Fran McKendree Songs for the Journey

Songs for the Journey ~ concert recorded 'live. ' With song, poetry and a bit of a surprise here and there, I invite you to journey with the me on a pilgrim’s path. The songs you’ll hear were all borne of dreams sparked by my search for meaning and life-direction while transitioning from having spent almost ten years on the road with McKendree Spring to… whatever it was I was being called to. As the Irish poet and theologian John O’Donohue says “Every journey of the heart involves some risk” ~ mine and yours are no exception. I believe that each of us follows in our own way, with common threads running through, this journey toward fulfilling our deepest calling.

A brilliant Jungian analyst in Toronto began to guide me across the threshold of an awakening of heart, soul and mind. The discovery of a whole new world of images and archetypes awaited;  smokey-eyed gypsy lovers, slight of hand carney barkers shape shifting into overly pious monks, crones, ravens appearing out of nowhere, oceans, mountains, raging storms and the utter stillness of midnight on the cliffs of western Ireland - guides and mentors all, they found their way from dreamscape into the language of music. They have emerged over time into the collection of songs you’ll hear in this concert,  woven together with poems that have become integral stepping stones on the path. There is a visit or two from some of the dream characters who are always welcomed with open arms.

Helping to bring this journey to life I’m joined by three of the finest, most generous and creative musicians I’ve ever had the honor of playing with;
Isabel Castellvi, cello/vocals/electric guitar ~ River Guerguerian, percussion ~ Chris Rosser, keyboard, acoustic guitar, and vocals.

‘There is this birth of who you are, deep within you, never far, breathing life into your heart and soul’
(from ‘Painting in the Skies’ by Fran McKendree)




Music is a part of what keeps us alive and kicking -  songs are often like good friends that appear when you need them most.  I hope I have gathered here in these songs some friends that speak of our hopefulness and our resilience.  Friends that have come together to call out the dreams and strengths that live deep within us.  The best kind of friends....friends that tell the truth, and are not afraid to demand that that truth rise from you.
   ~ Fran

About the CD...
Produced by Charles Milling, 'Rise' is energetically acoustic, spiritually centered, articulate and passionately performed.  Fran is at his best, singing with urgency and edginess. The ensemble is, along with Charles on electric guitar and bass; Catherine Marx on piano and keys, James Williams on drums, Chuck Hamilton [of 'The Waybacks' fame] on drums/percussion, Lance Seiler on percussion, with Tess Bath and Kelsea McKeever handling the backing vocals.


The Skin and Bones of Grace ~Love is the Welcome ~Times Like These ~In Silence Waits ~Ring Them Bells ~Ago Pasolay ~Painting in the Skies ~The Quiet Center ~Waiting for Lightning ~Show the Way ~Blackbird

released March 2008 produced by Charles Milling

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"Fran and his music have both woken me up to the startling reality of divine love through the years.  Imagine my delight, then, upon hearing his new CD.  I now open my eyes to "Awake" every morning--first the bells, then the singing--which bring me to consciousness in more ways than one.  I don't know what to call it--heart, clarity, vision, soul--but there is so much of it in Fran's songs that I cannot hear his voice without receiving more of these gifts myself."
 ~ Barbara Brown Taylor

"I hope this recording will be a helpful resource on a variety of levels; for personal meditation, as a source of music for worship, as a companion for morning and evening devotion, and as a river to sit by for awhile, that you might let its waters flow in and around your life."

Sending You Light

Fran with Ana Hernandez... alternative folk with a spiritual bent.  From chant to reggae, to soulful ballads. With Billy Cardine -dobro, Paul Friesen-Carper-cello, Mark Dann -guitar/ bass, River Guerguerian-percussion, Ike Sturm- bass, Duncan Wickel -violin. A beautiful companion for meditation, long drives/flights, or quiet reflection.

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AwakeningSoul Ensemble 'Live at Tending the Fire'

Recorded ‘live’ at the 2016 AwakeningSoul ‘Tending the Fire’ event, this nine song compilation captures all the magic, passion and energy of the ASE in concert.  There are four full ensemble tracks and amazingly wide-ranging solo performances from Lindsey, Charles, Lily [with special guest Duncan Wickel] and River.  Author/theologian/composer Brian McLaren joins in on a rare and dynamic take on his ‘If We Don’t Have Love.’  You’ll have the best seat in the house as these generous and gifted musicians welcome you to join them on this journey of the heart and soul.

Best of all, the profits will go to support the Thistle Farms 'Welcome Mat Project.’ Thistle Farms has partnered with  I AM YOU and  Lighthouse Relief to help women refugees gain economic freedom. The welcome mats are woven from the fabric of the life jackets worn by the refugees on their journey to Greece.

With; Lindsey Blount [vocal], River Guerguerian [percussion], Lily Henley [violin/vocal],  Fran McKendree [vocals/acoustic guitar], Charles Milling  [bass/acoustic guitar/vocal] and special guests Brian McLaren [vocal] and Duncan Wickel [cello]. Tracking by Eric Murrel. Mixed by Fran McKendree at Teerivane Studios, Hendersonville, NC. Mastered by Michael Hynes at NomadicStudios, Asheville, NC

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Rise Up, Be Strong

I've just released a new single "Rise Up, Be Strong" in response to this climate of fear and xenophobia currently being fostered by the current admin.  All proceeds will go to the Absalom Jones Center for Racial Healing in Atlanta, GA. I'm joined on the recording by the members of the AwakeningSoul Ensemble, Lindsey Blount, vocal, Isabel Castellvi, cello, River Guerguerian, percussion, Charles Milling, electric guitar, and Chris Rosser, keys. Spoken intro by my dear friend Dr. Catherine Meeks. Here's the link. Thanks for your support! Rise up, be strong!

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