When you go to a Justin Shapiro show, prepare to have a good time as you bounce around to his energetic, groove driven rhythms and signature percussive guitar. Originally from Bethesda Maryland, Shapiro came onto the DC-area music scene in 2007, developing his sound and fine tuning it, while playing in local bars and venues around the area with his band Green River Junction.
Now based in Tequesta, Florida, Shapiro has a renewed energy and perspective on his new album, Away In Your Dreams, the follow up to 2018’s Campfire Party, which saw him receive praise from outlets such as DCist who called out the album for its “…laid-back, feel-good vibe…,” DC Music Rocks who described Shapiro as “… a singer-songwriter who takes his love for 90's grunge, acoustic rock, folk, blues, funk, and jam bands, he puts it all together to make his own unique, signature sound…,” and Alternative Nation who praised Shapiro as “Sweet, earnest and undeniably charming…Taking a page out of the book of singer-songwriters such as Dave Matthews and Tom Petty and Neil Young. Shapiro goes a long way towards getting his own chapter in that book with his unique take on good old-fashioned rock music.”
It’s no wonder you hear all of Shapiro’s biggest musical influences Pearl Jam, Ben Harper, Dave Matthews Band, Dispatch, Bob Dylan, Tom Petty, The Grateful Dead, Neil Young and more rolled into the ten tracks on Away In Your Dreams.
The lead single, “Cool Blue River” evokes Jimmy Buffet’s aura with hints of Dave Matthews Band’s sonic style. Listen to the song and you’ll be immediately transported to a place that has special meaning to Shapiro, “It was written after I went to Washington State to see Dave Matthews Band at the Gorge. Seeing the band perform was amazing but even more so was making the trek across country on my own only to meet the most incredible group of strangers who welcomed me with open arms. There, those strangers became friends as I went around playing and singing my music for them. It was three days of fun, joy, love, nature, and sheer happiness. I just wanted to capture that feeling.”
Justin kicked off 2023 with his latest single, “Giant, The King.” A song written for a long-time friend in D.C. who was shot and killed in April, 2022. The song itself transformed into a tribute to all victims of gun violence, as both the Buffalo and Uvalde mass shootings occurred before the song was finished.
Stay tuned for lots more from Shapiro in 2023!