Fran Betlyon
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Fran Betlyon

Band Folk Singer/Songwriter


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"CD Review: Dead Bird for Dinner"

Topless Records
Dead Bird for Dinner
10-song CD
Nice. A ten song, live-in-studio, pure product of America. "Dead to Me" sets the tone; it's a mock-indignant kiss-off-cum-travelogue. This is followed by a winsome ballad ("In the Dark"), a jealous lament ("Brand New Heartache"), and a spaghetti-Western rhumba with zombies! "(It Feels Like a) Good Day to Die." The pace is slowed with the spooky lament "Nothing At All" with mordant vocals by Fran Betylon and a scorching violin part by Meredith Cooper. On top of all these delightful genre workouts, there are further songs here that are so clever that it makes one wonder why this artist isn't better-known; I need only to point to the dreamy sing-song "The Man Who Wasn't There;" the goofy hokum romp "Naked Again," and the final tune, a grand old don't-give-a-damn chantey, "Going Under," replete with tumbril drums and steel guitar. Quality stuff. (Francis DiMenno)
- The Noise


"The Casio Tapes" - Fran Betlyon's debut EP was independently released in 2005. It is available on itunes, cdbaby, and

"Oh-la-la"- a single from THE CASIO TAPES, has been featured on several podcasts around the world.

Fran is also featured on the EP "Dead Bird for Dinner" by Dave Aaronoff and the Protagonists



“With every song, I’m searching for the true, heartfelt expression of something bigger than myself.”
It’s a search Fran Betlyon unknowingly began in her early childhood, with a soulful joy that has defined her music ever since. At age four, she stood before an audience at her father's Methodist church in Northampton, MA, opened her heart, and found her voice. Although she is no longer belting out “How Much is That Doggie in the Window”, Fran sang that day with fearless abandon and passion, and at 28 years old, nothing much has changed.
Never content to be defined by genre, Fran’s career has spanned musical styles, venues, and continents. From playing standing-room-only gigs with americana band, Dave Aaronoff and the Protagonists, to touring Europe with gospel group Essence of Joy; from gracing Carnegie Hall as an award-winning choral singer, to taking the Boston theatre scene by storm as a bevy of memorable, musical characters; Fran’s passion for connecting people through song has garnered critical acclaim as well as a warm fan following.
In 2005, she stepped away from the theatrical stage and instead turned her gaze inward with the release of her original solo pop/folk debut, The Casio Tapes. With influences ranging from Joni Mitchell, Bob Dylan, The Beatles, Johnny Cash, Eryka Badu, Judy Garland, Joan Baez,and Aretha Franklin - Fran discovered her voice as a songwriter with the joy of an explorer. Recorded over the course of a few months with her beloved brother, Seth, The Casio Tapes chronicles the awakening of an artist ready to be fully realized – whether it’s through a sensual, jazzy journey along a winding street in Paris, an unplugged willingness to lay herself down in front of heartbreak, or just a simple moment “wastin’ time” with true friends and true music. Fran's songs capture honest, humorous moments in life and she delivers each performance with a passion and soulfulness that defines her sound.
After a few post-college years in Boston, MA, Fran packed her life into her car and drove towards the Western horizon, moving to Los Angeles in a full-hearted pursuit of her music career. After playing her first LA open mic, Fran was spotted and booked for a featured gig. In September of 2009 she met Jared Kuenstler at a party in Ventura, CA - and his Iron and Wine influenced picking style attracted her immediatly. The two teamed up and have begun taking the LA singer/songwriter circuit by storm. Fran continues to write and collect new material inspired by her move out West and her sophemore album, expected in Fall of 2010, promises to showcase a more mature, acoustic, and rootsy sound. What remains no matter what incarnation, genre, or band Fran Betlyon sings with is her heartfelt expression of something BIG and real. She is a truly original performer and songwriter with universal charm and wisdom.