John Francis is becoming known as one of the most prophetic songwriters of his generation. Arlo Guthrie praises his “great songs about real stuff”; and legendary filmmaker Wim Wenders says “with my iPod set to play only my favourites, I noticed how often John Francis comes up lately. He must be doing something right.”
Recipient of two US songwriting awards – Lyricist of the Year in 2007, Socially Conscious Songwriter of the Year in 2011 – Francis’ live show has been called “just as often a molotov cocktail of vices and verses, as quietly transfixing”, by the Philadelphia Weekly.
Francis is completing his third full-length album with Grammy-winning producer Ken Coomer (Wilco, Uncle Tupelo) at the helm, and behind the drums. Full of grit and passion, brimstone and grace, love and loss, as well as the sweet sounds of redemption, the album is a milestone of gospel, country and soul; it shimmies between an old-time revival meeting and the murky neon of dive bar lights.
Francis has shared the stage with a host of stars including Loretta Lynn, Wilco, The Indigo Girls, Suzanne Vega, Josh Ritter, Ray Lamontagne and Steve Earle, and has performed for the United Nations Summit for the Eradication of Extreme Poverty. His album The Better Angels reached number 19 in the US Americana Charts, and garnered radio play throughout the US and Europe.
In the words of the Philadelphia Inquirer, Francis’ work is “ripe with [the] honest questioning we used to count on Dylan and John Prine to serve up.”