Stewart Francke Searches for Higher Ground on \'Heartless World\'

CD Release Performance Scheduled June 17th at Pit & Balcony

    icon May 19, 2011
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Stewart Francke has been through the mill and over the hill and survived both personal and professional pitfalls and challenges that often have a tendency to distract us from realizing our true potential. Only through the profound strength of a romantic vision that seeks to transcend the vortex of negative obstacles that life has a tendency to deal our way can we hope to aspire towards greatness; and only through a consciousness that appreciates the fragility of life can we hope to reinforce the gates and comforts of whatever Shrangi-la we strive to build and find solace, peace, and security from.

These have been consistent themes through much of Stewart’s musical career, but on Heartless World, his first new CD release since 2002, the convergence between Stewart’s gift for melody, fondness for R&B, and lyrical urgency for summoning an existence built upon higher ground have never been more lushly, nor passionately, rendered.

Hot on the heels of his appearance at the 25th Annual Review Music Awards, Stewart was recently featured in People Magazine, and with opening tour slots for Bob Seger and Earth Wind & Fire this summer, coupled with a guest appearance by Bruce Springsteen on the cut Summer Soldier (Holler If Ya Hear Me the release of Heartless World on May 17th  promises to jettison Stew to an entirely new level of critical, and hopefully popular, acclaim.

Regarding the Springsteen collaboration, Stewart says, “This is a tremendously cool thing for Bruce to do, and of course a real honor. It was always his voice I heard on the call & response part of the track, but figured it would remain just a wish. But he found something in it compelling enough to join me, and I’m still a bit knocked out by it all.”

Much of the material on Heartless World summarizes a span of time where Stewart says he experienced great sadness, change, and personal challenge, having lost his parents in a four-year period, as well as two friends he’d grown close to. Plus he says the songs were colored by the tremendously tumultuous period of time this country has gone through in recent years.

“This whole album is about trying to find a place to make a stand in the world after all of your foundational pillars have gone to dust. It’s through these songs that I’m trying to construct a world that I want to live in – a world where I remember the best things about the people who are gone, a world where we look out for each other, and where the only currency that matters is being real, finding hope, common ground, and having faith in each other. These are the things I was thinking about while writing these songs.”

You can see Stewart perform at his CD release party at Pit & Balcony in Saginaw on June 17th.


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