Francesca Reggio is almost the girl next-door. She’s cute, spunky and talented with a voice that will blow your mind, but she’s no blue-eyed waif with an empty smile. This is a girl who’s lived life, and has written the songs to prove it.
“When I was a kid,” Francesca relates, “I had a notebook of songs that I would write in every day. I wrote songs about anything and everything. If someone made fun of me in school, I wrote about it. If my mom yelled at me, I wrote about it. If my brother made me mad, I wrote about it.”
Experience, a guitar, and a degree from Berklee College of Music have all contributed to the mature quality of Francesca’s songs, enhancing her hallmark sass and wit.
“You know, my main thing has always been honesty. The songs I write are honest and clear, and when I tell a story, I don’t hide it in cryptic phrases or cloud it with bad language. I don’t think you need to resort to that if you’re a good songwriter.” Listening to her newly released EP, “State of Motion”, Francesca proves she has smarts and sarcasm to spare, as well as a tender side filled with poignant yearning.
As a kid growing up in New Jersey, Francesca spent her time belting out Bon Jovi in her mom’s Buick and watching “Jem and the Holograms” (a cartoon from the ‘80’s about an all-girl rock band) while daydreaming about her own moment in the spotlight. Her high school transition from shy singer to coffee house performer was marked by receiving the prestigious Arion Award for musical excellence and an acceptance letter to Boston’s Berklee College of Music. “Berklee turned my musical world inside-out. It was wonderful, and hard, and inspiring.”
While attending Berklee, Francesca found the time to give back to the community and share her passion for music by becoming a mentor to inner city children as part of the Daniel Marr Boys and Girls Club of Dorchester.
A post-college Francesca found herself having to work as an accountant to supplement her meager income as a musician. “I think that’s something pretty unique about me,” she quips. “I mean, most musicians are terrible with money!”
But her perseverance has paid off, and now Francesca and her band, Blue Shift, are poised to take things to the next level by collaborating with gold-album producer Nicolas Farmakalidis. “I’m so excited to be working with Nicolas,” said Francesca. “I really think he will push me out of my comfort zone and help me re-imagine what is possible musically.”
Nicolas chose Francesca’s original song “Not So Long Ago” to be their collaborative effort, a choice which Francesca says is natural given the song’s driving rhythmic groove and lyrics decrying the hypocrisy of the music industry. “I want to be genuine in everything I do,” Francesca relates. “If that means making music that matters to me and never being a super star because of it, then so be it. I think Nicolas and I are on the same page. But if I could have the chance to do both, I wouldn’t say no!”
When it comes to body image Francesca isn’t afraid to be herself, something that is seen as daring in today’s age of extreme celebrity thinness. “I have a healthy body weight, and I enjoy food. I’m not going to starve myself to be someone else’s ideal of beauty. I’m happy with who I am, and that’s the most important thing.” Francesca speculates that her Rubenesque figure helps her audiences relate to her more. “If I saw a supermodel singing about how she’s lonely and how she can’t find a boyfriend, I’d say, ‘Huh. Really??’ I represent women everywhere who don’t fit society’s standards, and believe we’re beautiful in spite of, or maybe because of that. Women really connect with that idea.”
Francesca’s next goal is finding the right record label to help her reach more people, and spread her sassy and intelligent pop gems around the world.
Francesca Reggio - Vocals, Acoustic Guitar
Benjamin Ricci - Lead Guitar
Pamela Gouveia - Keyboard
Andreas Farmakalidis - Bass
Lou Paniccia - Drums
Not So Long Ago (Single) - Coming in May 2010
State of Motion EP - 2009
Self-released Demo - 2001
Featured Artists da Sonicbids - Dicembre 2009
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Francesca was featured as the Sonicbids Artist of the month in December 2009 for Italian music blog ...Francesca was featured as the Sonicbids Artist of the month in December 2009 for Italian music blog and newsletter Anakina.net. The article (in Italian) is below.
Questo mese ho il piacere di presentarvi un'artista statunitense, il nome della quale tradisce evidenti origini italiane: Francesca Reggio.
Questa giovane artista potrebbe quasi essere definita la ragazza della porta accanto. È carina, audace e piena di talento, con una voce accattivante, che ha vissuto la vita e ha scritto delle canzoni per provarlo.
I suoi brani parlano delle sue esperienze, dalle più semplici quando da bambina veniva sgridata dalla madre o litigava col fratello, alle più complesse della vita adulta.
Queste esperienze, insieme alla sua chitarra e alla laurea al Berklee College of Music hanno contribuito alla maturità delle sue canzoni attuali, i cui testi sono chiari e onesti. Quando racconta una storia, non la nasconde dietro a frasi criptiche o la offusca con un cattivo linguaggio. È invece molto diretta, ricca di sarcasmo e tenerezza allo stesso tempo.
Tutto ciò si può vedere nel suo nuovo EP "State of Motion" pubblicato lo scorso maggio.
La sua storia inizia in New Jersey dove Francesca è cresciuta ascoltando Bon jovi e guardando Jem (un cartone animato degli anni '80 che parla di una band formata da ragazze), ha cantato nelle caffetterie, ha ricevuto l'Arion Award per l'eccellenza musicale ed è stata accettata a Berklee. Dopo la laurea ha lavorato come contabile, mentre cercava di portare avanti la sua carriera musicale.
Adesso Francesca ha la sua band, i Blue Shift, con cui ha collaborato col produttore Nicolas Farmakalidis, in particolare nel brano "Not So Long Ago".
Il suo prossimo proposito è trovare la giusta etichetta per raggiungere un pubblico più vasto e diffondere la sua musica in tutto il mondo.
Per fare ciò vorrebbe anche proporsi al pubblico italiano ed è quindi in cerca di opportunità nel nostro paese.
Major Producer To Take Boston Singer To New Heights
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BOSTON, Mass. – Singer-songwriter Francesca Reggio recently signed a production contract with notabl...BOSTON, Mass. – Singer-songwriter Francesca Reggio recently signed a production contract with notable producer Nicolas Farmakalidis. Francesca is slated to release a single in early 2010, much to the eager anticipation of her fans.
Francesca Reggio began writing songs while growing up in New Jersey, and what started as a hobby quickly turned into a passion, which led her to pursue a degree from Berklee College of Music. After completing a Professional Music degree, Francesca launched her band, “Francesca Reggio and Blue Shift”, which tours regionally. Francesca also recently released her debut EP “State of Motion” to thunderous reviews. “I’m very much looking forward to working with Nicolas,” said Francesca. “I’m excited. I really think he will push me out of my comfort zone and help me re imagine what is possible musically.”
Nicolas Farmakalidis has worked with the likes of Japanese gold record winning pop sensation Hirahara Ayaka and former Megadeth guitarist Marty Friedman, among others. Nicolas chose Francesca’s original song “Not So Long Ago” to be their collaborative effort.
Francesca says this feels like a natural choice, given the song’s driving rhythmic groove and lyrics decrying the hypocrisy of the music industry. “I want to be genuine in everything I do,” Francesca relates. “If that means making music that matters to me and never being a super star because of it, then so be it. I think Nicolas and I are on the same page. But if I could have the chance to do both, I wouldn’t say no!”
Francesca Reggio is represented by On The Bound Artist Management. For more information, call 978.375.3822 or visit www.onthebound.com or www.francescareggio.com.
Music Up Close With Janie
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Moving along into the more livelier part of the SonicBids Lounge where the rowdier bands are hanging...Moving along into the more livelier part of the SonicBids Lounge where the rowdier bands are hanging is Francesca Reggio and Blue Shift from Massachusetts. Though Francesca’s voice is equally as powerful as those at the big booth we just visited, she has more of a rocker voice. Also a singer/songwriter, she fronts for the Blue Shift, a mega talented band composed of Benjamin Ricci (lead guitar), Pamela Gouveia (keys), and Lou Paniccia (drums). Francesca plays rhythm guitar and when they tour, they are joined by Andreas Farmakalidis on bass, who happens to be with them tonight. The five of them create some upbeat music that really rocks. They have a new EP, State of Motion, out this year. You can catch cuts at their myspace site http://www.myspace.com/francescareggio and you can buy the CD at their official website: http://www.francescareggio.com
Review: Francesca Reggio And Blue Shift - State Of Motion
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Francesca Reggio And Blue Shift - State Of Motion 2009, Bluekay Music Francesca Reggio looks swe...Francesca Reggio And Blue Shift - State Of Motion
2009, Bluekay Music
Francesca Reggio looks sweet and innocent. Even once she opens her mouth and starts to sing she has an All-American girl sound about her. Once you start getting into the lyrics, however, you find that Reggio will never be confused with Ms. Congeniality. Writing from a deep emotional well, Reggio uses her pen and voice to make strong, sometimes brutally honest statements about whatever is on her mind, sometimes with self-deprecating wit and others with cutting vigor. This is all done against the backdrop of pleasing Pop/Rock arrangements that often belie the intense nature of Reggio's thoughts. Backed up by Blue Shift (Benjamin Ricci - guitar; Lou Paniccia - drums; Pam Gouveia (keys) and a bass platoon of Andreas Farmakalidis and Tony Gouveia), Reggio is a formidable performer. Francesca Reggio and Blue Shift's debut EP, State Of Motion has received a lot of popular attention in New England thus far, and may take the band farther and wider than they ever imagined.
State Of Motion opens with When You See Me Again, a song about how friendships can go awry when the boundaries are tested; particularly when one friend pretends nothing ever happened. In My Place is a kinder, gentler take on the elements of Alanis Morissette's You Oughta Know. Well, gentler, anyway. Reggio is, in fact, fairly cutting in her commentary about her replacement. Father's Day exposes a great deal of pent up anger toward a once-absentee dad who has re-asserted his place, at least in word. The anger here runs deep, and the flares exposed are scathing and full of barbs. State Of Motion is a decent rock arrangement, but comes across as a bit shrill with its deep seated anger and fear of commitment. It is an honest look at a relationship from someone who doesn't know how to stand still and doesn't know how to be loved. Victim gets a bit more shrill, as Reggio uses the music as a bit of cathartic therapy. This can work, but in this case she goes to that well one time too many on a short EP. Conversely, You Never Happened is brilliance personified; a dark and beautifully textured song about wanting to erased the past. The melody is absolutely gorgeous, and Reggio controls her anger and pain and funnels it into the tune rather than letting it rage.
State Of Motion is cathartic in nature; an angry record mostly hidden in strong Pop/Rock arrangements. That anger gets out of control, particularly on Victim, where it borders on detracting from the songs rather than fueling them, but there's no doubt Reggio can write. You Never Happened is one of the finest songs I've heard this year, and proof that as Reggio continues to learn to funnel her emotions into her art rather than letting them use her she is going to turn out some amazing material. For the time being, consider Francesca Reggio and Blue Shift a young, and extremely talented, group. I have a feeling hers is a name you'll all be very familiar with down the line.
Rating: 4 Stars (Out of 5)
You can learn more about Francesca Reggio And Blue Shift at http://www.francescareggio.com/ or www.myspace.com/francescareggio. State Of Motion is available for download through Amazon MP3 or iTunes. CDs are currently available only at live shows, although the band is working on making them available through their website. In the meantime, if you contact Francesca Reggio & Blue Shift through their MySpace I’m sure they’ll be happy to help you out.
Posted by Wildy at 6:09 AM 0 comments
Labels: Alanis Morissette, Ani DiFranco, Fiona Apple, Francesca Reggio, Joni Mitchell, Melissa Ferrick
PlaygroundBoston.com Track of the Week
"State of Motion" featured on PlaygroundBoston.com as the Track of the Week on 7/27/09.
The River 92.5FM
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Francesca Reggio was chosen as The River 92.5FM's Homegrown Artist on Tuesday, August 4, 2009. The ...Francesca Reggio was chosen as The River 92.5FM's Homegrown Artist on Tuesday, August 4, 2009. The radio spot included a song played on air, as well as a plug by the DJ, Rita Cary.
New Music Critiques September 2009
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"Boston-bred singer and her band explore the various dimensions of personal relationships. Best outi..."Boston-bred singer and her band explore the various dimensions of personal relationships. Best outing is 'When You See Me Again,' dealing with the awkward moment of encountering a former lover. 'Father's Day' oozes venom."
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Boston's NPR radio station, WBUR 90.0FM, featured Francesca Reggio & Blue Shift in a report about mu...Boston's NPR radio station, WBUR 90.0FM, featured Francesca Reggio & Blue Shift in a report about musicians during the recession. The segment featured interviews with the band and their management, as well as footage that was recorded during one of the band's rehearsals.
Brother, Can You Spare A Gig?
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By ANDREA SHEA Published August 6, 2009 BOSTON — Mezzo-soprano Ja-Nae Duane is in her thirtie...By ANDREA SHEA
Published August 6, 2009
BOSTON — Mezzo-soprano Ja-Nae Duane is in her thirties, but she’s been hitting the high notes since she was 13. At age 18, she sang at the White House. She’s performed at top venues such as Lincoln Center in New York and Jordan Hall in Boston. Her opera career seemed to be right on track, Duane said, until this year.
“I haven’t done any singing since May,” Duane said.
She was supposed to sing with the Granite State Opera in New Hampshire this season, but “that fell through because they had to shut their doors.” Then, Duane said, the job she won at the Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg, Russia, was canceled because of funding issues.
“To have two gigs fall through within three weeks of one another is devastating,” Duane said. “It’s one thing to be a musician and not be able to do it full time because you can’t afford it as a singer, but it’s another thing to have these little glimmers of light just sort of dash away.”
Finding humor in the situation, Duane laughed, adding, “It’s been an interesting year.”
The life of a freelance musician has never been easy, but the current economic downturn is making things a lot harder for working performers in all genres. CD sales are down; orchestras are slashing budgets; gigs at weddings, corporate events and rock clubs are drying up.
“I don’t know what’s going to happen this coming year,” said Fred Aldrich, a freelance french horn player. “I would suspect that we’re going to see less work.”
Aldrich is 50 years old and has played the Boston Symphony, the Boston Ballet and the Boston Lyric Opera. He said he’s making ends meet, but admits he’s more concerned about the less experienced players.
“If people at the very top are being offered less work, they’re not going to be able to turn down as much work as they have in the past,” Aldrich said, which he worries will create a trickle-down effect all the way down.
Aldrich is on the board of directors for the Boston Musicians Association, a labor union representing more than 1,600 artists. The union’s vice president, percussionist John Grimes, says many classical organizations appear to be tightening their budgets by tightening their programming.
Looking at the upcoming fall schedule, Grimes is seeing more smaller pieces with less instrumentation. “That’s huge in terms of fear of anticipated reductions,” he said, “yet it’s all not clear yet — you come back to me in a year and I can tell you how it played out.”
Reductions are playing out in other genres, too. Pamela Gouveia manages the pop-rock band Francesca Reggio and Blue Shift. She also plays the keyboard. The band’s been together for over a year, the musicians are all 25 years old, and they play at clubs around town. But Gouveia says there are fewer bookings since the recession hit. Clubs are looking for a guaranteed crowd that will pay the cover charge.
“Now they want the headlining bands drawing 40 to 50 people on a Tuesday,” Gouveia said, “so it’s becoming increasingly difficult, I think, for emerging artists to get gigs who haven’t been playing as long in the area.”
So, for now, Gouveia said, she and her band mates are holding on to their day jobs.
Flamenco guitarist Juanito Pascual survives by doing a slew of jobs related to his music. He teaches, he tours and he just recorded a CD for $25,000. It was tough cobbling together the funds for it, the 36-year-old says. And the freelance gigs that normally supplement his income have been fleeting. Weddings, anniversaries, corporate gigs.
“In 2007, the number of overall performances per month was around 15, and lately this past year it’s been more like three or four per month,” Pascual said. “Obviously, percentage-wise, that’s drastic.”
Cancellations are up, too, Pascal said. But like most freelance musicians, he’s used to dealing with uncertainty. If one income source falls through, he says he’ll work hard to hustle up another.
Boston-Based Francesca Reggio and Blue Shift Release Pop/Rock EP State Of Motion On May 19, 2009
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May 19, 2009 – Boston, MA – Music fans are looking to have a relationship with artists again; to exp...May 19, 2009 – Boston, MA – Music fans are looking to have a relationship with artists again; to experience that connection which has gone missing from the commercial scene. On May 19th, the debut EP State Of Motion from Boston-based Francesca Reggio and Blue Shift will be available on www.FrancescaReggio.com, with digital distribution through iTunes, Amazon.com, and other major online outlets. With thoughtfully crafted pop songs and lyrics that sneak up on you with their clarity and sometimes brutal honesty, the band delivers quality entertainment without pretense, and is bringin’ it back to the days of the accessible, self-deprecating live show. The release of State Of Motion will be supported by regional touring through the summer, and is expected to end the recession, bring peace to all nations, and ensure that Bret Michaels finds his Rock of Love…for good.
Lead singer and songwriter Francesca Reggio (whose Grandpa was in the mob so deep the book about him is no longer printed) knows there’s no need to hide the truth in cryptic lyrics and frustrating metaphors or to veil a perfectly good band in guyliner. Her voice is soulful, simple and clear, with just enough sparkle to set her sound apart from your usual sleepy singer/songwriter genre. Her unique band of accomplished musicians - Benjamin Ricci (electric guitar), Lou Paniccia (drums), and Pamela Gouveia (keyboard) – succeed in making Francesca think they’re only there to make her look good. Floating bass duties are taken on by Andreas Farmakalidis, who got the big break through MySpace, and/or funk-metal veteran Tony Gouveia (featured on the EP), who trashes chick music at rehearsal but secretly sings Francesca’s songs in the shower.
The Francesca story so far involves years of developing radio-friendly material and a rabid fan base, one demo being completely destroyed and the second recorded in a closet, and stints at the New England Culture Fest and Lowell Folk Festival. Enter Zac Cataldo of Night Train Studios who stepped up to record State Of Motion, making Francesca and the band finally feel like the rock stars they saw in their bathroom mirrors. “In My Place” is a classic kiss-off rocker with witty, acerbic lyrics (“When she sees my name saved on your video game she will ask” ) while “You Never Happened” was a last-minute studio decision to record acoustic guitar and vocals simultaneously with no vocal edits, ala early influences Patty Griffin and Jewel.
The band continues to watch with wonder as fans find pieces of themselves in their songs. As for the future, top-40 radio domination is inevitable. The band hopes to continue to avoid unnecessary adornment (though they have Sephora on speed-dial if that’s what it takes) and Francesca would like to spend a day with Billy Joel so he can teach her how to be so insanely awesome. Until then, go buy the album on www.FrancescaReggio.com and save the world.
For more information, interview requests, and complimentary copies for media review, contact Pamela Gouveia at 978-375-3822 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Francesca can play up to 1.5 hours of original music or 2 hours with cover songs included.
A typical 45 minute set list would include:
State of Motion
Heart-Breaking Love Song
When You See Me Again
Where Are You Now
Something’s Gotta Give
Not So Long Ago (Call Me Crazy)
In My Place
There are no upcoming dates at this time.