“Possibly the most sincere record I have heard this year, not only in the Americana realm but overall, Franco proves to be an absolute musical treasure. His rich story telling weaves throughout the songs in the record, creating a listening experience that is engaging from start to finish. Lyrically, Franco can write a song like no other. From Spanish influenced songs like 'Catrina Y Su Calavera,' to heartbreakers like 'Rolling Back to Raleigh,' The Last Card offers up something for all listeners.”
Paulo Franco is a Richmond, Virginia based singer/ songwriter. In terms of recording, it may seem that Franco has come to the game later in life than some, but his musical journey has been a lifelong story. Born to Colombian immigrants and raised in Washington D.C., Paulo embraces his heritage as a first generation American and his songs and style reflect that. As a child, his father turned him on to the country music of the United States via the Johnny Cash Variety show, and on his own he discovered a love for rock n roll through the Stones and the Beatles. At the age of nine, he picked up a classical guitar and a musician was born. After years of playing in various cover bands and honing his chops, Franco began writing his own material in earnest in 2010.
Paulo's songs are steeped in storytelling, often drawing from his own life and those around him. The sound is a seamless blend of the myriad of influences that have shaped both his everyday life and his musical tastes. Listeners will find glimpses John Prine's wit, The Stones' rock n roll heart, and the fluidity of The Grateful Dead often times infused with the rhythms of traditional Latin and Colombian music. He has recently including original Spanish songs into his songwriting as well, bringing a depth and a love of two cultures seldom seen during the same show or album. Paulo switches his voice from country twang, to rock anthem, to Spanish troubadour. His vocals are so authentically Spanish that it’s easy to forget you just heard him effortlessly sing a country tune in English.
In the last few years he has shared the stage with the likes of Los Lobos, Robert Earle Keen, Drivin N Cryin, The Eli Young Band, Rhett Miller of the Old 97s, Dan Baird, Chris Knight, Ana Popovic and many others. 2016 saw Franco's latest release, The Last Card, an album No Depression calls “a phenomenal sophomore record.” Paste Magazine hails Franco's effort as possibly the most sincere album of the year. The Last Card, produced by Bob Rupe (The Silos, Cracker, Gutterball and Sparklehorse) and featuring a virtual who's who of Richmond musicians, shows that Franco wears his heart on his sleeve musically and can hang with any songwriter working today. Paulo has toured in Colombia, South American and throughout the mid Atlantic. Paulo and his band are underway recording a new album of English and Spanish songs with a late 2019 target release.