Blues rock powerhouse Justin Cody Fox got an early start in music at 15, honing his vocal and guitar skills at late night family jams. He developed an early appreciation for songwriting whilst poring through parents ‘ record collection. Making an indelible impression were albums by The Beatles, Crosby, Stills and Nash and Fleetwood Mac. By the time Justin had formed the power trio Medusa Stone, he was already gaining regional attention as one of the premiere performers on the North Carolina coast.
Justin’s sophomore solo effort, New Southern, is an 11-song journey, produced by Fox, Audley Freed (Black Crowes, Sheryl Crow), and Tommy Brother (Medusa Stone.) Pulling in the polished and professional talents of members of Sheryl Crow’s band, the album features Justin’s singing and guitar work as well as that of Audley Freed and Tommy Brothers. Fred Eltringham (Sheryl Crow)and Seth Aldridge on drums, David Morse and Robert Kearns (Sheryl Crow) on bass, Jen Gunderman (Sheryl Crow) and Rhett Huffman on keys and Tarsha Murphy on backing vocals.
New Southern, chronicles the journey of a blue-collar musician who documents life as art through song. This collection finds its focus on potent and honest songwriting, “I wrote all the songs from real life experiences and really tried to take a looking glass approach to my life and the lives around me. We can only see through our own eyes but that doesn’t mean we can’t relate those stories to the human condition and curate them onto a sonic canvas” says Fox.
“Living Ghosts” was the first song written and recorded for New Southern. Freed chose to start with this song as it’s instantly familiar with a sincere undertone. “I wrote the lyrics and original arrangement after seeing news about the 2017 Las Vegas shooting – it’s a balancing act of tension and grief. “18 Wheels”, is a road anthem tinged with wonderment and angst which represents Justin’s desire to keep moving for fear that if he stops moving the momentum will permanently halt. “Show Me Your Light ” is fun and unabashedly flirtatious. “I really wanted to have fun with this track and keep my inspirations right on my sleeve. The lyrics are sexy, and we really tried to keep some tension in the music to bolster that sensuality.” “Take Me Home Virginia” is a ballad about North Carolina layered thick with vintage tube amp growl and nostalgic grand piano,
New Southern is a complete rolodex of honest songwriting, smart production, and sonic textures that all lend themselves towards an all-in-one experience. The musicianship is top of the class with Fox’s vocal and guitar work reaching a new level of maturity and restraint, “Recording New Southern was so important to me,” declares Justin, “I truly enjoyed every moment of the process as I try to do the same in my everyday life. I am beyond thankful to have worked with such a large stable of extremely talented musicians to bring my vision to life.”
Photo: Lauren Fox