This excerpt is all about the music!
Home is where you hang your hat, or so the old adage goes. For Justin Kauflin the last few years, home has been many places. Originally from Virginia, Kauflin's touring schedule has taken him across the nation and abroad, expanding and growing the idea of home. Kauflin lost his sight when he was 11 years old, but his travels are still a visual experience. Through the sounds and feelings of a city or space, he can see vibrant and captivating scenes of moving psychedelic colors. On the forthcoming album, Kauflin invites others to experience the world from his perspective as he sonically paints the homes he has found throughout his global travels.
With this release, he ventures into new sonic territory bringing in more modern influences of synths, electric guitar and bass. Kauflin said, "I've always loved music that had a good groove to it, whether it was swing or funk. With Corey Fonville's help, we got into all sorts of great feeling grooves that I can't wait to share."
Quincy Jones and Derrick Hodge produced the album at Quincy Jones' Westlake Studios. Kauflin was joined by Chris Smith on acoustic and electric bass, Corey Fonville on drums and percussions, and Alan Parker on acoustic and electric guitar.
The musicians had a blast bringing the album to life. Kauflin recalls, "Derrick was in there with us bringing such positivity and encouragement... an incredible catalyst for much of how the songs took shape. And if that wasn't enough, with Quincy overseeing the proceedings and giving his guidance and experience, everything was brought together in such a beautiful way."
The album is 13 tracks that resonate emotions and transport the listener across space and time. The lead single Coming Home evokes Kauflin's southern sensibilities. He comments "This song serves as an invitation to join me as I share how I experience the world around me through colors and vibrant ever-shifting textures and shapes. Alan Parker's acoustic guitar inserts that down home feeling from my home in Virginia." Another standout is Lost. Kauflin mentions, "As exciting as traveling the world has been, there have certainly been times where I've felt disconnected and out of my element physically, as well as emotionally, at times. Life itself can leave one feeling quite lost."
The album also includes an ode to his time spent living in Brooklyn with the cover of John My Beloved. An impromptu on-the-spot session with Derrick Hodge created Somethin' Somethin'; a tribute to fried chicken on Country Fried. Pendulum is about New York, and the feeling that at times it's the greatest place on earth and at others, overwhelming. And Strawberry Fields as solo and band-accompanied tracks, Kauflin comments "I've always found the idea of an imaginary place where one can find refuge to be incredibly attractive. It is such a perfect marriage of harmony and melody and it conjures up this barely out of reach sensation, as if the place for which I'm looking is just around the corner." He continues, "When I know what I'm really looking for is actually inside."
Coming Home is due out on September 14th.