Friday, September 19, 2008

Whistler Discovery :: Justin Hines

I'm up in British Columbia mountains this week working on a feature article for Passport Magazine about Whistler. (I know, lucky me. Tough assignment, but someone has to do it.) Last night, Patty and I went to the Whistler Village Square for a Community Celebration to mark the Closing Ceremony of the 2008 Paralympic Games in Beijing, and the beginning of the home stretch on the road to the 2010 Winter Games in Whistler and Vancouver. We sat at a cafe nearby with a glass of wine and listened to all the stories and photos from athletes and the town mayor.

Just as we were ready to leave, the best part of the night was upon us. Closing the party was a performance by Justin Hines, a singer/songwriter who has a rare genetic joint condition called Larsen Syndrome, that keeps him wheelchair bound. But OH WHAT A VOICE, with such gentle beauty and sunshine about it. We were totally moved by it. Think Van Morrison meets Cat Stevens and David Gray. We bought his debut CD--Sides--and played it all night while we made dinner. I'm listening to it again this morning while I type this post. Be sure to check him out on iTunes. Hopefully, if he really gets what he deserves, he will be the next big sensation to come from Canada (like Sarah McLachland, KD Lang, Micheal Buble, Alanis Morisette, Avil Lavigne or Anne Murray). Like all of them, Justin is a true, true talent.

You can watch two of his music videos here, but I posted something from Youtube below--a song that's not on the album. Apparently, he's super prolific, too, writing not just the standard 12-15 songs for his first album, but an astonishingly 30. They has to pick and choose, I guess.

So far, my favorite songs are: There's Always Next Time, April on the Ground, Wish You Well and Another Way to Cry.

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