Justin Yates, the tireless troubadour: Juggling a series of regional tours alongside a variety of media appearances and recording projects, this California-based singer-songwriter from Illinois demonstrates an extraordinarily strong hustle for an unsigned artist. This drive was essential to the development of Justin's new EP, "Friend," as the production process was plagued by frequent personnel changes and a crippling back injury so severe that it eventually uprooted Justin to the west coast in search of improved medical care. Where many others might have delayed their release, or given up altogether, Justin persevered and excelled - ultimately producing some of his most earnest and cathartic work yet.

Building on the momentum of his debut album, "The Jig Is Up," Justin forged valuable alliances with some of his favorite companies, including industry leaders like Elixir Strings, 64 Audio, Alignmed, and Jimmy Clip. He received a commission from the Lake County Illinois Convention & Visitors Bureau to shoot a music video, and performed on the nationally-syndicated Mancow Morning Show. And above all, Justin poured the emotional weight of his struggles and victories into the seven new songs that comprise "Friend."

"Friend" showcases all of the established trademarks of Justin's writing, with an accessibility that belies a complex emotional core. Soul-baring lyrics are interwoven with intricate instrumental passages, and delivered with the sort of conviction that converts casual listeners into true believers. Justin's ambitious guitar work transcends the singer-songwriter genre, painting a much more nuanced picture than traditionally expected of solo acoustic artists.

But whether it's captured on a recording or laid bare onstage, the most striking facet of Justin Yates will always be his irrepressible honesty - the unfiltered and unadulterated conversations and confrontations between his heart, his voice, and his guitar. This unguarded disclosure is what resonates most with Justin's longtime fans - and it's this same vulnerability that will undoubtedly endear his new "Friend" to an even wider audience.

Written By: Bustin Dennett