Winter Mountain, aka the Cornish singer-songwriter Joe Francis has announced a November-December tour, including The Bicycle Shop, Norwich on Monday November 14, in support of eagerly-anticipated second album I Swear I Flew.
“Cornwall’s Joe Francis possesses an extraordinarily engaging singing voice…He is also an exceptional songwriter and musician…The title I Swear I Flew is wrong in tense only – the second Winter Mountain album is the sound of a project still in understated, majestic flight.” – From The Margins
After the success of his critically acclaimed self-titled debut in 2013, Astral Fox Records is proud to present I Swear I Flew.
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.
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On Monday 14th November, Winter Mountain will play The Bicycle Shop in Norwich.
For more information, the rest of the tour date or to book visit www.wintermountain.co.uk.