Los Angeles-based singer-songwriter Robert Francis has released Amaretto, his seventh full-length studio album, today via Aeronaut Records. The 11-song Americana-leaning album from the prolific artist features top-tier guests Ry Cooder, Marty Stuart and Terry Evans on multiple tracks. Francis partnered with American Songwriter yesterday to give fans an early listen to the album.
Recorded mostly in Nashville, TN and completed in 2018, Amaretto faced hurdles due to complications in manufacturing and distribution causing the two-year release delay. Following his temporary move to Nashville, Francis built a recording studio in the basement with an 8-track MCI Tape Machine, one mic for each instrument and no headphones, all intentionally structured for live takes. The result is a raw and skillfully etched collection. Above mentioned trailblazing musicians Ry Cooder, Marty Stuart and Terry Evans lent their talents to Amaretto in a separate session to round out an album filled with inspired, off-the-cuff performances.
The album delivers flavors from the full-spectrum of alt-country and Americana. Heart-tugging ballads with soaring harmonies and infectious phrasing are found in tunes like “How Long”—a song penned after the passing of his father—to uptempo burners like “Country Bar” which delivers blazing mandolin picking by Stuart and precision riff delivery from Ry Cooder. Other standouts include the title track which Francis says, “became the beginning of the whole album. When I was eight or nine, I took art lessons from the brilliant painter, John Brosio. The first still life I ever attempted was of an Amaretto bottle my Dad kept on the kitchen counter. When I moved to Nashville, I didn’t know a single soul. I was out there totally alone. One of my first afternoons there, the sky lit up a boozy, amber color and that still life popped into my head.”
Track listing for Amaretto:
1. “Other Side Of Heaven”
2. “How Long” ft. Ry Cooder & Marty Stuart
4. “The Way I Know How”
6. “Dreaming Man”
7. “First Time”
8. “Snakes In The Grass” ft. Terry Evans & Ry Cooder
9. “Country Bar” ft. Ry Cooder & Marty Stuart
10. “Other Side Of Heaven” ft. Terry Evans & Ry Cooder
11. “Bad Evidence”