John Francis with Special Guest: Ross Bellenoit
John Francis now makes his home (when not touring 200+ days per year) in Music City, that is, Nashville, Tennessee.
Like his songs, Francis is rooted in the real, vulnerable, and gritty stories of human experiences, his own and those he encounters. And as he tours and travels, he’s collected stories of others, and built his own story on that great “ribbon of highway”.
Inside the soaring vibrato-laden tenor and the catchy rock / folk melodies, you can feel the pain, the redemption, the sorrow, and the transcendence in the voice of a young man who is, as Shane Claiborne puts its, “…a poet and a troubadour; a provocateur of dreams and an instigator of movements. Most of all, he is a friend. He is a friend of mine, but he is also a friend of many down-and-out people the world has stepped on, pushed aside, and tried to ignore. His voice becomes much bigger than his own, and his stories tell the stories of injustice and freedom that are thousands of years old. Listen, and be inspired to do something daring with your life.”
Ross Bellenoit's "Home Songs Volume 2" — the second in a series of three EPs being released this year — is a set of literate, folk-pop compositions that straddle the line between the junkyard blues of Tom Waits’ disjunctive grooves and 80s new-wave nerd-pop. Each of the "Home Songs" EPs comprises six songs — self-produced and recorded at Bellenoit's home in South Philadelphia. The second installment proves as whimsical and world-weary as the first, but the arrangements feature a more intensely spartan quality, a greater directness in his intentions. Songs like "Lust" leave a deep, haunting imprint on the listener, while "Your Face" disguises a degree of snark in the lyrics with an uplifting lilt in the music. Music fans already know Bellenoit from his 2010 solo vinyl LP "Eight Track Mind", and also as the stunning Telecaster slinger for the critically acclaimed Sweetback Sisters (Signature Sounds). He's also lent his guitar skills to internationally renowned songwriters like Amos Lee (Blue Note), Joesph Parsons (Blue Rose), and Birdie Busch (Bar/None).
A monthly concert of the Philadelphia Folksong Society
Free for Members; $10 for Guests