David Francis | David Francis

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MEMORY JOURNEY a new film by David Francis premiered December 7, 2018 at Anthology Film Archives, NYC David Francis Facebook page David Francis' film VILLAGE FOLKSINGER premiered October 28, 2013 at Anthology Film Archives, NYC David Francis - Poet and Songwriter Giorgio Gomelsky interview

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Folk: Folk Pop Rock: Acoustic Moods: Type: Lyrical
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David Francis

by David Francis

A pop-folk balladeer of cafes, lost love, and rebellion.
Genre: Folk: Folk Pop
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Always
2:51 $0.99
2. The Street Where You Don't Walk On
2:38 $0.99
3. Bright Pennies
2:29 $0.99
4. Right Now's the Way It's Gonna Be
4:16 $0.99
5. A Bad Attitude
3:00 $0.99
6. Wait A While With Me
3:39 $0.99
7. Exile
3:40 $0.99
8. Already (Sleepover)
2:23 $0.99
9. Stump In the Shade
3:11 $0.99
10. Stretch the Canvas
1:38 $0.99
11. I Can Hardly Believe What I'm Hearing
4:15 $0.99
12. If You Believed In Me
1:05 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes

Featured on "David Francis":

David Francis (vocals, guitars, keyboards, autoharp, percussion)


The late Giorgio Gomelsky, original manager of the Rolling Stones and the Yardbirds, wrote in March 2002:

I first heard David when he was performing at the now-defunct BMW Bar in Chelsea, around the corner from my house. For a couple of years BMW had been an anomaly on the block. Defying licensing and cabaret laws, this small hole-in-the-wall place, serving coffee, wine and beer around the clock,was home from home for an odd collection of humans: from ambitious yet poor poets, jazzers and folksters to local outcasts, from all-night cab drivers to out-of-town wanderers, lost souls, insomniacs and others who "made it through the day and survived the night," to quote a lyric from one of David's songs.

Frankie, the bartender, treated everyone with uncustomary consideration, warmth and politeness. No one was judged or, as David says, no one was "devalued." I would stop there on my way home like at an "after hours" for a last drink before hitting the sack.

It truly was a remarkable place and reminded me first of the existentialist cellars in the bohemian Paris of my youth where Boris Vian, Juliette Greco, and Jacques Brel would be practicing their crafts before hitting the big time, or the coffee-bars in London and the West Village in the 60's. True "underground" stuff.

Most people were in one "bad way" or another, like our mate Bill Bruton who was dying from smoking cigarettes, or homeless Jack whose wife had thrown him out of the house for reasons we never got to know.

And there was a sound track to the place. "Passion instead of Fashion," it changed as the days and evenings unfolded. Anything from loud high-energy rock, to mellifluous jazz, hopelessly inadequate folk singing and pretty bad poetry, to the more melancholic late night sets. Anything from unabashed, self-promotional egocentricity to more mature and reflective offerings.

This is where David "I can hardly believe what I'm hearing" Francis came in. My ears pricked up when I first heard him. There was something ancient, universal and yet very modern about his songs. First, an almost imperceptible yet present reference to the kind of odd melodic intervals the Beatles favored, a definite touch of Bo Diddley and Buddy Holly rhythms, and big minor-key, emotional sweeps a la Brel, flamenco guitar licks and beneath it all a hint of medioeval romance music. Difficult to describe, just as any really original synthesis is difficult to pin down.

I rarely understand the lyrics people are singing live, so I was agreeably surprised to listen to David's CD and understand WHAT he's talking about, and my view of his work was strengthened. His stuff is almost too subtle to be recognized as instantly "commercial." However, there is an unmistakable quality of heartfelt authenticity about it, which I hope people will discover sooner than later. He's a truthful artist and an uncompromising commentator on the human condition and an humble soul. Very rare these days.

David Francis was also the featured artist in the debut issue of "Iwa-Ishi" (March 2002). Robert Y. Rabiee wrote:

This month's featured artist is the amazingly talented pop-folk balladeer David Francis, whose self-titled debut record is making waves in the East and West Village folk scenes. Mixing everything from McCartney-Lennon hooks to Nick Drake's subtle charm, David's debut record is a solid, enjoyable, and often heartbreaking tale of cafes, lost love, and rebellion - the sort of emotion-powered folk that is oftentimes hard to come by. The opening track "Always" gives us David at his sweetest, telling (presumably) a lover that he is forever hers.

"Right Now's the Way It's Gonna Be" is a beautiful love song replete with piano-stabs and a breakneck clip that gets right into your head. "A Bad Attitude" is slow and solemn, beautiful with its understated guitar. "Stump in the Shade" is a perky number based on an all-too-familiar chord progression that David manages to weave around a delicate melody and fantastic wall-of-Davids harmony.

The album, on the whole, is fabulous - a nugget of powerful pop folk that any artist should be proud of having their name attached to. David will, undoubtedly, do even bigger and greater things in the future - but "David Francis" ain't a bad start.

"The Big Takeover" Issue 51 (Fall 2002) says:

...Listen to the songs on this disc and hear the common man giving his passionate all...Love, loss, comfort, adjustment are all facets of David Francis' world, and this world is heavily and dramatically reflected in these songs.

Live show review in "Acoustic Live!" (August 2000) by Richard Cuccaro:

David Francis sang acoustic pop with a strong Freddy Mercury-like falsetto and used interesting chord progressions on a Gibson 12-string, well-worn around the sound hole, with Elvis Costello-like sharp breaks and pauses. All his songs had an energetic, pop feel. He moved around a lot, returning to the mic at odd angles, well suited to his tall, gaunt frame. The set included "Vilma's Lighter" and "Exile." In "Lines In Blue Ink," a woman he desires sits at a park bench writing a poem in blue ink and he sings "Tell me that you're coming back, and I'll answer you with my black." In "Detour Blues" he sings "Since away from your love, I got a detour shove...to nowhere."

Review in "IMPACT press" (April/May 2003) by J.C. Carnahan:

Whether pounding on a piano or strumming the strings raw on his guitar, nothing more distinguishes Francis than the well-worn vocals that come off scratchy and painful at times. His style of lyrics and guitar work has been compared to that of the Beatles and Nick Cave, the vocal tone is a lot like what McCartney does. The overall vibe of this disc is soothing, maybe as soothing as a lonely man can get.

Review in "GO METRIC!" (issue 17) by Michael Faloon:

And there are times when you realize your zine is just a name on a mailing list. How else does a batch of James Taylor/Billy Joel pop tunes land on our desk? Still, this is better than a lot of the discs we receive. The tour de force being "Stump in the Shade," which features a mellow take on the Bo Diddley beat, handclaps, Moody Blues backing vocals, and lyrics where he compares himself to a tree stump!

Review in "Recluse Zine" (No. 8):

This disc has a lot of acoustic guitar folkiness that reminds me a lot of Paul McCartney or the Beatles. A nice, relaxing album.

Review in "Bog-Gob" (February 2004) by Rich Howell:

David Francis is a singer-songwriter who's been highly active in the New York City scene for the last five years. This self-titled album showcases his pop/folk stylings. In addition to passionate vocals, he also performs all instruments on the album, predominantly acoustic guitar and piano. Some of the songs brought to mind Randy Newman. "Right Now's the Way It's Gonna Be" features Spanish guitar work. Songs such as "A Bad Attitude" and "Wait a While with Me" have a McCartney feel. "Stump in the Shade" is a Bo Diddley/"Hand Jive"-styled number. Some moments are better than others, but overall a solid collection.

DAVID FRANCIS' albums "Improvisation," "Memory Journey," "Cassette," "On a Shingle Near Yapton," "Fake Valentine" and "Poems" are also available on CDBaby.



to write a review

Kevin Orton

A street few walk on
Listening to David Francis leaves you with the impression he's familiar with a street few walk on. He's also one of the few songwriters I know of who can use the word "buttocks" in a song without sounding ridiculous.
While dropping names like Freddy Mercury , Elliott Smith, Nick Drake & Brian Wilson may apply, they certainly don't do him justice. Haunting, unique & melodic might be better adjectives in Francis' case. Things begin sweet & spare with "Always" but soon turn somewhat ominous with, "Street Where You Don't Walk On". Francis' Spanish guitar stylings are showcased in the opening of "Right Now It's The Way It's Gonna Be" while "Wait A While With Me" captures him in "lonely man at the piano" mode. "Exile" is the kind of thing people raise their lighters to, featuring killer lines like, "I'm just trying to brag my way to courage". Thoughout, Francis creates "a wall of sound" for himself with his own backing vocal arragements. The DYI economy of it all is enough to make Phil Spectre eat his heart out. In closing, Francis writes the kind of lonely stuff that will help you make it through a bad night. To quote the man himself, "I don't really know what else to say".