CD REVIEW: Robert Francis "Before Nightfall"

Once in a while and artist comes along and wows listeners with their music. Robert Francis' major label debut is a wow kind of a record, and it makes a statement about his presence in the music industry. Robert Francis has embraced the recent rise of folk music and is now finding himself one of the artists at the forefront of this movement. "Nightfall" is a beautiful ballad that starts off quiet and crescendos into a soft folk gospel rocker that is one of the best songs Francis has written. More of an indie rock edge can be heard on "Junebug." Other standouts include "Darkness" and "One By One" which is a reboot of a song from Francis' independent debut. Robert Francis may have been an unknown once but his is now joining the likes of Ray LaMontagne, Josh Ritter, and Jakob Dylan as heroes of the new folk rock.