justin Farren