Newmarket, Ontario-born Justin Hines knew what he wanted to do with his life when he was just 14 years old. After singing at a Toronto Raptors game, he knew that both his heart and his voice belonged in music, and that’s where he’s been since. That Hines is bound to his wheelchair (he has Larsen Syndrome, a condition affecting his joints) has made nary a difference in his life—he taught himself to play piano—and has since played on bigger and bigger stages, including those at the Beijing and Vancouver Olympics. Hines’ third album, Days to Recall, is the followup to his 2009 effort, Chasing Silver, and is now available on Rdio. You can listen to some of Justin’s favourite songs on his playlist below:
Five Questions with Justin Hines
- Who do you think is an important musician that most people have never heard of before?
Justin Hines: I often find myself telling people about Ron Sexsmith. His lyrics are poetic and meaningful and his melodies are unbelievably beautiful. I'm a big fan.
- If you had access to any record in the world, what would you listen to right now?
JH: I haven't heard all of Mumford and Sons' material yet, but I'd sure like to soon! Their sound is fresh and new, and I'm thrilled for their success!
- Which album or artist do you most associate with your childhood?
JH: My family often speaks of my childhood fascination with Willie Nelson. "On the Road Again" was probably the first song I ever sang in public and I'm a little embarrassed to admit that I even had a long red-haired wig and miniature acoustic guitar (haha). I still love him to this day.
- I hope people are ______________ when they listen to our music.
JH: I hope people are feeling something, anything really, when they listen to our music.
- I was thinking about ______________ when we wrote music for the new album.
JH: I was thinking about the amazing journey this last little while has been as well as being inspired by other peoples' journeys when we wrote music for the new album.
1. Ron Sexsmith - Former Glory: A beautifully poetic song about finding the light at the end of the tunnel by my favorite Canadian singer/songwriter.
2. James Taylor - Copperline: Basically every James Taylor song would be on my playlist so I picked the one I woke up singing this morning.
3. Eva Cassidy - Fields Of Gold: Love the original Sting version as well but this cover really is a spiritual experience by an artist taken from us too soon.
4. Iron and Wine - Naked As We Came: Probably the most unique and vulnerable love song I've ever heard. Love that guitar part as well.
5. Gordon Lightfoot - Song For A Winter's Night: Who doesn't want to be by a fire drinking hot chocolate while listening to this song?
6. Chocolate Genius - My Mom: I'm not sure how to describe how I feel after listening to this song but I'm pretty sure it's one of the most honest and raw expressions of pain that music has ever known.
7. Coldplay - Fix You: Really nice melody that seems to compliment the comforting sentiment of the song. Moving and majestic.
8. Johnny Cash - Hurt: I'll never forget hearing this song and seeing the video for the first time. Talk about an impactful and meaningful way to leave this world.
9. Alison Krauss And Union Station - The Lucky One: In my opinion, Alison has one of the most pure voices in the world and supported by this great song with amazing musicianship make this one of my favorite tracks in recent memory.
10. Jim Croce - Photographs And Memories: Another artist where every one of his songs could make this playlist. I'm not at the point in life where I reminisce of days gone by but if I was, this song would be playing in the background.
11. Ray Lamontagne - Hannah: His voice alone tells a story and his songs give him an outlet to share it.
12. Kings Of Leon - Notion: Can't help but move my head to this song. Great album by a great modern day rock band.
13. Adele - Rumor Has It: Truly a shining star in music right now. She's breaking down some barriers with her unbelievable talent and this song is just plain cool.
14. Janis Ian - At Seventeen: What an incredible take on the awkward years of life. One of my favorites from that era of song.
15. John Martyn - May You Never: A very underrated writer and guitar player in my opinion. It's always hard to wish someone well in a heartfelt way and I think this song does it beautifully.