Winter Mountain aka Cornish singer-songwriter Joe Francis will release his new album 'I Swear, I Flew' on November 18th and will support the release with a UK tour that includes acoustic duo headline shows, full band shows and two solo dates with Cara Dillon. Full tour dates, the video for the terrific 'Sunlight, Good Roads' and loads more info about Winter Mountain and the new album follows:
Cornish singer-songwriter Joe Francis is Winter Mountain.
Astral Fox Records is proud to present I Swear I Flew, the stunning new record and first full release from Winter Mountain since the critically acclaimed self-titled debut in 2013.
I Swear I Flew further advances Winter Mountain’s standing as a musical force , showcasing not only Joe’s extraordinary songwriting abilities but also his skills as a multi-instrumentalist and producer - his instrumental credits for the album extend to vocals, electric, acoustic and bass guitar, backing vocals, mandolin, piano and harmonica.
Written between Ireland, the wild and beautiful north coast of Cornwall, and across a stark, awe inspiring winter spent in the French Alps, I Swear I Flew is a captivating musical diary covering recent events in Joe’s life. Musically informed by such songwriting greats as Springsteen, Tom Petty and Neil Young, I Swear I Flew has a punchier sound than Winter Mountain’s debut, being sonically and emotionally more raw and revealing than its predecessor.
The album features contributions from folk superstar Seth Lakeman on several tracks, who provides earthy backing vocals to Joe’s soaring tenor, as well as gifting his rare talents on fiddle, bouzouki and tenor guitar, infusing the songs with his unmistakable melodic and ragged Celtic swagger.
I Swear I Flew moves effortlessly between driving sing-along rock - ‘Sunlight, Good Roads’, which Joe describes as his “rock and roll take on a Celtic benediction”, and ‘Platinum and Gold’, a rallying cry to overcome tough circumstances, to haunting ballads – ‘The Morning Bell’ and ‘Dragonfly’, which features a sparse and beautiful duet between vocals and cello. And from lush pop arrangements – ‘The Lucky Ones’, to the menacing growl of ‘Things That I’ve Done Wrong’, a hard rock behemoth which grows out of the silence like an outtake from Neil Young's seminal Rust Never Sleeps, and which promises to be a formidable addition to the Winter Mountain full band live set. Delve further into the album and you’ll hear flecks of Americana on ‘Open Heart’ and ‘Before the Flood’, while a softly strummed guitar, Niall Murphy's extraordinary fiddle playing and Joe’s powerful lyrical imagery form a fitting tribute to County Donegal, Ireland in ‘Banba’s Crown’.
The album finishes reflectively with the piano ballad ‘Fireworks Night (Promises We Make)’, a stirring hymn to the keen observation that one must hang on to the spirit and dreams of youth, when it’s often “the promises we break that keep our world turning”.
With its searing vocals, gentle acoustic guitars, blazing telecasters, pounding drums, piano balladry and echoes of many of the master singer- songwriters, I Swear I Flew is a must-hear for anyone with a soft spot for great songs sung with burning passion.
WINTER MOUNTAIN – ‘I SWEAR I FLEW’ TOUR 2016
NOVEMBER (acoustic duo headline shows except* solo shows and ** full band show)
Fri 11 Worthing Connaught Theatre* with Cara Dillon
Sat 12 Shrewsbury The Wightman
Sun 13 Salisbury City Hall* with Cara Dillon
Mon 14 Norwich The Bicycle Shop
Tue 15 Milton Keynes The Stables 2
Thu 17 Bangor Blue Sky Café
Sat 19 Cirencester Sundial Theatre
Sat 26 Falmouth The Poly**
DECEMBER (acoustic duo headline shows except** full band shows)
Sat 3 Bristol Bristol Folk House
Wed 7 Cardiff Gwdihŵ Café Bar
Fri 9 Winchester The Railway
Sat 10 Bromsgrove The Artrix
Sun 11 Watchet, Somerset Pebbles Tavern
Wed 14 London The Islington**
Sun 18 South Woodchester, nr. Stroud The Convent **
Hailing from the wild northern shores of Cornwall, Winter Mountain is a blend of melodic songs, an extraordinary voice and heartfelt lyrics in a sound reminiscent of a time before digital recording, when the emphasis fell on the importance of live performance and the essence of the song.
Winter Mountain began life as a musical collaboration between two songwriters, Cornwall's Joe Francis and Donegal's Marty Smyth, after they met on a train, heading southbound from Chicago to Memphis. Whether a chance meeting or an act of fate, the conversation that followed revealed their mutual love for vocal harmony, as well as the classic songs and sounds of the Sixties, highlighting a feeling both were searching for something in life not of their era. Soon writing songs together, the quality of the songs, and their abilities as performers inspired folk star Cara Dillon and husband/producer Sam Lakeman to sign Winter Mountain to their Charcoal Records label, releasing their self titled debut album in 2013 to wide critical acclaim and extensive airplay, and subsequently signing with the prestigious Faber Music Publishing.
However, despite a growing fanbase and the industry attention they were garnering, fate had different ideas and after years honing their craft on the road and in the studio, Marty announced he was leaving the duo. Though shaken by his musical partner’s departure, Joe kept the creative flame alight by moving between Ireland, his Cornwall home and a stark but beautiful winter in the French Alps, writing as he went. Joe returned to the public arena in 2016 with supports for Elbow frontman Guy Garvey, The Feeling and pop legend Seal.
Winter Mountain has toured the length and breadth of the UK and Ireland opening for some of the world’s most talented and high profile artists including Seth Lakeman, Cara Dillon, Ocean Colour Scene, Reef, Richard Thompson, Rosanne Cash, LeAnn Rimes, Patty Griffin, Benny Gallagher, Paolo Nutini, Fleet Foxes and many others.