Paulo Franco is a Richmond, Virginia based bilingual singer/songwriter. He has opened for the likes of nationally touring acts such as Chris Knight and Bloodshot Records artists Cory Branan and Austin Lucas. His music has been featured on radio stations XL102's Studio B, WRIR and WDCE in Richmond, WNRN in Charlottesville, VA and WHRV in Hampton Roads, VA. He was also been featured on WTVR Channel 6's Virginia This Morning. In 2012, he was named a finalist in the Southeast region of the Mountain Stage NewSong songwriting contest. He was the only Virginia songwriter so selected in 2012. In 2014, he was selected to showcase at the Cape May Singer/Songwriter Festival and placed a song co-written with Bryan Lamontagne on NBC's Parenthood.
His music is a reflection of growing up a first generation American. Although he was born and raised in the United States, Paulo's parents hail from Medellin, Colombia. His Americana music is a blend of rock, old school country, alt-country and blues. The music draws heavily from influences like Steve Earle, Hank Williams, John Hiatt, Slaid Cleaves, Chris Knight, the Gram Parsons inspired music of the Rolling Stones, the Drive By Truckers and The Grateful Dead. Paulo has also begun writing songs in Spanish, fusing traditional Latin music with American Rock and Roll. That fusion can be heard on his homage to Medellín, La Estrella del País. The heart of his music is storytelling, and his family is a great source of inspiration - from the love story of Paulo's parents in "Married in a Black Dress" to the roller coaster emotions of leaving his daughter behind for her first year of college in "Rolling Back to Raleigh." Paulo is a songwriter who proudly wears all of his emotions on sleeves.
He has performed as a solo artist and with his band in venues throughout Virginia, Maryland DC and North Carolina, and he has also performed as a solo artist in Austin, TX, Boston, MA, Ohio and Johnson City, TN. Paulo's shows are well known for their high energy. His backing band, The Rateros are Dan Sessler, lead guitar and vocals, Dave Hess, Drums and vocals and Chad Bennett/Doug Thompson, bass. Artists that Paulo and the Rateros cover in addition to their extensive catalogue of original music include Bob Dylan, Doug Sahm, Townes Van Zandt, Willie Nelson, Chris Knight, Drive By Truckers, Tom Petty, Gram Parsons, The Dead, Little Feat, Ryan Adams, Jason Isbell, Slaid Cleeves, Steve Earle, The Rolling Stones, The Beatles, George Harrison and more.
In December of 2013, Paulo released an EP of tunes he has co-written with his friend and fellow Mountain Stage Songwriting Contest finalist Shane Cooley. The EP also features an original from both Shane and Paulo. It was recorded by Bob Rupe (The Silos, Cracker, Sparklehorse, Gutterball), who lends his musical talents on bass. Paulo is currently in the studio recording a new release of original material with an anticipated Spring 2016 release.
A native of Washington, D.C., music has always been a part of Paulo's life beginning from the time his maternal grandmother sang to him as an infant. Although his father was born and raised in Colombia, he fell in love with the music of Johnny Cash and Glen Campbell. Paulo Senior and Junior were big fans of Johnny Cash's variety show. Paulo has been playing guitar since he was boy beginning with classical guitar at the age of 9. After a few years playing in cover bands, he decided that a dream delayed was a dream denied. He began writing music in 2008 and in earnest in 2010. His passion for music led him to record his first CD of original music in 2012, which is titled By The Light Of A Paper Moon.
When it comes down to answering the Eternal Rock and Roll Question, Beatles or the Rolling Stones, Paulo checks the Stones box. But, he shares a birthday with George Harrison (February 25) and the first album he ever bought when he was six years old was Let It Be. Be sure to ask him the story about when he bought it. John Doe of X fame and Virginia music legend Dr. Ralph Stanley are also February 25th Native Sons.
All songs on this page are copyrighted and are the intellectual property of Paulo E. Franco, Jr. and are copyrighted and registered with BMI.