francis

BLACK FRANCIS Announces July Acoustic Tour

Black Francis will be doing a special set of solo acoustic shows this July. Mr. Francis will be performing a very unique and memorable selection of songs from his twenty year career.

Black Francis is an American singer, songwriter and guitarist. He is best known as the frontman of the influential alternative rock band Pixies, with whom he performs under the stage name Black Francis. Following the band's breakup in 1993, he embarked on a solo career under the name Frank Black. After releasing two albums with 4AD, he left the label and formed a backing band, Frank Black and the Catholics. He reformed the Pixies in 2004 and continues to release solo records and tour as a solo artist, having re-adopted his current stage name in 2007.

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BLACK FRANCIS US Acoustic Tour Dates

7/12 - Neurolux - Boise, ID

7/15 - The State Room - Salt Lake City, UT

7/18 - Knuckleheads - Kansas City, KS

7/19 - The Old Rock House - St Louis, MO

7/20 - Radio Radio - Indianapolis, IN

7/21 - Outland Live - Columbus, OH

7/22 - Club Cafe - Pittsburgh, PA

7/24 - Le Poisson Rouge - New York City, NY

7/28 - Beachcomber - Wellfleet, MA

Pete Francis Kicks off Summer Tour

New York City based singer-songwriter, Pete Francis, is set to release his new album The Movie We Are In this May 2010. Whereas Francis’ previous solo albums were largely self-produced, he uprooted his more traditional approach to album-making and assembled an entirely new crew with Los Angeles based producer Jeff Trott (right hand man to Sheryl Crow as writer and guitarist).

Says Francis, “In the past I’ve worked with acoustic guitar, bass, drums, B3 organ, but I wanted to bring a modern electronic element into my music. When first speaking with Jeff Trott, I quickly realized he had great musical instincts and that he was getting my tunes. And then, he brought ideas to the table that I hadn’t imagined. I saw a new musical landscape could be created with my songs by working with him.”

The musicians that Trott assembled for the recording sessions helped to create this colorful landscape. Having worked with artists such as Beck, Nine Inch nails, Gnarls Barkley, Willie Nelson, Queens of the Stone Age, Dr. Dre, and Scott Weiland, the musicians (Brian LeBarton, Justin Meldal-Johnsen, John O’Brien, Victor Indrizzo and others) provided an extraordinary musical palette of talent and sensibility.

When asked about the project, Trott says, “It really became apparent to me that Pete was a very creative and colorful song-writer. What I liked was that there was this very good sense of Pete’s personality from happy go lucky to dark and brooding. All these aspects were amazing to work with and the lyrics were very colorful. I think that’s one of the things I really enjoy about Pete’s songs… that it’s sometimes hard to really figure out what the meanings are and I think that’s missing in a lot of music - the mystery of what a song is.”

The opening track, “Glue”, generates a feeling of weightlessness by combining organic instrumentation with futuristic sounds. This song solidly represents what’s to follow on the album’s consistent mix of fresh and classic, electronic and acoustic, known and unknown… Each listen unlocks a new guitar lick, synth riff, bass groove, drum program, live drumbeat or horn swell, and even the sounds of the sparsely used Ethiopian instrument cumbus. Midway through the album, the listener gets catapulted into the up-tempo and joyous revelry of “Love Shakes You Down” a sing-a-long with the familiar bell sounds of Motown combined with a  string synth creating a modern and retro sound all at once. The slower, more melodic songs of the album like “St. Paul’s Fair” and “Didn’t Know I Built It” lure the listener into dream-states with rich deep vocals, sampled sounds from a town square in Italy, trance-like Wurlitzer pedaling, and vivid lyrics.

No one would deny that Francis has earned his stripes in the independent music scene. He formed the fiercely independent band Dispatch in 1995 whose uncommonly loyal fan-base bid them farewell at The Last Dispatch concert in 2004 with an attendance of 110,000 people from around the world. Since then, his career has infiltrated many musical worlds including performing his solo music at festivals around the country, reuniting with his Dispatch pals for three sold out nights at Madison Square Garden, having his solo music featured in films and television, and performing in the presence of Zimbabwean Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C..

Commenting on his new album and departure from his Dispatch days, Francis says, “It’s good to get out of your comfort zone. I tried to let this motto resonate at every turning point of this record’s evolution.” When asked if there is an overall theme to The Movie We Are In, Francis explains, “I like to leave this up to the listener. Hearing an album is similar to visiting a museum. The listener has to have his or her own conversation with the artwork and create their own interpretations."

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US Spring / Summer Tour
(more dates to come)

May 18 World Cafe Live
Philadelphia, PA Doors: 7:00 PM
Ages: All Ages

May 19 Cafe 939
Boston, MA Doors: 7:30
Ages: All Ages

May 20 Wheel House
Narragansett , RI Doors: 8:00 PM
Ages: 18+

May 21 Red Square
Troy, NY Doors: 7:30
Ages: All Ages

May 22 The Stone Church
Newmarket, NH Doors: 8:00 PM
Ages: 18+

May 23 Fairfield Theatre's Stage One
Fairfield, CT Doors: 7:00 PM
Ages: All Ages

May 25 Jammin Java
Vienna, VA Doors: 7:30
Ages: All Ages

May 26 Joe's Pub
New York, NY Doors: 6pm
Ages: All Ages

Jun 01 Nightcat
Easton, Maryland Doors: 8:00 PM
Ages: All Ages

Jun 03 3rd + Lindsley
Nashville, Tennessee Doors: 8:00 PM
Ages: All Ages

Jun 05 Wakarusa Festival
Ozark, Arkansas Ages: All Ages

Jun 06 Wakarusa Festival
Ozark, Arkansas Ages: All Ages

Jun 08 SPACE
Evanston, Illinois Doors: 7:00 PM
Ages: All Ages

Jun 09 Rumba Cafe
Columbus, Ohio Doors: 8:00 PM
Ages: 18+

Jun 10 Club Cafe
Pittsburgh, PA Doors: 8:00 PM
Ages: 21+

Aug 10 Musikfest
Bethlehem , PA Doors: TBD Ages: All Ages

Pete Francis | Summer Tour 2010 | New LP

New York City based singer-songwriter, Pete Francis, is set to release his new album The Movie We Are In this May 2010. Whereas Francis’ previous solo albums were largely self-produced, he uprooted his more traditional approach to album-making and assembled an entirely new crew with Los Angeles based producer Jeff Trott (right hand man to Sheryl Crow as writer and guitarist). Says Francis, “In the past I’ve worked with acoustic guitar, bass, drums, B3 organ, but I wanted to bring a modern electronic element into my music. When first speaking with Jeff Trott, I quickly realized he had great musical instincts and that he was getting my tunes. And then, he brought ideas to the table that I hadn’t imagined. I saw a new musical landscape could be created with my songs by working with him.”

The musicians that Trott assembled for the recording sessions helped to create this colorful landscape. Having worked with artists such as Beck, Nine Inch nails, Gnarls Barkley, Willie Nelson, Queens of the Stone Age, Dr. Dre, and Scott Weiland, the musicians (Brian LeBarton, Justin Meldal-Johnsen, John O’Brien, Victor Indrizzo and others) provided an extraordinary musical palette of talent and sensibility.

When asked about the project, Trott says, “It really became apparent to me that Pete was a very creative and colorful song-writer. What I liked was that there was this very good sense of Pete’s personality from happy go lucky to dark and brooding. All these aspects were amazing to work with and the lyrics were very colorful. I think that’s one of the things I really enjoy about Pete’s songs… that it’s sometimes hard to really figure out what the meanings are and I think that’s missing in a lot of music - the mystery of what a song is.”

The opening track, “Glue”, generates a feeling of weightlessness by combining organic instrumentation with futuristic sounds. This song solidly represents what’s to follow on the album’s consistent mix of fresh and classic, electronic and acoustic, known and unknown… Each listen unlocks a new guitar lick, synth riff, bass groove, drum program, live drumbeat or horn swell, and even the sounds of the sparsely used Ethiopian instrument cumbus. Midway through the album, the listener gets catapulted into the up-tempo and joyous revelry of “Love Shakes You Down” a sing-a-long with the familiar bell sounds of Motown combined with a  string synth creating a modern and retro sound all at once. The slower, more melodic songs of the album like “St. Paul’s Fair” and “Didn’t Know I Built It” lure the listener into dream-states with rich deep vocals, sampled sounds from a town square in Italy, trance-like Wurlitzer pedaling, and vivid lyrics.

No one would deny that Francis has earned his stripes in the independent music scene. He formed the fiercely independent band Dispatch in 1995 whose uncommonly loyal fan-base bid them farewell at The Last Dispatch concert in 2004 with an attendance of 110,000 people from around the world. Since then, his career has infiltrated many musical worlds including performing his solo music at festivals around the country, reuniting with his Dispatch pals for three sold out nights at Madison Square Garden, having his solo music featured in films and television, and performing in the presence of Zimbabwean Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C..

Commenting on his new album and departure from his Dispatch days, Francis says, “It’s good to get out of your comfort zone. I tried to let this motto resonate at every turning point of this record’s evolution.” When asked if there is an overall theme to The Movie We Are In, Francis explains, “I like to leave this up to the listener. Hearing an album is similar to visiting a museum. The listener has to have his or her own conversation with the artwork and create their own interpretations."

The Blue Note Years: The Photography Of Francis Wolff & Jimmy Katz

Spring, 2009 JazzPrezzo proudly announces the release of The Blue Note Years: The Photography Of Francis Wolff and Jimmy Katz in celebration of the 70th Anniversary of Blue Note Records, the most important record label in the history of jazz.

John-ColtraneThis elegant coffee table book, including two CDs of music, spans an incredible seventy years of the label, from its beginnings to the present, through the eyes of two master photographers. The images, many of them never seen before, capture the major artists in modern jazz at historic recording sessions and other contexts. In recognition of this unique collection, the Jewish Museum of Berlin plans a special exhibition of photographs from the book for the fall of 2009.

Designed by award winning designer Ingo Wolff, the book features essays by producer Michael Cuscuna,  Blue Note president Bruce Lundvall, recording engineer Rudy Van Gelder, and jazz historian Ashley Kahn.

Wolff’s Rolleiflex caught each important development from traditional and swing-era styles of the 40’s through bebop, hard bop, soul, avant-garde, and even the first sounds of fusion.

Photographs include jazz legends  Sidney Bechet and Thelonious Monk, Art Blakey and Horace Silver, Miles Davis and Clifford Brown, and Sonny Rollins and John Coltrane, breadth staggering in its historical importance.  The story continues with jazz greats Jackie McLean, Herbie Hancock, Dexter Gordon, Freddie Hubbard, Lee Morgan, Grant Green, Ornette Coleman, Cecil Taylor, Don Cherry, Andrew Hill, Cassandra Wilson and Joe Lovano.

Wolff’s iconic black and white photographs, intimate, relaxed, and respectful of the musicians and their craft, raised jazz players to a heroic level. His point of view endures today: musicians intensely working on their instruments, peering at sheet music or talking among themselves, playing the music with eyes gazing off into space or closed in musical rapture.

In the early nineties, Blue Note found Wolff’s spiritual descendant in Jimmy Katz whose style has its own distinctive signature. Like Wolff, Katz can catch the right moment, frame it, light it and shoot it in a fraction of a second. Their careers have run along parallel lines: both picked up the camera early, fell under the spell of jazz, and established a mature, visual signature. Like a Wolff image, a Katz portrait is instantly recognizable.

Ashley Kahn writes, “Seeing, as the saying goes, is believing. In the photography of both Wolff and Katz there is a deep, shared reverence for the music, captured in a way that makes us all fortunate witnesses to some private and truly historic moments.”  Bruce Lundvall comments, “This book is the nicest 70th Anniversary gift that Blue Note could get.”

Pete Francis & Barefoot Truth Join Forces for 2009 Tour Dates

photos courtesy of Tsumani Publicity- for the Grateful Web

Singer/songwriter Pete Francis is kicking off 2009 with a full slate of late winter and early spring dates throughout the Northeast and Midwest. Blending an energetic and uplifting live experience with sincere and heartfelt songwriting, Francis has showcased his signature style in sold out auditoriums and intimate clubs across the country. For this tour, Francis has joined forces with up-and-coming New England based roots rock outfit Barefoot Truth. With both artists jamming collectively as one band on Pete Francis, Dispatch, and Barefoot Truth material, the shows will offer surprising twists and unique takes on each artist's compositions.

Staying true to his indie roots, the former Dispatch songwriter blends sonic elements of folk, jam, rock and pop with visual elements of art and poetry. Francis pushes the boundaries of creativity, composing inspiring lyrical lines and melodies over layers of strings, brass, keys and rhythms, while the multi-instrumented Barefoot Truth delivers organic, feel-good compositions and feverish live performances. Still in their early twenties, Barefoot Truth has emerged as one of the fastest growing bands on the east coast. They spent the fall touring behind their election-themed single All Good Reasons and were asked to play the Obama campaign official pre-debate rally in New York; it's not often a band of 20-somethings without a label perform on a main stage sandwiched between sets by Bruce Hornsby and Crosby & Nash.

Part singer-songwriter, part foot-stomping backbeat, and part old-time rock and roll, the Pete Francis/Barefoot Truth collaboration is one that has been in the works for quite some time. Francis produced Barefoot Truth's 2006 release The Clubhouse Sessions with longtime Dispatch producer Jack Gauthier, and has joined the band on stage at multiple performances over the last 18 months. Francis, Barefoot Truth and Gauthier will team up again this winter for another EP set for release alongside the tour.

The tour will begin with a show on February 19th at The Station in Portland, ME, followed by a run winding through all parts of the northeast with stops in MA, VT, NH, NY, NJ, PA, MD and VA. The tour will conclude in April with two Illinois shows, including a stop at the famous Beat Kitchen in Chicago.

For more information click here.

TOUR DATES:
2/19 – The Station – Portland, ME (all ages)
2/20 - Cafe 939 - Boston, MA (all ages)
2/21 - Tupelo Music Hall - Londonderry, NH (all ages)
2/26 - Tin Angel - Philly (21+)
2/27 - Canal Room - NYC (all ages)
2/28 - Trackside - Wilton, CT (all ages)
3/11 - 8x10 - Baltimore, MD (all ages)
3/12 - Mohegan Sun Casino - CT (21+)
3/13 - Harry's - Bloomsburg, PA (21+)
3/21 - Bates College - Lewiston, ME (co-bill with Braddigan)
3/25 - Eastern Tennesse State U – Johnson City, TN (Pete Francis solo)
3/29 - Higher Ground - Burlington, VT (all ages)
4/03 - Iron Horse - Northampton, MA – (all ages) (early acoustic show and late full band)
4/08 – Beat Kitchen – Chicago, IL (all ages)
4/09 - Homewood Flossmoor High School - Homewood, IL