“With painterly lyrics, wistful melodies, and that marvelous rich diamond of a voice, Julia had the style and grace to go fearlessly into whatever musical house we were building at the moment. Miss Francis delivers! I know, I was there.” –Victor DeLorenzo, Violent Femmes founding drummer
There are some voices that wilt against the howling wind. Some voices that can’t rise above the clamor of clinking glasses and lustful patrons. But Julia Francis does not have just some voice. Hers, which rides the exquisite sonic swells of her band, The Secrets of Soul, is a voice like a muscle car screeching down a stretch of rainy midnight road.
Julia and her Emerald City-based band harken to the formation days of rock ‘n’ roll and soulful blues music. With mind clearing guitar solos and pronounced rhythmic strolls, the music, like a bursting cloud, washes out the gutters of one’s own mind time and time again.
And while it’s nearly impossible not to picture the great Janis Joplin when you hear Francis tear into a mic, there is more than sweet homage embedded in the songs and epic vocal performances. There is relationship and pain, bridges and waves, sunsets and daydreams in the front woman’s tone, whether she is reinterpreting a classic roots song or introducing one of her latest original compositions.
Julia Francis’ last album of original songs, Lucky Penny, was released in 2008, produced by Violent Femmes drummer Victor DeLorenzo, and featuring Seattle session virtuosos Jeff Fielder, Andy Stoller and Ben Smith. Julia is currently working on a new recording project with her band and members of South Seattle’s vibrant music community. The wisdom in Julia’s music teaches listeners new ways to believe in that which you can’t always see.