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Cleveland Francis
Beyond The Willow Tree

Beyond The Willow Tree
Beyond The Willow TreeBeyond The Willow TreeBeyond The Willow TreeBeyond The Willow TreeBeyond The Willow Tree

Catno

FOR-LP005

Formats

2x Vinyl LP Gatefold

Release date

Jun 17, 2022

Beyond The Willow Tree is a hauntingly beautiful anthology of folk songs chronicling the experience of a young black man growing up in the segregated south. A balanced mix of covers and originals, Cleveland Francis’ body of work seamlessly blends deep, soulful vocals with the stripped-down acoustic instrumentation of folk. In the late 60’s Francis coined the term “soulfolk”, playing his genre bending music across college campuses and coffee shops while earning a medical degree at William & Mary.

These songs serve as a missing link between soul and folk music, suppressed by the harsh political landscape of a music industry heavily influenced by racial stereotypes. “If you were black, you played blues or soul music … I wanted to play folk music,” Cleveland professed.

Included in this double LP set is Cleveland Francis’ entire 1970 self-released album Follow Me, featuring the original artwork and liner notes printed inside the gatefold. The second LP takes you Beyond The Willow Tree with unreleased demos recorded in 1968 along with one 45 only single recorded in 1970.

“These recordings are a look into my soul through a long and lonely journey to understand feelings of my childhood, poverty, racial segregation, bigotry, war, love and hope. It represents my attempt to express and come to terms with all that I have seen and felt as a Black man growing up in America.” - Cleveland Francis

A1

The Willow Tree

A2

Little Green Apples

A3

Early Morning Rain

A4

When I’m Sixty Four

A5

Hot Sun

A6

Hey Jude

B1

Just Think About It For A While

B2

Both Sides Now

B3

Rain

B4

Time

B5

Getting Ready For Tomorrow

B6

With God On Our Side

C1

What’s Wrong With The World

C2

Ballad Of Martin Luther King

C3

Change

C4

It’s Got To Get Better

D1

Hot Sun (demo)

D2

Early Morning Rain (demo)

D3

Summertime

D4

Just Think About It For A While (demo)

D5

The Willow Tree (demo)

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