Highlights of Performance History

cartoon: Malik Zidi

Singer-songwriter David Francis held a residency at the BMW Bar in NYC from 1999 until its closing in 2001.

BMW frequenter the late Giorgio Gomelsky, former manager of the Rolling Stones and the Yardbirds, wrote the first serious criticism of David’s music.

The late Maureen Holm, organizer of Carnegie Hall’s Lyric Recovery Festival, featured David in a series of readings and music. He also composed music for a revue at LaMaMa ETC Theatre.

His eponymous debut album, released in 2001, caused a buzz in the Village, where it was surreptitiously placed in jukeboxes by fans.

Fake Valentine was recorded in 2003 with top NYC session musicians and engineered by Jeff Philips. The album garnered editor’s picks in the underground press and e-zines, while exposure on radio and podcasts further expanded David’s reputation. That year, he participated in WUMB’s Bazaar of the Stars in Boston.

In 2006 he toured England twice, and was interviewed on BBC and other radio. Fake Valentine gained momentum through further airplay and reviews in the UK and Europe.

Poet George Dickerson and David collaborated on two highly-acclaimed poetry/music shows in NYC.

The next year David released Poems, an album of 18 poems set to 18 pieces of music. This radical departure received excellent reviews and was played on poetry radio programs and, as a coup, some music shows.

NYCBigCityLit published his article “Utterance and Hum: The Difference Between Poem and Song.” His poetry was published in a number of US and UK magazines.

David embarked on a music and poetry tour of England in 2008, reading and singing at venues across the country.

Early in 2009, Monochrome Records released an EP Anthem for Green England by David Francis & The Global Village. The title song, written on tour in 2008, protests the UK government’s plan to destroy 910 acres of green fields to build an “eco-town.” BBC Radio interviewed producer John Mono, and the story of the song was picked up by the press.

In July 2009 David was invited to lecture at the Bath Royal Literary and Scientific Institution. The same month, the UK government announced that for the time being it had abandoned its “eco-town” proposal.

Much of 2010 David spent in England planning and recording his fourth album, to be released by Monochrome Museum. In the fall, a short story was published, as well as an essay. Oilcan Press brought out Always/Far, a book of song lyrics from the first two albums, illustrated with black-and-white drawings by the author.

Five new short stories appeared in US and UK magazines. The end of 2011 saw the release of On a Shingle Near Yapton, featuring “Anthem for Green England.”

“Anthem” received reviews and radio play in 2012. It was also a prolific year for short stories: eight were published. After a hand injury forced David to cancel a tour of England, he resumed work on a long-shelved film project about his music…

More fiction came in 2013, a poetry residency at Swans Commentary magazine, and two sonnets were included in the book The Phoenix Rising from the Ashes: Anthology of Sonnets of the Early Third Millennium. David played concerts in New York and Connecticut.

On October 28, 2013 his “musical documentary collage” Village Folksinger premiered to an enthusiastic audience with a lively Q&A at Anthology Film Archives in NYC.

A second documentary Projection was produced in April 2014. That October David released his fifth album Cassette, made entirely from pre-recorded cassette tapes, accompanied by a video “Commercial for Cassette.”

Village Folksinger was selected by NewFilmmakers New York to be screened on January 3, 2015. The film also screened at the Center for Progressive Therapies in Manchester, Connecticut and the Gulf Coast Film & Video Festival in Houston, Texas.

In March/April David digitized his reel-to-reel tapes from the past – 26 hours – and made an hour-and-a-half work about his youthful influences of folk, blues, rock, jazz and classical music. Memory Journey was released in December 2015, with an event held April 8, 2016 in NYC comprised of an exhibition of original drawings and photos from the 1970’s, a live performance and Q&A.

In October Radio Wildfire hosted the European premiere of Village Folksinger, a concert, and Q&A in Oswestry, England. Improvisation, an album of instrumental compositions, was released in December 2016. On the literary front, over the year some thirty poems appeared in print and online journals.