Justin Cody Fox’s New Southern


By Brian Rock

North Carolina guitar slinger, Justin Cody Fox releases his sophomore album, New Southern. Following in the footsteps of his musical heroes Tom Petty and the Black Crowes, Fox ranges from contemplative to combustible in his musical storytelling.

“Living Ghosts” begins with fresh, yet instantly familiar, jangly guitar interplay that channels the spirit of Tom Petty. Despite the infectious rhythms, the song deals with the weighty issue of gun violence. Speaking of people who, “ache and strain to give the world their pain;” Fox compares these cold-hearted killers to ghosts who have become separated from their own souls. Of course, no single song can fully plumb the psychological depth and depravity of mass shooters; but in an age of violence and anger, Fox urges us to, “Live for love and hold it like a shield.” Be kind, even to your enemies. You never know what inner demons someone else is wrestling with, or how close someone is to losing control.

Relishing the sun-soaked rhythms of southern rock, Fox sings a celebration of life on the road in “18 Wheels.” “Dying Breed,” captures the lilting, indie rock rhythms of The Harmed Brothers as he contemplates his old school work ethic in an age of entitlement. Fox embraces the heavy blues stylings of Gov’t Mule on “Walking These Blues.” “Show Me Your Light,’ pulls out all the stops, and crunchy guitar licks, as Fox delivers a Black Crowes meets AC/DC mash-up.

Slowing down and unplugging, Fox showcases his softer side on the tender, “Always.” “Have You Seen an Angel,” showcases his Chris Robinson meets Chris Stapleton vocals as he sings, “Maybe Angels are with us all. Maybe Heaven is a feeling. Maybe Heaven is a thought. I think that love is the healing light that shines in us all.” “Blue Hearted Fool,” adds soulful, Stax stylings and Hammond organ flourishes to moan the Blues in exquisite style. The more rustic, country/blues of “Take Me Home Virginia,” finds Fox yearning for his beloved Outer Banks. “Old Man Rest,” is fitting coda to the album. An acoustic piedmont blues, the song is an invitation to rest after a life of wok well done, or in this case, music well played.  |  fb  |  listen

Brian Rock

Brian Rock

Brian was raised gypsy style, moving every other year until well after college. As friendships proved to be temporary, Brian found a constant companion in music, wearing the grooves off Beatles and Dylan albums before moving on to Lyle Lovett and Dwight Yokam. Living so often in flux, he has come to value music and lyrics of lasting quality. Not moved by trends or fashion, he is drawn to timeless lyrics and soulful rhythms. Although now settled down, Brian still expresses his gypsy spirit through his writing. He has co-written songs with musician friends he’s met along the way, including several contributions to the 2012 ICMA Album of the Year, Family Album. Brian also writes children’s books and poems, including the Children’s Book Council featured title, The Deductive Detective.
Brian Rock

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