"I started playing John Francis...Intelligent lyrics and a voice that reminds me of Jeff Buckley" Helen Leicht, WXPN, 88.5.
"Insight and depth far beyond his years. Whether singing about a passionate love affair or social injustice there is a heartfelt sincerity in his music"
Phil Nicolo(NARAS,former Ruffhouse Records)
"Think Johnny Cash meets Jeff Buckley"
Appel Farm Festival Program
"Sharp pop style...intense"
One of Philadelphia's new voices, John Francis is proud to announce the release of The "Philadelphia" EP, recorded in the fall of 2003 and spring of 2004 with producer/engineer Phil Nicolo of Studio 4 (Lauryn Hill, Sting, James Taylor, John Lennon). The 5-song EP was quickly picked up by WXPN who began spinning the EP and have helped John Francis become a headliner at many area venues. John Francis makes his home in Philadelphia where he is writing and recording a full-length album while performing regionally.
John Francis was born in Harlem and raised in a rural town in Southeast Pennsylvania. There he was fledged on the folk music of his parents harmonizing and picking on acoustic guitars, or gathering around the family piano crooning out old-time folk songs and hymns. Saturated in these musical traditions, it wasn't long before John Francis was playing and writing songs.
At 18, JF moved to Harrisburg, PA to study literature in a small college. He dove into classical and contemporary poets, playwrights and writers. During this immersion, JF took to rambling all over the continental U.S., China and Ireland. Hitchhiking and absorbing the musical legacies where he roved. He landed back in Harrisburg and joined a gospel band in the city. These sources, poetic and musical, are at the core of John Francis songwriting.
His musical mentors include folk/country troubadours: Woody Guthrie, Dylan, Leonard Cohen, Townes Van Zandt-and rhythm and blues/soul innovators: Van Morrison and Nina Simone. His live shows range from hear-a-pin-drop introspective songs like 'Boy Blue', played solo acoustic-to foot-stomping, six-piece band rock like 'Love in the Fall-Out Shelter' or 'Philadelphia (You Hit My Head Like a Bottle of Red Wine)'. The space between is full of haunting ballads and John Francis signature vocal acrobatics that have earned him comparisons to the late Jeff Buckley and Bono of U2.
Now 26, JF has toured the East Coast seasonally for the past three years. Touring in Ireland, as well, has opened new audiences for JF, while informing his songwriting with Irish traditional and folk music. John Francis has shared the stage with such prominent performers as Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Ray Lamontagne, Amos Lee, Michelle Malone, Andrew Bird, Ollabelle, and Freedy Johnston...
Look for his new full length coming in August '05!