"Stewart Francke is the the best songwriter I've heard in 20 years.' - Mick Taylor, legendary guitarist & former member of The Rolling Stones. "Thank God for Stewart Francke. Thank God for his feeling, healing music, for the sweetness of his soul, the sincerity of his songs, the strength of his vision. Motor City Serenade is enriching, nourishing music - music as faith, music as celebration, music whose source is clear and joyful love." - David Ritz, author of Ray, the Ray Charles Story and Divided Soul: The Marvin Gaye Story Motor City Serenade is the most important blue eyed soul record in a musical generation.... Standing courageously at the intersection of rock and soul music, influenced equally by Marvin Gaye and Brian Wilson, Stewart Francke possesses all the tools: A sweet voice, a vision that's grand without being grandiose and undying love of sound for it's own sake, and an equally passionate engagement with everyday life and the people who live it. This music isn't classic anything only because, like every real artist, Francke takes the world as he knows it and moves on his own course. " - Dave Marsh, America's most widely read music writer & Bruce Springsteen biographer. STEWART FRANCKE BIO With hard work, great songwriting and soulful singing, Stewart Francke has found success as an independent act in the rough & tumble music business. He's made ten highly praised cds, the most recent being Motor City Serenade, released in 2005 by the UK R&B label Zane. Much of the CD was recorded with the legendary Motown session band the Funk Brothers. He's licensed songs to TV (Melrose Place, MTV's Real World, various daytime shows), for image advertising (GM, Ford, National Cancer Association) and documentaries. Building his devoted audience nearly one person at a time, Stewart's now known as one of the most exciting live acts performing today, playing his own headlining shows as well as support touring with the likes of Sheryl Crow, Warren Zevon, Steve Earle, Chris Isaak, Robert Cray, Shawn Colvin, Hall & Oates, Michael McDonald, Stevie Winwood, Eddie Money, Chicago, & many others. His music has won numerous awards: nine Detroit music awards, Hour Detroit most popular musician 2002-2004, four straight ASCAP writer's awards-and a highly prestigious Point of Light Award for his work in cancer care. The Stewart Francke Leukemia Foundation was also presented the prestigious Partnership In Humanity Award by the Detroit Newspapers, and he was awarded a Creative Artist Grant by Artserve Michigan in 2003. A leukemia and bone marrow transplant survivor of 7 years, Francke often plays charity fundraisers or donates his time to cancer support and fund raising. To date the Stewart Francke Leukemia Foundation has raised more than $200,000, which has been given to organizations such as Karmanos Cancer Institute, the Children's Leukemia Foundation, The National Bone Marrow Transplant Link, The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and Gilda's Club. The priority mission of the foundation is to fund drives and increase marrow donation in minority communities Now performing exclusively with the renowned Detroit R&B/Soul band Regular Boys, Francke's show is exciting, smart, fun, full of history and loaded with a soulful vibe that makes any night pure magic. Prior to working full time as a songwriter and musician, Stewart was a Contributing Editor to Detroit's Metro Times, writing on subjects from the advent of Techno to the history of Detroit soul music. His work at the paper gave him the opportunity to interview many of his favorite musicians, from Sting to Johnny Cash to George Clinton. A book of his collected song lyrics and writing, titled Between The Ground & God: Lyrics, Essays and Interviews, 1990-2005, was published in 2005 by Ridgeway Press. Stewart and his family live in a suburb of Detroit, Michigan. A Few Reviews Of Motor City Serenade : UK The Independent Review Stewart Francke **** (4 stars) Motor City Serenade, ZANE RECORDS 01 April 2005 Like Remy Shand, Stewart Francke is a blue-eyed soul boy who has steeped himself so thoroughly in the details of his chosen obsession - in his case, the classic soul sound of his hometown Detroit - that his best work could almost pass as authentic. It helps if you have access to Motown's old Funk Brothers studio crew, as Francke does on a couple of cuts here, notably the title track. But there's a generosity of spirit and articulate social conscience in operation that sit as well on his shoulders as they did on those of Marvin, Curtis and Stevie, particularly on the protest-soul numbers such as 'American Twilights' and the three-part suite that concludes the album, starting with 'From Where Shall Comfort Come': 'Let the four winds blow from the White House to the slum/ Good times are vanity when they're only good to some,' sings Francke. Apart from the Southside Johnny-style R&B of 'Upon Seeing Simone' and the melancholy 'Better Get to Know Your Broken Heart', the album marshalls the requisite clavinet, electric piano, organ, strings, horns and wah-wah guitar with consummate skill, building up a meticulous Motown repro sound best exemplified by 'Motor City Serenade' itself, which celebrates Detroit's multi-faceted musical heritage. By Andy Gill London Times, UK April 02, 2005 Soul Stewart Francke **** (4 stars) Motor City Serenade (Zane) This singer-songwriter from Detroit stands out from the crowd because of his soul-hardened voice and collection of thoughtful, user-friendly songs. His debt to his home town is revealed in the title track, which pays tribute to a raft of Motor City artists (see feature, page 18), including Marvin Gaye and Nolan Strong. And just to reinforce the feeling, he is backed on that track by Motown's original Funk Brothers, including Jack Ashford and Joe Hunter. Another Detroit legend, Mitch Ryder, also lends vocal support on the 13 numbers that vary from the deft late-night stylings of Deep Soul Kiss to the altogether more funky Prowlin'. An artist who has battled leukaemia, Francke has a cutting edge that has already made his name in his native Michigan. With luck, he could do the same over here.
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