Raised on the Virginia coast, Justin Golden utilizes his Piedmont finger-picking approach that is unique to the central part of the state. He once played a fingerpicking pattern inspired by a dream to blues elder Phil Wiggins, who told him that he’d been unconsciously playing Piedmont blues.
Golden has carefully studied country blues, with influences ranging from Blind Boy Fuller to Taj Mahal to indie guitar. And as a traditional roots music stalwart, he’s passing the inspiration to youth by teaching them to play as well. His training as an archaeologist has taught him to view through a historical lens. Studying historic cemetery sites throughout the region, he noted that old burial grounds could be lost within a generation, which made him realize that the historic memory of music should also be preserved.
Golden Country: Volume 1, Golden’s latest effort, is a musical intersection where country, blues, and bluegrass come together. He’s curated a tracklist of traditional blues songs plus one original tune, and has premiered the video for “Creole Belle.” Together with Virginia supergroup Devil’s Coattails, Golden delivers a lilting bluegrass spin on a tune that has become a standard in the field of folk-blues guitar.
He tells American Blues Scene: