A blues man born deep in the heart of Texas, Justin James Bridges plays music from the soul and doesn’t know any other way. Self-taught by listening to legends like Jimi Hendrix, Muddy Waters, Lightnin’ Hopkins, The Doors, and Stevie Ray Vaughn, JJB’s distinctive picking style and fret work are reminiscent of earlier times in American music.
JJB takes dirty Southern blues, rock, funk, soul, folk, and hip-hop and makes it his own, Texas-style. One of JJB’s early projects, Leprechaun Theory—a Texas rock trio—played SXSW in 2008 and 2010. As member of the Houston Blues Society, JJB felt inspired to go professional when blues drummer Jackie Grey told him, “If you wanna get good at the blues, you gotta pay your bills with it.” Three months later in January 2011, JJB hit the road with the “Hang on for the Ride” album tour, ending up in Portland, Oregon.
Now based in Portland, JJB headlined the 2011 OGF Care Growers Cup and played Hempstalk 2011. That fall the Occupy Wall Street movement swept the nation. JJB is an American Sign Language interpreter and volunteered his time to interpret for deaf activists at Occupy Portland and to make music. After the Occupy Portland camp spent over a month peacefully building community and providing social services, it was evicted in a police action at which JJB was violently attacked by the police. The attack left him in a wheelchair, unable to move his right arm and right leg. He slowly regained use of his picking hand after six months and today is hopeful of a full recovery, though he is still confined to a wheelchair.
He headlined the 2012 OGF Care Growers Cup, rocked Hempstalk 2012, and appeared several times on the TV show Cannabis Common Sense. JJB toured Texas in February 2012. JJB’s first album of 2013, “Long Road to Nowhere,” showcases his songwriting talent and guitar work with ten tracks of blues, rock, and revolution. July 10th, or 7/10 for all you dabbers out there, was the release of the 2nd album of the year, "Medication Recreation," a pro-cannabis legalization album bringing a message through music that gets you movin' and groovin'. "On My Way" is the 3rd album of 2013 for JJB and it features Mary Anne Sanford on sax and flute, Al Maier on drums, and Jimmy Free on 7 string violin ("Today" & "Why").
With much more music on the way, watch for JJB touring in your town with the Cannabis & Hemp Advocacy Tour (C.H.A.T.) in 2014.