Beyond The Willow Tree (2LP)


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Format: 2LP 
Label: Forager  
Year: 2022  

Media Condition: New 
Sleeve/Cover Condition: New 

TRACKS:

A1 The Willow Tree
A2 Little Green Apples
A3 Early Morning Rain
A4 When I'm Sixty Four
A5 Hot Sun
A6 Hey Jude

B1 Just Think About It For A While
B2 Both Sides Now
B3 Rain
B4 Time
B5 Getting Ready For Tomorrow
B6 With God On Our Side

C1 What's Wrong With The World
C2 Ballad Of Martin Luther King
C3 Change
C4 It's Got To Get Better

D1 Hot Sun (demo)
D2 Early Morning Rain (demo)
D3 Summertime
D4 Just Think About It For A While (demo)
D5 The Willow Tree (demo)

Recordings from 1968 - 1970.

For a recent profile of Cleveland Francis, see this excellent article by the Washington Post's Emily Yahr.

A balanced mix of covers and originals, Cleveland Francis' body of work seamlessly blends deep, soulful vocals with the stripped-down acoustic instrumentation of folk.

In the late '60s Francis coined the term 'soulfolk', playing his genre bending music across college campuses and coffee shops while earning a medical degree at William & Mary. These songs serve as a missing link between soul and folk music, suppressed by the harsh political landscape of a music industry heavily influenced by racial stereotypes.

Included in this double LP set is Cleveland Francis' entire 1970 self-released album Follow Me, featuring the original artwork and liner notes printed inside the gatefold. The second LP takes you Beyond The Willow Tree with unreleased demos recorded in 1968 along with one 45-only single recorded in 1970.

"These recordings are a look into my soul through a long and lonely journey to understand feelings of my childhood, poverty, racial segregation, bigotry, war, love and hope. It represents my attempt to express and come to terms with all that I have seen and felt as a Black man growing up in America." --Cleveland Francis

Cleveland Francis settled permanently in the Northern Virginia DC suburbs in the 1990s. Today he is a practicing cardiologist based in Alexandria.

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