Singer Justin Hines opens Borealis Music Series with folk duo Ash & Bloom

October 2, 2014

Guelph, ON October 2, 2014 – Order of Ontario winner Justin Hines will be the first performer to grace the River Run Centre’s Co-operators Hall stage for the 2014 – 2015 season. His concert is slated for Friday, October 17, 2014 at 8:00 pm and is presented as part of the Borealis Music Series. The powerhouse folk duo Ash & Bloom will be joining Hines. Matt McKenna and James Bloemendal, formerly of Hamilton-based band Garner, will accompany Justin and also pepper the show with their own music throughout the set list.

To call Justin Hines inspirational is an understatement. He was born with Larsen Syndrome, a joint dislocation condition that keeps him in a wheelchair. Despite his against-all-odds backstory, Hines enjoys a successful music career, writing, performing and recording original songs that touch and transform his fans. Recently, while recording in 2012, the artist found himself coping with yet another hurdle to overcome. Scoliosis, or curvature of his spine, progressed in a way that was not only painful, but also causing new obstacles for his lungs and vocal chords. The condition threatened to put an abrupt end to Justin’s career as a singer. In the face of what seemed like an impossible situation, Justin Hines did what he always does: dug deep, found strength and soldiered on.

The silver lining of this scenario was how the album he was recording at the time, titled How We Fly, became a watershed moment for his music. Listeners may be surprised and impressed by Justin’s raspy, deeper vocals and, at times, a darker shift in lyrical content. Despite some exploration of darker themes, Hines’ songs still adhere to the notion of hope triumphing over despair.

“I found myself out of my comfort level; I had my new health concerns, family worries, questions of where my musical path was heading,” Justin explains. “My whole world was being rocked yet in the end it became a blessing in disguise. I am thrilled and relieved that people are responding so positively to the new sound. Singing used to come so easy to me; no warm ups were needed. I am still grateful for my voice even if it now requires much more effort and adjustment in order to be heard.”

Justin is joined by the duo Ash & Bloom. The pair’s sound has often been compared to the likes of Simon & Garfunkel or Iron & Wine. In 2013 they hit the road with Justin for his Vehicle of Change Tour. They travelled over 20,000 kilometers making stops at 80 cities and towns across North America. One hundred per cent of ticket proceeds from each show went back to local charities and the band successfully helped raise funds and awareness in each city they visited.

Ash & Bloom released their debut full-length album titled Let The Storm Come in June of 2014, which features songs co-written by some of Canada’s greats; Peter Katz, Caroline Brooks (The Good Lovelies), Julie Crochietere and Rob Szabo.

Tickets are $27 for adults and $25 for students and seniors. $5 eyeGO tickets are available for high school students with valid ID. $20 uGO tickets are available to university and college students with valid ID. Tickets are available at the River Run Box Office at 519-763-3000, or online at


Ella Pauls | Manager of Cultural Development
Culture & Tourism| Community & Social Services
City of Guelph

T 519-822-1260 x 2589 E [email protected]

Scroll to Top