To The Maxx


one by one
July 20, 2007, 12:53 pm
Filed under: music

new artist alert:

ROBERT FRANCIS

points of reference: springsteen, steve earle, townes van zandt, dylan, neil young (and on the more recent tip, conor oberst minus the cheese factor).

but i hate tossing off names like that without actually qualifying the comparison.

by which i mean to say that robert francis, through the quality of his songcraft, situates himself right in there with these greats who came before him. he’s not just “influenced by _______ ” or “sounds like _____________.”i see it more like this: he’s “the second-coming of _________” or he’s “the resurrection of _______.” he’s the real deal.

he’s not some indie kid who happens to like country and folk music. his songs come from a place of truth… his is an authentic point of view and the whole thing becomes a bit overwhelming once you realize that the guy’s only 19 years old.

his songs are like shapeshifters…. you get lulled into the fragility of his young voice and before you’ve realized it, the raw power of the music blindsides you, knocks you down.

i saw robert’s show earlier this week at bordello, in downtown los angeles. it was a nice setting for his music… dark, moody, an air of faded decadence. robert played guitar, backed by bass, pedal steel, keys and two skinny shirtless longhair drummers. and as good as the songs are on record, the live arrangements are even more powerful. the dual drums really drive the music in an exciting way. sonically, the live vibe reminded me of the arcade fire.

the thing, though, is that it’s a real thrill to watch the man play these songs, to invoke them, emote them. it’s a shame that you can’t watch his face as you listen to his album, you know? i always thought he looked like a young warren oates from “the wild bunch.”

here is a cut down version (per label request) of the gorgeous, epic title track (featuring Joachim Cooder on drums, Amir Yaghmai on violin and Juliette Commagere on vocals) from robert francis‘ first record “One By One,” in stores August 21, but available from his label, los angeles based Aeronaut Records right now.

DOWNLOAD: ROBERT FRANCIS “ONE BY ONE” (edit)

(four more songs available on myspace)

tour dates:
Aug 4 2007, Big Sur Showcase, Big Sur, California
Aug 5 2007, Henry Miller Library, Big Sur, California (w/ Hello Stranger)
Aug 17 2007, The Sports Page, Bigfork, Montana
Aug 18 2007, Raleighs, Polson, Montana
Aug 19 2007, Raleighs, Polson, Montana
Aug 23 2007, Mt. Tabor Theater, Portland, Oregon (w/ Highway)
Aug 31 2007, The Roxy, Hollywood, California (record release show)
Sep 9 2007 9:00P, WE and KCRW present Robert Francis w/ The Album Leaf, Santa Monica, California

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8 Comments so far
Leave a comment

we will be saving our monies for this one ….

Comment by Le Chew Toy

that is seriously good stuff. have made note to self to check label page periodically for vinyl on sale. much obliged.

Comment by athankfulanimal

Talent runs deep in this band. Looking forward to the CD release. Thanks for the heads-up!

Comment by Sharon

Most promising up and coming new sound in LA.

Comment by Phil

I can really appreciate the valor and the voice.

Comment by Athena

I very much agree………….I too was at Bordello and got to check out Robert and and his amazingly talented band. It was my first and only time seeing them and plan on going to the Roxy record release. Only wish I could check them out in Big Sur~my favorite place in the world!

Comment by RedWinePony

Unbelievable sound and arrangements. The depth of the vocals and talent of the backing musicians will take this band a long way.

Get ready… these guys are going to take off.

Comment by Adam

[…] you go to her blog now you can see a picture of a very young robert francis with a pre-scandalous oj. simpson. i shit you not. No Comments so far Leave a comment RSS […]

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