A few weeks ago at a folk music conference in Oakland, I had my mind blown by two Americana/soul singers who call themselves Freddy & Francine. Their actual names are Lee Ferris and Bianca Caruso. I always love when people move from epic names to more commonplace ones. There’s something humble about it. The music, however, is entirely epic, with emotional melodies that wring you out like a sweat rag. When the foot stomping starts and the harmonies let loose, your heart will explode and you’ll be lifted out of the fog of whatever depression the daily grind has lowered into your mind.
“You Are Not My Maker” – Freddy & Francine.
The powerful musical prowess cemented by an electric chemistry between Ferris and Caruso has led the duo to reign in the LA folk/Americana scene, gaining a loyal following that pulled them out of a 4-year hiatus, and helped them raise nearly $18K for their third album, currently in the works as the first post-hiatus release. They evoke the strong swelling songwriting of Neko Case, the soulful impulses of fellow folk singer Ray Lamontagne, and are both possessed of honeyed voices in the ageless vein of Aretha Franklin and Frank Sinatra. Add a dash of that old renegade country sound. Sounds like a tall order, but they deliver in spades.
“Baby, You’re Not Well” – Freddy & Francine
Their show tomorrow night, Thursday 11/12, at one of SF’s hidden gems — the warm and intimate 50-seat venue The Lost Church — promises to make you forget any notion of folk being tired or trite. The show kicks off a month long northwest tour. Tickets are $10 advance or $15 at the door. Find them here.
Press photo by David Schwartz.