Riding the SoCal Soul: Francesca Brown’s “When A Cowboy Cries” Music Premiere

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Photo by Ken Gibson
       
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Ladies and gentlemen, get ready to saddle up and embark on a journey through the heart of Southern California as we proudly present the music premiere of Francesca Brown’s latest single, “When A Cowboy Cries.” With a genuine love for her SoCal roots and a deep appreciation for the local country scene, Francesca’s music transcends boundaries, capturing the essence of the West Coast and its rich history. Drawing inspiration from her childhood memories spent below the majestic San Jacinto Mountains and the invaluable time she shared with her father, this song weaves together personal anecdotes with a universal message. As Francesca’s soulful vocals and Ken Gibson’s touch of ‘70s cosmic country vibe unite, “When A Cowboy Cries” will not only resonate with native SoCal kids but will also connect hearts and minds worldwide. So join us on this ride as we celebrate the authentic talent and the true spirit of California’s West in the form of Francesca Brown’s heartfelt music.

“For me, it has been really important to represent real Southern California roots in my music, and also represent the local country scene as well, which in my opinion, is often overlooked.  There is a wealth of authentic talent here in the SoCal scene, and it’s about time the rest a y’all caught on. It’s not just about throwing on a hat and grabbing a guitar, there is a history and a personality here that goes beyond what the world may see from the outside, and that’s what the music represents for me.”

Listen to “When A Cowboy Cries” HERE.  

Tell us about the inspiration behind “When A Cowboy Cries.”

“When a Cowboy Cries” is the third single off my upcoming album, which should be out this fall. This song is definitely personal to me. I moved from Southern California to the Midwest at a young age, but my fondest childhood years were when my family and I lived in a town just below the San Jacinto Mountains. This song is truly a reflection of those years and the time I spent with my dad.

My dad was born in Oregon but raised mostly in Southern California, not far from where I had spent those years with him as a child (which is now where I reside once again). He was always very knowledgeable about the area and could tell you a story to go along with the history too. His father, my grandfather, was a stuntman in old Hollywood and also did all sorts of different work with horses. At one point, my father and his siblings all lived in an old Conestoga wagon as part of a documentary on the Oregon Trail.

While this song has a lot of personal elements, I also wanted to capture the true essence of the California West. So, I included terms and imagery in the lyrics and the video that some of us native SoCal kids might know while keeping the message somewhat universal.

Making the video for this song was really important to me. I had mentioned my ideas for the video to Ken Gibson (producer), and he happened to know the perfect person to play the part. So in December, we headed out to Idyllwild local Josh Whitney’s family-owned Sawmill to shoot. You might recognize his last name as in Mount Whitney, the highest point in the lower 48. Josh or Josiah Whitney, the 5th, is the great, great, great, great, etc. nephew of Josiah Whitney, the Chief of The California Geological Survey. Josh’s property was the perfect destination, and Josh’s story only helped capture even more authentic California culture. After we shot, Ken and I got to sit down with Josh and chat a bit. He told stories of his upbringing in Laurel Canyon, where his parents threw parties and Boris Karloff, off the top of his head, was a frequent partygoer. So with no budget but lots of love and rich history, we made it happen.

What was the songwriting and recording process?

I wrote this song last summer after a regular trip down the hill from our cabin and back to LA. I’ve always taken note of the signs “When Flooded Turn Around Don’t Drown,” but this time, I started thinking about them in a less literal sense, and so it just unraveled from there.

What do you hope your fans/listeners take away with them when they listen to your music?

This song was really important for me to write and be able to express myself like this. My stories, my roots, and the way I saw things as a girl and now as a woman, this world that lives inside of me all came to life in making this song and video. Ultimately I want others to relate to that and maybe even connect the worlds inside them.

About me/ Current Project: 

A little about me — I was born in California and raised in Illinois from the time I was about 9-18. I made my way back to California in my late teens and never looked back. Well, I did, but I haven’t left Southern California since; I built a life and family for myself here too. Some of my earliest childhood memories are in California with our whole family. I fell in love with the more desert and mountainous side of SoCal, but my Midwestern roots of flat lands and long summers getting lost around town on my bike have always been a big part of me as well. I’ve been able to portray both these parts somehow in my music, I think. However, with my current music project, I keep it mostly far west.

I had been living in LA since I was a teenager up until this last winter. My family and I finally left behind our city apartment and now call our cabin in the woods home. It was a long time coming, so there was and had been quite a lot for me to reflect on.

Kenneth Gibson of Meadows Heavy Recorders in Idyllwild and I had been working on my upcoming album since before COVID, which obviously got delayed, and finally, in the last year, picked back up. While a lot of my songwriting inspirations have can lean folk and Laurel Canyon, Ken has helped to bring that sorta ‘70s cosmic country vibe.

CONNECT WITH FRANCESCA BROWN
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