Justin Guip is a three-time Grammy Award winner who worked directly with Levon Helm from 2004-2012. Justin sat in on drums with the Levon Helm Band while the legendary musician played mandolin. He served as production manager for Helm’s Midnight Rambles and when the two partnered up to create a boutique recording studio in Helm’s now infamous, “Barn” in Woodstock, NY, Justin as the senior recording/ mix engineer produced numerous outstanding records for a list of music greats.
Justin developed the signature sound of Helm’s two Grammy Award- winning records – 2007’s “Dirt Farmer” and “Electric Dirt,” which was released in 2009. Justin earned his third Grammy Award for mix engineering the live Levon Helm Band during a 2008 performance that was released on a 2011 CD – “Ramble at the Ryman.” He lent his talents to Elizabeth Mitchell & You Are My Flower’s 2012 release “Little Seed: Songs for Children by Woodie Guthrie” and 2013 “Blue Clouds” which were nominated for Grammy Awards.
Justin never missed a single Midnight Ramble at Levon Helm Studios in Woodstock or a Midnight Ramble on the Road. If he wasn’t mixing front of house sound on tour with the Levon Helm Band- he was honored to sit alongside Levon as his drummer during his swan song. He occupied the drummer’s chair for both The Midnight Ramble Band and The Dirt Farmer Band with Larry Campbell, Teresa Williams, Amy Helm and Byron Isaacs. Justin performs on the concert DVD “Love for Levon: A Benefit to Save the Barn” and engineered the music score for Helm’s documentary, “Ain’t In It For My Health.” He is credited as recording and mix engineer as well as appearing as a featured artist on “Levon Helm: The Midnight Ramble Sessions, Volume III.” Justin supported the Helm franchise by originally performing in The Amy Helm Band with Dan Littleton and Byron Isaacs and on Amy Helm’s record which he recorded and played drums.
Currently, Justin is busy in his Milan Hill recording studio in the Rhinebeck, New York area and on the stage. He continues to work closely with Producer Larry Campbell and proudly performs with Larry Campbell and Teresa Williams. Justin recorded their debut, “Larry Campbell and Teresa Williams” released by Red House Records, June 25, 2015- at Levon Helm’s Barn Studio and at Justin’s home studio. He mix engineered at Milan Hill Studio and Justin played drums and percussion. The record has received critical acclaim naming the two “The First Couple of Americana.”
“Justin Guip is one of the most flexible, chameleon-like drummer I have ever worked with. Justin can switch from style to style with authority.” ~ Larry Campbell
In an interview with PROSOUND, “On the technical side, Justin Guip was invaluable as an engineer. I would describe what I wanted the record to sound like in abstract terms, and he busted his ass to come up with templates that might represent what I was talking about, and we finally got there. He is a brilliant engineer.” ~ Larry Campbell
Officially, Justin also takes the drummer’s chair with HOT TUNA- the iconic 1996 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees and Grammy nominees- Mr. Jorma Kaukonen and Mr. Jack Casady- of Jefferson Airplane fame. He has been privileged to work with the legendary guitar and bass players on their last three records, in 2009 “River of Time” in 2011 “Steady as She Goes” and on Jorma’s latest solo project, “Ain’t In No Hurry,” released by Red House Records. “Ain’t In No Hurry” hit the top 15 on the Americana Billboard charts in 2015. Justin recreated his recording studio at the Kaukonen’s Fur Peace Ranch in southern Ohio and along with Larry Campbell as producer- made another outstanding record on which he is a featured artist.
“Justin Guip is a great drummer and percussionist. His Americana sensibilities are peerless! He’s got the chops, the groove, and most importantly-the heart to be called a HOT TUNA drummer.” ~ Jorma Kaukonen and Jack Casady
As a sound engineer, Justin has worked with a who’s who of the recording industry – My Morning Jacket, The Black Crowes, Hot Tuna and Jorma Kaukonen, Larry Campbell and Teresa Williams, Mavis Staples, Bill Payne of Little Feat, Steep Canyon Rangers, David Bromberg, Finnish duet Ninni Poijarvi and Mika Kuokkanen, Nine Days, The Hackensaw Boys, and Bow Thayer. Justin’s prowess behind the soundboard was also featured on “Toast To Freedom,” a song that marked Amnesty International’s 50th Anniversary and featured more than 50 notable artists from around the world, including Carly Simon and Kris Kristofferson.
Justin’s musical journey began in the late-1980s, when he joined RCA recording artist, 700Miles. The rock trio traveled extensively in the early 1990s, performing with Radiohead, Blind Melon, The Cranberries, 311 and The Counting Crows.
Justin’s musical talents extended to the engineering of live sound and he put his skills to work as a front of house mix engineer in several New York City venues. Curt Smith, of Tears for Fears, retained Justin to mix front of house sound during his solo project, “Mayflower.”
Justin quickly expanded his reach by taking on management skills as director of operations at Sterling Sound, the premier music mastering facility. Justin worked for nearly a decade with engineering greats like George Marino, Ted Jensen, Tom Coyne, and Greg Calbi. But it was late nights in a small, shared recording studio under the Manhattan Bridge in Brooklyn where Justin embarked on his career and he continues to make great sounding records with artists around the world.