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Sanderson country singer to open for Colt Ford Thursday

Justin FreemanJustin Freeman of Sanderson is about to play one of the biggest shows of his young country music career in Gainesville.

Mr. Freeman, 30, preformed before to his largest audience at the Suwannee River Jam in 2011 opening for Blackberry Smoke, and also takes the stage at Jack Rabbits in Jacksonville’s San Marco neighborhood and the Country Club Lounge in Macclenny on occasion.

But on Thursday, October 18 at the Florida Theatre, the Baker County native will open for the Athens, GA-born country rapper Colt Ford. The show begins at 8 pm. Tickets are $25.

Mr. Freeman began his full-time music career in 2009 after a tumultuous period in his life. He lost his job as a graphic designer after eight years and went through a divorce.

“When everything was falling apart, or so it seemed, I was able to focus my attention on writing and producing,” said the budding singer-songwriter in an interview with The Press.

“It definitely helped me move on and get through one of the toughest times of my life. Music is the thing that can get people through any situation. I hope someone hears some of my songs and can relate and know they aren’t alone in their situation,” he said.

Mr. Freeman recalled one instance when a U.S. soldier approached him after a show about his song, “Since You’ve Been Gone.”

The soldier said he listened to the song everyday while in Iraq, awaiting the day he could return home to his wife.

“I enjoy playing live shows and all, but really my favorite thing is having people come up to me, saying how much my song means to them and that they can relate to it ...” said Mr. Freeman. “It’s so neat how a few words and a melody can get people through their day, how they can take my experience and make it their own.”

Though he plays piano and a few other instruments while writing and recording songs in his home studio, Mr. Freeman’s tools of the trade are acoustic and electric guitars.

He plays both solo and with a band, performing as simply “Justin Freeman.”

See this week's print edition, which hits news stands Wednesday, for the full profile on Justin Freeman.

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