At 12, Francis started writing, recording, and performing. At 18, he
enrolled as a Literature and World Religions major at Messiah College
near Harrisburg, PA. There he immersed himself in the classics of
poetry and prose, honing his craft as a songwriter. During these
years, John played guitar on Sunday mornings in an African-American church in Harrisburg.
In vast periods of absence from academia, Francis traveled to Ireland where the musical traditions of his family homeland threw more fuel on his fire. He made his home on the road, where he still spends 3/4 of the year, collecting songs from Appalachia to American-Indian reservations...from the Dust Bowl to Mexico.
While living in Philadelphia, Francis released the critically
acclaimed "Strong Wine & Spirits". With the single "Heavy, Heavy
Love", the record garnered extensive radio play in the North East.
Drawing on the deep waters of Rock n roll, Folk, Country, and Gospel
music, Francis conjures the spirits of his eloquent brand of
John performed upon invitation for the United Nations Summit to End Extreme Poverty, at the UN Building in New York City in 2007.
Francis was honored by ASCAP as the recipient two national lyricist
awards. The prestigious Sammy Cahn Lyricist Award, for his song "Love
Came to Me Dressed in Red". (Previous winners include John Mayer and
Josh Ritter.) And recently he received the Jay Gorney Award for
Socially Conscious Lyrics (ASCAP) for his poignant song, "Who?"
Francis has played in some of the most renown listening rooms and
theaters in the U.S., Ireland, UK, Switzerland, and Germany.
He has shared the stage with Ray Lamontagne, Jeff Tweedy, Amos Lee, M.
Ward, Josh Ritter, Suzanne Vega, Rachael Yamagata, Rickie Lee Jones,
Andrew Bird, Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Juana Molina, Peggy Seeger, Tom
Paxton, and many others.
John Francis now makes his home in Music City...Nashville, Tennessee. In Nashville, he recorded his newest release 'the Better Angels' in the Cash Cabin Studio.
Produced by John Carter Cash in the fabled home studio of his parents Johnny and June. 'The Better Angels' was released Nov.9, 2010. Featuring
legendary musicians: Kenny Vaughan (Lucinda Williams, Marty Stuart),
Ken Coomer (Uncle Tupelo, Wilco), Michael Rhodes (Sheryl Crowe, J.J.
Cale), Robbie Turner (Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson) and
featuring Rachael Yamagata with a vocal appearance, 'the Better
Angels' is a musical achievement. The record features the single
"Johnny Cash on the Radio" and the two songs for which Francis
received national songwriting awards.
"The Better Angels" climbed to #19 on the Americana Radio Charts. It is featured on Sirius XM's "Outlaw Country" Station, and was featured on WXPN in Philadelphia, KXCI in Tuscon, KCRW, among many other radio stations.
Francis' current band is Kenny Vaughan, Ken Coomer, and Dave Roe. Look for Francis' tour schedule, news, and music here: www.johnfrancismusic.com/press