Justin Farren with Paul Emery & Eli Rush

Paul Emery Presents
Nevada Theatre, Nevada City, CA
Friday, November 8, 8:00pm
FREE SHOW! Donations accepted


WINNER of the Kerville New Folk Competition 2016

WINNER of the Wildflower Arts & Music Festival People’s Choice 2016

“I was thrilled to hear Justin Farren at a folk music conference a couple years ago. He is an incredibly original artist with a lot of verve and energy, and a terrific guitarist. He will absolutely charm you with the strange humor and cleverness of his lyrics.” – Rich Warren, Folk Stage Chicago

Justin Farren was raised on the outskirts of Sacramento. Riding bikes up dirt hills with his brother and the neighbor kids. He was always a person of intense focus.

The story goes that he learned to read at three, and ride a motorized dirt bike at four. But legends are common in his family, from grand larcenist to circus perfomer ancestors and a solo pilot grandma.

Justin was the lead shot putter at his school, and had a perfect basketball shot. He loved sports, football, soccer, basketball, and hoped to play professionally one day.

Then, there was a bend in the road when his brother decided they should start a band. Justin got a bass and his brother a guitar. They bought a book of basic chords, and Justin switched lanes. His master focus shifted from sports to songs and, since then, songs have been what mattered most. He learned albums by ear from start to finish, it was the real beginning of ‘doing it yourself’ for what became a do it yourself man.

At 15, he bought Yellow, the truck of his life. He rebuilt the engine, twice. (The first time it burst into flames.) This is just one example of how he became an independent, stable person well before his peers. In truth, Justin seems to be aging in reverse, younger and younger as the years pass. He is way more likely to toilet paper a house now than he ever was as a kid.

Justin wanted to record albums, so he became a recording engineer. Justin wanted his own house, so he built it from the ground up. Justin wanted to work for himself, so he took his house building knowledge and became a handyman extraordinaire. Really, he’s like what many of us may think of our grandparents: Intense, hardworking, autonomous, highly skilled in their pursuits.

Which leads us back to songwriting. He looks at a song in a multidimensional way, but the end result is enchanting, and feels effortless. Justin plays a cheap guitar, but is often asked about its tone.

Justin lives a humble life in small house in the most working class part of town. Still driving old Yellow, and wearing mostly previously owned clothes. He lives abundantly, he eats real food, and plays music with his favorite people.



Paul Emery has been a resident of Nevada County since 1976. He migrated to Nevada County as a musician and made it his home base during his 25 year career as a performing artist. Highlights included four European tours and a performance for the Queen of England when she visited Sacramento in 1983. In 1984 he opened Bennett House Recording Studio in Grass Valley and started a record label bearing the same name. The studio and label released dozens of records and cd’s during a 10 year period.

Emery also has been producing concerts and events in Nevada County since 1972 when he produced concerts for his band at the Nevada Theatre. His productions continued throughout the 1980’s and included the North Columbia Folk Festival from 1986-1991.

In 1996 he became Program Director at KVMR Radio and started the News Department. Emery became Executive Director at the Center for the Arts in Grass Valley in 2000 and for eight years handled all the booking and artistic direction of the Center. In 2008 hew returned to KVMR and is currently the News Director. He still produces concerts including theater productions at the Nevada Theatre.

Since 1981, Eli Rush has traveled to remote parts of the planet and paddled over 2,000 miles of rivers in wilderness areas across the world. He began using a 35mm camera and eventually worked his way up to medium format, then 4×5-inch and finally an 8×10-inch view camera. It wasn’t until 2005 that he began using black and white film and making platinum prints. Prior to then, he had only used color film. Rush now uses both color and black and white, spending up to 6 weeks at a time on rivers in the Far North.

When he’s not paddling the Yukon, Eli is often accompanying guitarists on harmonica.