Hailing from the DC area, rock/folk artist Justin Shapiro has participated in the local music scene since 2007. He started out enlisting his chops with local cover bands, playing songs by such greats as Neil Young, Bob Dylan, and Paul Simon. In the meantime, Shapiro began building his catalog of original material and his own covers.
In 2009, with the help of percussionist and drummer Rich Cairns, together the two would form Green River Junction. In addition, the guitar/percussion duo would recruit the help of Shapiro’s close friend Derick Wiggins on bass, but eventually, the group soon fizzled out once Cairns moved to North Carolina with his family.
Finally, Shapiro is ready to unleash his debut solo album, Campfire Party, the material to which has spanned 10+ years in the making. These are songs about love, songs that touch base with the political times to songs that speak directly to the heart. Shapiro’s love for grunge, acoustic music, folk, blues, and funk has brought us this collection of songs that are deliberate with a big soulful vibe.
The album opens up with “Lost In Time” that starts off with some banging rhythms on the electric guitar, bass, and drums. Shapiro sings with a country-twang to his vocals as the electric guitar gives off some highly melodic riffs. The singer-songwriter belts out the lyrics with gusto about being so in love you’re ‘lost in time’ and about spending time with that special someone. The track gives off a great Americana folk rock twist with some big bluesy flavor. The electric guitar solo sounds off mid-way into the track.
On “Mr. Bluebird,” the big bustling energy coming from the drums is elicited through a fast rhythmic pulse. Dancing guitar melodies go on to pave the song. The nostalgic track pays ode to a bluebird as memories of the ole countryside replays itself. Shapiro sings with fiery energy as some psychedelic guitar riffs sound off half-way into the song.
“Tyrannosaurus Rex” has a big revving vibe on this Americana folk, country-bent track. The song has a more stripped down feel with just drums and electric guitar accompanying Shapiro’s vocals. Shapiro spews out his vocals in speedy duress, nearly “rapping” in the track. A pithy of energy could be detected from the electric guitar solo near the end of the song.
“Brighter Days” sounds off with the cadences of the acoustic guitar that paves the start of this track. The acoustic music alone supports Shapiro’s vocals. The sparse arrangement is simply rendered. The track is tinged with regret and longing and is about moving on and about learning how to let go of the past, no matter how hard and traumatic it may be. The song starts to pick up later on with a more upbeat sound as the percussions later join in, giving off an altogether more energized vibe.
“Inspiration Nation” starts off with an amped feel coming from the busy wall of guitars and insanely fast drums, eliciting a big bustling variety with a great booming sound. This is great classic rock fare filled with political commentary as Shapiro acquiesces us listeners with the social standpoint of the times. This track contains a happening performance and a great jam-session from the band.
“Forgive & Forgotten” has a grunge rock feel to it with a nitty-gritty blues feel to the song. The track is filled with an overall dark vibe and is about being addicted to all the wrong things and how that can lead to an unsavory demise. Some psychedelic electric guitar riffs trace this song.
The album slows down on this slower striding ballad, “My Own Way.” The track is filled with dramatic and immediate sounds from the Shapiro’s vocals that are executed in a hushed sensibility and the cadences of the melodic keys, electric guitar, bass, and drums. The song is about forging your own path and finding your own way in life.
“If You Wanna Wake Up!” consists of an upbeat and catchy vibe with a great Americana sound on this uplifting track filled with a positive message. About taking the initiative and taking control of your life, the free-spirited track entertains with energized rhythms from drums, bass, and guitars.
“Hurricane Human” starts off with the sound of rhythms reverberating on the bassline. Next, the cadences of drums, percussions, and electric guitar sidle in. About a girl with a really dynamic style, who he can’t get out of his mind, the song loosens up with real kicking vibe and rhythms.
On the acoustic rendition of “Stand,” Shapiro’s vocals is solely accompanied by the acoustic guitar on this emotional track filled with a heart-warming vibe. The song is about the different perspectives of his loved ones and how they’ve always understood and stood by him.
“Campfire Party” begins with the sounds of the acoustic guitar with some percussions interwoven in as gradually the cadences of the drums draws the attention of the listener. This dynamic ballad is about sharing your experiences, dancing together, and combining your voices together as you relish in on the love. This is a heart-felt country-blues anthem that will fill your soul with warmth from its uplifting and positive grooves.
Justin Shapiro forges his own path with these distinctly rendered songs filled with the rock/folk artist’s unique and signature sound.
Fueled with passion, this is music burning to be heard, as the subject matters encompass the scope of love, loss, regret, social commentary and even, dinosaurs.
Fast revving guitars, insane drums, and out of this world rhythms on the bass makes Shapiro’s sound one that is entirely his own.
The moving sounds on this 11-track compilation feels like home as they encompass a soulful and heart-warming vibe that will be a shame to miss.
Be sure you have a listen on Spotify today!