Like Deer Tick, Francis is an insanely-talented young singer-songwriter (albeit with slightly less buzz). Hailing from Los Angeles, he sounds nothing like his surroundings. Actually, he doesn’t even sound like he’s from this century.
His music exudes both innocence and angst, hope and despair. His debut One By One is an earnest, introspective, timeless folk record that will undoubtedly be cherished by those lucky enough to stumble upon it.
His debut album, One By One on Aeronaut Records came out last August. It’s playing in my iTunes at this moment. Francis has a haunting, floating on the wind sound.
Categorizing his own music as “a small monsoon of emotion,” the Brentwood, Calif. native who, as a young boy, would sneak into clubs to watch his sisters perform, recorded One by One in a friend’s living room and on the second floor of his parents’ house. At eight years old, Robert Francis was invited up on the stage at The Mint Club in L.A. to perform with actor Harry Dean Stanton and singer Chaka Kahn. Ry Cooder, number eight on Rolling Stone’s “The 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time,” gave Francis a vintage National guitar at age nine. When Francis was 16, John Frusciante, best known as the guitarist for the Red Hot Chili Peppers, took him on as his only student.
Interestingly, there’s another Robert Francis, a poet, who passed away in 1987.
[MP3 Offering] “All My Trains” by Robert Francis