Artist Spotlight: Old-fashioned Americana from singer-songwriter Shlomo Franklin
Meet Shlomo Franklin. He's a young singer-songwriter who grew up on a farm in Bethel, NY. His music is a deliciously one-of-a-kind blend of old-fashioned Americana and rockabilly energy, crafting songs that could easily share the stage with big-name Woodstock acts years ago.
Everything You Need To Know About Shlomo Franklin
1. Who his musical influences are: Growing up in the hometown of 1969's iconic, life-changing Woodstock Festival, Shlomo cites inspiration from the legends of that time period including Neil Young, Johnny Cash, and Bob Dylan.
2. What he likes to do besides music: We asked Shlomo what he likes to do for fun and it's safe to say we're not disappointed by the answer... "I like to hike a lot. Sometimes every day. I like going to movies alone, drinking bad gas station coffee, reading Tom Waits lyrics to myself, staying up until the birds start singing, and lately I've been learning to cook. Trying to get real good at that. I want to be able to make my friends elaborate dinners. I'm also good at building tree houses, and recently I beat my entire band at connect-four for about fifteen games in a row. I was completely undefeated so I guess I'm good at that too."
3. Where he's performed: Shlomo is big on the touring circuit with his backing band, especially in the New York area. He's performed several Sofar Sounds shows, a couple gigs at Rockwood Music Hall, Arlene's Grocery, has headlined at The Bitter End, and tons more at festivals and venues all over.
4. How he began his music journey: In an interview with Sound & Track, Shlomo reveals that he only started making music more seriously a few years ago when he was 17. Though he claims he wasn't a good singer, the words fell out of him and it was a "necessity" to bring them to life through music.
5. What people are saying about him: Publications all over have praised Shlomo's work. Americana music magazine, Elmore, writes that he "encourages listeners to second-guess themselves, turning their minds over for an iota of honesty, and then rewards them with old-fashioned rock ‘n roll remarkably his own." Music blog Throw The Dice & Play Nice has written that Shlomo has "crafted a song that is just gentle enough with its overt sadness for the temporary discomfort, to be something deliberately sought after," and his own personal fanbase is more than happy to follow his success, offering words of encouragement no matter what he releases.
6. About his poetry: As a talented songwriter and storyteller, it's no surprise that Shlomo is a poet himself. He cites writers like Leonard Cohen, Allen Ginsberg, and Oscar Wilde as musical and poetic influences, and he's written some unbearably lovely poems that you can find published here and here.
Songs To Smash The Replay Button For
1. "Funny Boy": A few years ago, Shlomo released the rapid-fire, high-energy tune "Funny Boy." The track is just under two minutes long, but it's got a heavy-hitting percussion line and effective growling vocals for a quick fan-favorite.
2. "January Eyes": Back in January, Shlomo released this lush, sprawling ballad. The track is led by tender acoustic guitar with a subtle accompanying piano rhythm, all swirling gently around aching vocals singing poignant lines like "If you want we can talk, if you want we can kiss / If you want, I can hold you quietly like this."
3. "Bag of Bones and Broken Dreams": Gearing away from the groovy folk tunes we know he's capable of, Shlomo bears it all for an eerie, bittersweet track that tumbles dreamily for three minutes. Soft guitar rolls a complex rhythm, the vocals move through a silky hum to a melancholy howl, and the whole track breathes with palpable emotion.