OKC musician Justin Joslin channels faith, family for 'Shine a Light'


Okie musician Justin Joslin's sister was trapped on a doomed Carnival cruise ship.

Yeah, you read that right.

Drifting at sea for days, Joslin's sister sent text messages describing her nightmare vacation. The ship was without power and at night she'd pray for daylight to break.

That's the inspiration behind "Shine a Light," which I'm debuting below and can be found on Joslin's upcoming March 11 release "The River."

Although this incident occurred several years ago, it stuck with Joslin. It remains a reminder of hope for the Oklahoma-City based musician.

" 'Shine a Light' is all about trying to find your way to some form of home," Joslin said in an e-mail. "It's the belief that someday you will arrive somewhere that makes more sense than where you are. It's the desire to see some sort of a light at the end of the tunnel, some sort of hope in the darkness and something that reminds us where we are and that we aren't completely lost."

A lot of Joslin's sophomore album "The River" deals with the past and the lessons he's learned. The 11 tracks on "The River" also focus on faith, family and triumph over hardship. The full-length album is a bigger and more concentrated follow up to his 2011 EP "Roots."

Since then, Joslin has built his resume and shared stages with with Dawes, David Ramirez and Drew Holcomb and the Neighbors. You might recall Joslin played in Fresh Sunday in the early aughts and performed with Switchfoot, Lifehouse and Howie Day.


:: Studio Update ::


After nearly 2 years of writing, re-writing, recording, re-recording, scratching and starting over... I am so happy to say that at the end of this month, I'm going back into the studio with some of the greatest producers, players and minds in the game to do the final tracking for my new record "The River". I am so anxious and excited to share these songs and stories with you!

This record is a journey through light, dark, life, death, pain, love, running, resting and cleansing.  

It's been a long process. A process that at times I thought I may never see the end of. A project that I thought might die before it was ever birthed into something tangible. But these songs survived. And hopefully they got stronger in the process.

Thanks for hanging in there with me and for your encouragement along the way. I was reminded recently that this community and this genre of exchanging stories and processing life is what I love about making music. Thanks for being a part of this story.

Stay tuned for more details and live studio updates!

- Justin



Its been a few years since I've done a Top 10 list, but some really great records came out in 2014, so I wanted to share. Here are 10 of my favorites.

10. Needtobreathe - "Rivers in the Wasteland"

               Full of soul and great melodies. I love the honesty of this record.

9. Ray Lamontagne - "Supernova"

               Not the typical Ray feel... but I appreciate the Beatles flair on this record.

8. Colony House - "When I was Younger"

               This record is fun and thought provoking at the same time.

7. Ben Howard - "I Forgot Where We Were"

               Ben Howard's songs take you somewhere. It is hard to match his musicality and ability to create an atmosphere with his songs.  Such a great songwriter.

6. Hiss Golden Messenger - "Lateness of Dancers"

               This record feels great. Cool songs, rootsy vibe.

5. Neal Carpenter - "Good Guys"

               Great Song writing. Great feel. Great arrangements. This record listens so naturally... nothing forced.

4. Damien Rice - "My Favourite Faded Fantasy"

              Its been a long wait for this record and it does not disappoint. Great songs, delivered in a way that only Damien Rice can.

3. Sam Smith - "In the Lonely Hour"

               Soulful melodies meet modern beats. "Money on my mind" was my most listened to song this year.

2. Ryan Adams - "Ryan Adams"

               Not much to dislike about this album. Guitar tone is perfect. This record will be a point of reference for years to come.

1. War on Drugs - "Lost in the Dream"

               Everything you love about The Boss & Tom Petty meets everything you love about indie rock.


I hope you all listened to some great things this year as well. Feel free to share your favorites in the comments below!

See you in 2015 with a new record!

- Justin

Ace of Spades


I started writing songs when I was young. My best friend Jason and I would sit in his bedroom listening to Bush and changing the lyrics to their songs... making them youth group friendly. We thought that was pretty cool for a while... until one day when we learned how to play "power chords" on the guitar. Power chords were awesome. We started writing our own songs... terrible songs... but songs none the less.

In Jason's bedroom, we wrote songs about life as we saw it... which was pretty limited; skateboards, middle school girlfriends, and cool shoes. As time rolled on, I continued to write about life as I saw it... sometimes my view was idealistic, sometimes it was holier than thou, sometimes it was hopeful, sometimes it was broken, sometimes it was cynical, sometimes it was rebellious.  As I get older, I struggle to find the balance between the idealism of my teenage years and the cynicism of my 20's. I struggle to figure out what I want to say, now that I've actually experienced a few things in life. But the more I search for my message... the more I contemplate the story I want to leave behind when I'm gone... the more I'm finding that love is the one thing that continues to pull me out of the shadows of the night into the light of day. Not middle school love. But real, gut wrenching, everything on the table love. The kind of love that you'd give everything for.

We can build walls around our hearts to keep them safe... we can cling to our selfish desires, and call them our "needs"... but eventually our walls and desires leave us very much alone... and more needy than ever. Love is much more about what we give away, and much less about what we receive in return.

Here are the lyrics to a song on the new record called "Ace of Spades"... hope you enjoy.

Ace of Spades

Spent most of my days building walls around this place
Holding close to what I know, tryin' to keep my soul saved
Bought myself an alarm, bought myself a gun
Boarded up my windows, waged war against the sun

All I know is this prison's cold
I've spent too many days and nights alone
The world I see is closing in on me
Prayin' Lord have mercy on my soul

I'm never gonna find any peace of mind if I'm always right
I'm never gonna see right in front of me if I close my eyes
Love isn't played like the ace of spades you're holding close to your chest
It's no give and take, you just give it away and hope for the best
I'll hope for the best, I guess

I don't wanna waste my life, living in the shadows of the night
Time to rebuild these bridges and leave these prison cells behind
Build a house in the city, windows on all sides
Try and let the sun in, try and let the light be my guide

All I need is right in front of me
I've seen too much love to give up hope
I've been lost and found, cause you tracked me down
Oh Lord have mercy on my soul

I'm never gonna find any peace of mind if I'm always right
I'm never gonna see right in front of me if I close my eyes
Love isn't played like the ace of spades you're holding close to your chest
It's no give and take, you just give it away and hope for the best
I'll hope for the best, I guess...

But you never know if love's gonna show or if love's gonna win
But I'll see your bid, and I'll go all in... again and again and again...


Happy Labor Day Amigos!

- Justin

Two Thousand Thirteen


Well hello there! I just realized how long it had been since my last blog post... but here we are... 2013... and we've already used up 30 days worth of it!

2013 has started of strong, and I'm excited about things to come. Here is a quick recap of what has happened already and a quick look at a few things coming up...

- I rang in the new year at Opening Night in downtown OKC where I played 2 sets and hung out with some great friends and family.
- I recorded 2 songs for the OklaVision TV show... one song aired last week, and one aired this week.

- This Friday I'm playing at the Credo House in Edmond, OK - joined by my friend Kendi Proctor singing background vocals.
- Next Saturday (Feb 9th) I'll be playing at the Rodeo Opry in OKC... this show will air on KSBI TV at a later date.
- March 8th I'll be playing at one of my favorite clubs in OKC (VZD's) with a great singer/songwriter/band Drew Holcomb & the Neighbors 

Here are the YouTube links to the 2 songs I played on OklaVision. I played "Memphis" from my album "Roots" and then I also played a new song called "The Trouble Is" which I wrote about my Grandpa who passed away in 2012. I hope you enjoy!


Summer / The Trouble Is...


I have confirmed a few exciting things for this summer and I wanted you to be the first to know. Later this month, I will be playing at the Festival of the Arts in Downtown OKC on Friday, the 27th, then the 29th in Deering, KS.  In May, I will be sharing the stage with one of my favorite songwriters... David Ramirez in OKC at VZD's. In June I'm headed to Gunnison, CO to play at the Gunnison Arts Center. And in July, I will be playing the Twilight Concert Series in Downtown OKC on July 29th! I'm really excited for all of these opportunities and hope to see you.

I've been working on some new songs recently, and here's one called "The Trouble Is"... let me know what you think!

The Trouble Is

So you had another long night following another long day
You ain't been sleeping much since your baby went away
So you got yourself a broken heart and a long hard road
Been lettin' them tears pour down praying new love grows

But the trouble is... we're all afraid to love again
The trouble is... we don't wanna let nobody in

But go on... hitch a ride, catch a flight
Find a world outside your mind
Take a chance, learn to dance
Go on... give your love a try

The doctor says "we're gonna run some tests"
Says "you gotta stop smokin' them cigarettes"
You said "60 years makes a habit hard to kill...
If the cancer don't take me, the loneliness will"

But the trouble is... we're all going down
The trouble is... we don't know when or how

But go on... hitch a ride, catch a flight
Find a world outside your mind
Take a chance, learn to dance
Go on... give your love a try

So you got a little trouble going on with your best friend
Better pick up that telephone and make amends


Adios Amigos,
- Justin

Wayward Ways Video


Last week we shot the video for "Wayward Ways"... and had a great time! I'm really excited for you to see it. Although, my good friend Matt brought it to my attention that we missed out on a really great opportunity... We had an awesome location, with amazing camera and lighting set up... and yet we didn't film what only seems natural with all of these elements... yeah, that’s right, you guessed it... a slow motion fight scene. I'm embarrassed by our wasted opportunity. I hope that you will still enjoy the video, even though it doesn't have a beautiful, intricate, redeeming, slow-mo fight scene. Maybe we can work it in to the next video... maybe for "A Million Steps"... ?



 Special thanks to Chris and Steven at The Music Group for shooting the video, and in general for being great guys.






Farewell 2011


Last night we said farewell to 2011 and shook hands with the new year for the first time. The possibilities and opportunities of 2012 are endless. But before I start writing about the things that I'm dreaming up for the new year, I wanted to take a moment to reflect on the year that we just completed. My own "year in review" if you will..

Probably my favorite part of 2011 was being given the incredible opportunity to record my own record. I have always felt like great music creates great conversation... I hope that we can generate some great conversation in 2012.

I enjoyed some great movies and great music in 2011... Here is MY 2011 Top 10 movies and Music


10. Mat Kearney - Young Love
9. Bon Iver - Bon Iver
8. Foster the People - Torches
7. Ryan Adams - Ashes and Fire
6. The Civil Wars - Barton Hollow
5. JAY Z & Kanye West - Watch the Throne
4. Augustana - Augustana
3. Amos Lee - Mission Bell
2. David Ramirez - Strangetown
1. Dawes - Nothing is Wrong 


10. Moneyball
9. Drive
8. The King's Speech
7. Super 8
6. The Descendants
5. 50/50
4. Source Code
3. Horrible Bosses
2. Crazy, Stupid, Love
1. Adjustment Bureau  

Well, there it is folks... I hope you enjoyed some great music and movies as well. I would love to hear your Top 10's... feel free to leave them in the comment box below. It's a lot of fun looking back... so, knock yourselves out. 

Farewell to the old year, and here's to dreaming up an even better new one.



Day After Christmas


"Twas the day after Christmas,
And on the TV in our house...
Home Alone was playing,
While I laid on the couch..."


I hope everyone had a great Christmas yesterday. I'm always reminded this time of year how thankful I am for my friends and family... AND for my fans and supporters. 

Since the record release a few weeks ago, I've been working hard on this website... A little Christmas present from me to YOU. 



Well, time to start Home Alone 2...

- Justin



For the last 9 months I've been cookin' up a 7 song EP entitled "Roots"... and tomorrow its coming out of the oven. This project is a look back at where I come from, a discovery of where I am, and a dream about where I want to go. Each song tells a little bit of my story. I can’t wait to share these songs/stories with you.


As I look back on the process, I can't help but say thank you to a few people who really made it possible. First of all, my wife Sutton, who believed in these songs long before anyone else ever heard them. Second, my producer Chris Freels, who after hearing these songs, believed in them enough to invest in me, and bring these ideas to fruition. Third, Steven Jeffery, LG Hamilton, Terry Scarberry, and all of the other incredible musicians that made this project what it is. And Last, thank YOU. Thanks for caring enough to read this, and thanks for believing in my music.

Excited for tomorrow,







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