Cornish singer / songwriter Joe Francis is Winter Mountain.
Hailing from the wild and beautiful northern shores of Cornwall, UK Winter Mountain is a blend of melodic songs, an extraordinary voice and heartfelt lyrics in a sound reminiscent of a time before digital recording when the emphasis fell on the importance of live performance and the essence of the song.
Indeed, it was these very qualities that inspired folk star Cara Dillon and her husband/producer Sam Lakeman to sign Winter Mountain to their ‘Charcoal Records’ label after watching a performance in Donegal, Ireland.
Winter Mountain released a self titled debut album in 2013 to unanimous critical acclaim with The Sunday Express stating it to be ‘an utterly fabulous record’ and awarding it a 5 star review. The Irish Post called it ‘A smashing album, a terrific, classy debut’, whilst Maverick Magazine had this to say: ‘Winter Mountain make them like they used to, and three cheers for that!’.
Tracks from Winter Mountain’s debut album still receive regular national radio play from the likes of Janice Long, Dermot O’Leary, Clare Balding (BBC Radio 2), on RTE Radio 1 and from local stations in both the UK and Ireland.
Following the release Joe signed with the prestigious Faber Music Publishing.
Winter Mountain have toured the length and breadth of the UK and Ireland opening for some of the worlds most talented artists including Richard Thomson, Seth Lakeman, Cara Dillon, Rosanne Cash, Leann Rhimes, Patty Griffin, legendary songwriter Benny Gallagher, Paolo Nutini, Fleet Foxes and many others, and have graced the stage at some of those countries most distinguished venues inc The Ulster Hall (Belfast), Union Chapel (London), The Belfast Waterfront, Vicar Street (Dublin) and headline sets to sell-out crowds at the likes of the infamous Camden Barfly and Dublins Whelans Bar. While opening for some of Cara Dillons’ bigger shows they outsold her on the merchandise stand and, unbelievably, whilst opening for Sara Watkins (Nickle Creek, The Decemberists) they won over audiences so much that they were often invited back for an encore, before the main act had even taken to the stage!
In festival season Winter Mountain are amongst the acts that draw some of the biggest crowds to their stage. Recently, following a 2015 performance at ‘Larmer Tree Festival’ Winter Mountain was named the festival highlight by critic and reviewer Alan Ewart at www.soundofsummer.org, who said “I always say that at every festival I attend I find at least one artist whose music blows me away…Last week at the Larmer Tree it was the music of Winter Mountain. Joe is an excellent songwriter…”
Recent times have seen Winter Mountain contributing vocals to Seth Lakemans most recent album ‘Word of mouth’ and Cara Dillons ‘Thousand Hearts’ album.
New music from Winter Mountain is expected to be released in Autumn 2015 on ‘Charcoal Records’. The video below is of Winter Mountain performing a Straw Bale Studio session in July 2015.
The videos below showcase new material with “Sunshine, good roads” (July 2015) and the official video for “Shed a little light” (2013) which has been viewed over 27,000 times.