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Q&A with acoustic guitarist Justin Roth about show at UCA

Although it is known for its classical music, the UCA will be host Friday to an acoustic guitar concert.

As part of its Contemporary Artist Music Series, the Organ Recital Hall welcomes acoustic guitarist Justin Roth. Roth tours nationally with his singing and songwriting, and his music blends together more contemporary genres with indie and alternative folk.

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Roth sat down with the Collegian for an interview about Friday evening’s show.

Q: Can you give us your brief professional music history?

A: I’ve been playing guitar since I was 14 years old. In high school, I saw a show by acoustic guitar player Michael Hedges, and it changed my whole perspective. I stopped doing electric guitar and started doing acoustic.

I’ve been touring full-time since 2000, so 15 years now, almost 15 years now, and I’ve also had six album releases.

Q: What inspires you?

A: Music is the art form that’s spoken to me the most. I dreamed of being in a rock band in high school. What I do right now, this is my dream job.

I have no sense of time when I’m doing my work, so I must be enjoying myself. I’m drawn to the universal power of music. We all have our favorites in music, no matter how different.

I’m lucky to be able to make music that excites me as well as other people.

Q: What can audiences expect to take away from the experience of coming to see you?

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A: Hopefully, it’ll be new music that they grow to like. There might be some guitar playing that they’re less familiar with, but, personally, I’ve been most moved by concerts where I got to have some new experiences.

People who are already into music could be inspired to go home and try it out for themselves, and other people could find themselves inspired by the lyrics I write.

Q: What would you say makes you unique from other artists?

A: Other people mostly comment on my guitar style, even though I identify myself primarily as a songwriter when I’m performing on tour.

Singers and songwriters tend to use the guitar as the background for their songs, but my guitar is a major part of my arrangements. It has its own voice. I always include solos.

I also aim to achieve a sense of interactivity in my shows. I like to make it engaging for the audience.

Q: Is there anything else you’d like to add about the concert or about yourself?

A. I’m looking forward to playing at the UCA. I love great-sounding rooms. It’ll be fun.

Doors open at 8 p.m. and the performance begins at 9 p.m., expected to end sometime around 10 p.m. Tickets are free for CSU students and cost $12 for adults and $1 for children younger than 18 years of age.

Collegian A&E Writer Hunter Goddard be reached at entertainment@collegian.com or on Twitter @hunter_gaga.

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