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Francine Reed Bio

FRANCINE REED BIOGRAPHY The blues can be defined in a limitless number of ways, but it will forever be the soul’s measurement of self-expression and self-healing. Where mere words cannot articulate, and movement is incomplete, music bridges the chasm. Francine Reed’s new album, SHADES OF BLUE, is the language of human spirit distilled through a voice of radiance. Known to most of the wold as Lyle Lovett’s duet and back-up vocalist, this Chicago-born songstress has been singing professionally since she was a child in her family’s gospel group. “ I always say I was born singing,” recalls Francine. “When the doctor slapped me on the ass, I went (singing) ‘Look at me!” Obligations resulting from a broken marriage prevented Ms. Reed from pursuing her dream full-time until her children were grown up and self-sufficient. During those years, however, Francine performed in local jazz clubs and at various functions, eventually rising to prominence in her adopted hometown of Phoenix, Arizona. As a support act, Ms. Reed appeared on the bill with luminaries such as Miles Davis, Smokey Robinson, Etta James, and The Crusaders. In 1985, she met the then unknown singer Lyle Lovett and they formed a strong alliance that continues to this day. “Lyle has always intrigued me, and has been my greatest influence in the last fifteen years of my life. Just seeing the amount of importance he puts into every performance and into every recording session has had a tremendous effect on me. Being around musicians of his caliber has brought me to a higher level.” Francine provides Lyle Lovett and his Large Band with an indelible stage presence and harmonic texture that has fans and critics worldwide. Reminiscing on their initial encounter at a recording session, “I couldn’t believe the voice I heard in the headphones belonged to THAT guy, I could’ve sworn that wasn’t him singing.” Performing with Lovett’s ensemble for over a decade, Ms. Reed has appeared on several of the artist’s platinum discs, and sang alongside Mr. Lovett on recent broadcasts of “Late Night with David Letterman”, “The Tonight Show” with Jay Leno, and “Regis a d Kathy Lee.” In addition to her touring schedule with Lovett, Ms. Reed has appeared on recordings by Delbert McClinton and Roy orbison, among others. Her distinctive vocals can also be herd on several television commercials including Senekot Laxative (“I Feel Good”) and in a scene from the 1993 hit film, THE FIRM, via Tom Cruise’s character’s disc player. “I can still remember my first performance when I was a three year old in my aunt’s church. Her name was Helen Francis, for whom I’m named, and I was so small they had to put me on the piano. I used to listen to rehearsals with her gospel choir and I’d sing “I Wanna See Jesus” in front of the congregation. An audience to me could be just one or two people. My mom would have guest over and point to me and say ‘sing a song.’ And I would just go on and sing, and I’d even make up my own songs. It’s a natural God-given talent.” Francine Reed’s solo career began in the mid –1990s after she relocated to Georgia. Francine released her debut, I WANT YOU TO LOVE ME, in 1985, which included a cameo by Mr. Lovett. A year later, she followed up with CAN’T MAKE IT ON MY OWN, which featured studio legends Al Kooper (organ) and Bob Babbait (bass), along with McClinton. Both records were highly acclaimed with the later being the catalyst for a prestigious W.C. Handy Artist of the Year and Song of the Year nominations. Bonnie Raitt praised Francine Reed during a concert at Chastain Park when she walked on stage with Ms. Reed’s album and proclaimed. “You folks have a national treasure here in Atlanta.” Produced by Bryan Cole and Edd Miller for CMO Productions in Atlanta. SHADES OF BLUE is a stellar collection of ten compositions that allow Francine Reed to expand on the legacy in which she carved out for herself. Featuring up-tempo dance selections, heartfelt ballads, and lush orchestrations, SHADES OF BLUE is essential listening. “My brother Tony was the one who introduced me to jazz. Like most of my family I was into R& B, Motown, Donny Hathaway, Stevie Wonder, and Nancy Wilson. We all used to listen to the radio and were very influenced by everyone we heard. And we thought we could do what everyone else was doing.” “Got A Right To Sing The Blues” is one of the many special moments on her latest release. The duel vocals of Francine and her sister Margo bespeak a deep passion for the blues. “I always loved the way Margo did this tune,” notes Francine, “and anything we sing together is going to be enjoyable.” Choosing the songs for SHADES OF BLUE was no easy task for a singer that is well versed in a number of genres. “Producer Bryan (Cole), and Edd (Miller) did everything for me on this album except the singing! We received tunes from advertisements placed in magazines for me, and they would weed through all the tapes and select what was right. Their expertise made it all happen.” However, the selections do reveal a very personal aspect of the artists’ life. “The Man That Got Away,” “Wrong Man For The Job,” “I Have A Right To Know,” and I’m A Handful” all ring true. “”Oh yes, it’s a man thing…my breakup with a gentleman had a lot to do with these songs. It comes around every now and then.” “When we’re in the studio, I always try to go with first takes. Since I’m constantly working I usually don’t have the luxury of setting aside time specifically to record.” On the subject of capturing the energy of a live performance in a recording booth, and keeping the concert flame burning, Ms. Reed notes “it’s a mindset for me that I’m still trying to master. If it’s a really good song, then it just comes out of me. At a gig, I try to phrase like a record which is what the audience comes to hear. I learned that from being on the road with Lyle. Other times I have a tendency to be more improvisational and feed of the musicians and the crowd. Then I can kick it up a notch. But how that comes about, I really don’t know. I just open my mouth and sing from the heart. I’m really blessed.” CONTACT: Al Risi / PLATINUM ENTERTAINMENT 770-664-9262 ext 5762 CMO Productions / Management Bryan Cole and Edd Miller 404-355-0909