Starting at the age of four, with a mandolin his Grandparents would give to him on his fifth birthday Justin started his pursuit of a life in music. He developing a portfolio of tunes, by listening to his Dad whistle the melodies over and over until he was able to duplicate them on his mandolin.
Over the next few years he would learn to play guitar and fiddle along with singing in jam bands in the Marshfield, MO area where he was raised. Justin's parents William Jack Bertoldie and Judy Bertoldie always made sure that Justin was involved in anything musical that he wanted to be a part of. This consisted of countless weekends at dance parties, bluegrass festivals, fiddle contests, and any other shindig that had a corner big enough to play in. With little coaxing Justin would form a band with brother John Bertoldie, sister Jana Bertoldie Pate and long time family friend Allan Cantrell and the Bertoldie Family Band was born. This would prove to be the foundation for skills Justin would use the rest of his life. The Bertoldie Family Band performed for six years through the Mid West, developing a loyal fan base, which still exists today.
During this period of time, Justin also met Missouri natives Art Galbraith and Gordan McCann who helped Justin become involved with the National Endowment of Arts, Master Apprenticeship program, that introduced Justin to a new world of fiddle music. It developed Justin's appreciation for Missouri's old time fiddle tunes that he hopes to help keep alive for generations to enjoy.
In 1990 and 1991, Justin entered into the mandolin competition at the Walnut Valley National Flat picking Contest, held annually in Winfield, KS. He would place second, both years behind players from Japan and Czechoslovakia.
After things started slowing down with his family band, Justin decided to go full time playing in Branson, MO with the Braschler Music Show and various bands at Silver Dollar City including the Horse Creek Band. After fours years Justin was approached to go on the road with Super Picker Roy Clark.
Performing with Clark and his band enable Justin to meet and play with incredible musicians all over the country. It was during this period of time that Justin started pursuing a solo career, while still touring with Mr. Clark. Although Clark has a busy road schedule, Justin could write and record with artists in and out of Nashville between tours.
Through trips to Nashville and a mutual friend, Justin was introduced to record producer Larry Michael Lee, who has enjoyed an outstanding career as an original member of The Ozark Mountain Daredevils. Larry lent his expertice on five of the cuts on Justin's latest project, "Its Just Me".
Bringing us to the present, Justin has put together a band consising of some of the most talented musicians and writers in the area. Richard Kennedy, bass guitar; James Ingle, drums and percussion; David Smith, keyboards and banjo; Ralph Lowe, electric and acuostic guitars, and sound by C&S Audio, owned and operated by Chris Armstrong and Sid Pierce. Click on Justin's website to find out about upcoming events.
I've been pickin' and entertaining for over fifty years. I've been all over the world and have worked with great songwriters, great musicians, great singers, great entertainers and for the past seven years there has been a young man in my life that makes me feel good to be around not only as a person, but his musical talents make me feel good also. I think as far as his talents go, playing great fiddle and mandolin, as well as being a great singer, he is unequaled and beyond that, he is extremely dedicated to his music. But I think the biggest thing that he has going for him is his desire - his desire to take his music as far as they can go together.
I can testify on his behalf and on my own that this is a great young talent and he is going to find a place for himself out in the world. So, do yourself a favor and give a listen to Justin.