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Marshfield native releases new single


Marshfield’s own Justin David (Bertoldie) has released the first single off his new Back Pew Session project, a song titled “Why I Pray.” 

“'Why I Pray' is available across all platforms and it’s been a long time coming. I was in the studio early last spring and wanted this project to be released last fall but the planets just didn’t align,” he said. “I decided I’m going to start 2024 off with a bang and release it the first week of January, so that’s what we did and I couldn’t be more proud of it.”

With nearly a decade passing since he last recorded his own music, Justin thought it was time to get back in the studio. He has spent over 10 years as the tour manager and fiddle player for country music artist Colt Ford. When he had some time off from touring last year, he pulled the trigger on recording the first of what would become a multi-session project transposing genres. 

“As I was choosing the first four songs to track in Nashville, [my wife] Abby said she thought it was more of a gospel album or a Christian project just as much as it was a country project… Hopefully the whole project will be completed by the end of the summer or fall I don’t want to put a timeframe on it because I’ve been able to do it at my own pace and that’s another beautiful thing about it,” he explained. 

“We’re going to let this simmer on the stove for a while and see how “Why I Pray” does. I have three more singles that I’ll be releasing in the upcoming months so while those are being released I’m going to be back in the studio. It's been fun to get back and work on my own music, and not have to please anybody except myself… It's been really refreshing.”

“Why I Pray” is an up-tempo, Christian-country ballad that tugs at your emotions for the entirety of the 3:19 track. A slow play on imagery and alliteration throughout the first verse grip your attention while underlying guitar riffs energize the lyrics, giving listeners an emotional response as Justin explores the blessings of his children, his wife and the promise of a place beyond his time on earth. 

“I got up one morning and there was a beautiful sunrise as the kids were getting ready for school I stopped over my cup of coffee and looked out towards the east off the back deck over Swan Creek and watched… The lyrics just started to come to me and I didn’t have a title at that time, but I wrote it down and then hustled and bustled around like all parents do, and got the kids off to school,” he added. 

“I knew I needed more to it and wrote the next verse about Abby, the person who stands beside me and is resilient and tough. It takes quite a woman to be with somebody that’s in the music industry… There’s so many peaks and valleys to it. Then the bridge came out of nowhere and I think seeing some of the faces of friends and family on the other side is what we all pray for. That song came to me and I had processed it in my mind and picked up my guitar within 48 hours.”

Justin David began exploring his love for music at age four after his grandparents gifted him a mandolin on his fifth birthday. He then learned guitar, fiddle and began singing in jam bands around Marshfield. His parents, William Jack Bertoldie and Judy Bertoldie, kept him involved in the music scene and he performed for years locally before going on to play full-time in Branson. He was then approached by country super star Roy Clark to play on his tour, which allowed him to meet and play with musicians all over the country. Though his music has taken him across America, Justin still calls Missouri home and lives in Garrison with his wife and two daughters when he’s not in Nashville. 

Throughout his career, Justin has always sent love back to his hometown. Recently, in 2022, Justin was awarded as the Outstanding MHS Alumni at the hometown Reunion Fest celebration. 

“My phone's been blowing up today and the social media outlets have been buzzing. It's been fun to see how many people I've connected with throughout the years, how many friends and fans that have followed my career,” he beamed. “It feels good to get some new music back out there… And I can never thank my hometown people enough.”

As tour season gears back up, Justin will be preparing to hit the road again late this winter. He will make a stop in Springfield at Club Rodeo playing fiddle for the Colt Ford concert on Sunday, Feb. 4. 

“Colt and I are great friends and he’s one of my biggest fans waving the pom poms for me all the time… I missed the Ozark Empire Fair and I was so bummed that I was unable to attend a fair show at a venue that’s been housing artists for so many years. I love these shows close to home because everybody comes out and supports… 'Why I Pray' probably won’t be on the setlist,” he chuckled. “It’ll be all Colt’s songs and will be a little more rough and rowdy. But come on out and we’ll have a big time.”




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