Pete Francis Heimbold (January 8, 1975) is a member of the band Dispatch, and is former member of Woodriver Bandits and Hermit Thrush. He plays guitar, bass, and is a singer/song-writer. He draws his inspiration from his studies of poetry, art, and music from around the world. The style of his music takes on aspects of folk, pop, soul, and rock.
New York City based singer-songwriter Pete Francis grew up in Riverside, Connecticut, the youngest of four children. He was influenced musically by such artists as Van Morrison, Cat Stevens, Tom Waits, Joni Mitchell, and Miles Davis. As a student at Middlebury College in Vermont, Francis met guitarist/bassist/songwriter Chad Urmston and drummer Brad Corrigan and the three formed a band. Originally named One Fell Swoop, the group soon changed its name to Dispatch. In 2001, after six years and five releases, Dispatch went on an extended hiatus.
Francis released his debut solo album, So They Say, in 2001 on his Scrapper Records label. The album's songs, which were generally recorded in one take, mostly relate to his family and past girlfriends. The writing was also inspired by his experience at National University of Ireland, Galway, where he studied literature abroad for six months. Francis' next album, Untold, was released in 2003 by Hollywood Records. In a review of the album, Christopher Byrd of The Washington Post wrote: "From the happy-hour lasciviousness of 'One Train' to the Hendrix-inspired 'Coal Miner' to the folksy tenderness of the Sept. 11-inspired 'Beneath the Fire,' Francis shows impressive musical range. Still, while it's possible to applaud him for his disregard of contemporary musical trends, it's hard not to feel that his toned-down Black Crowes approach to music corsets him a bit too much in VH1-friendly nostalgia." Gregory McIntosh of Allmusic remarked that Francis "possesses many of the gifts that make a great and unique songwriter, but there is something hidden within many of the tracks on Untold that suggests he has the want, but not the courage, to break from the humdrum early-'90s college rock clichés." Two songs from the album, "Stones" and the title track, were featured in first-season episodes of the One Tree Hill television series.
Francis released Good To Finally Know in 2004 and Everything Is One in 2006. The latter album features singer-songwriter Craig Dreyer, who wrote or co-wrote eight of the album's ten songs and performs on all of them. Francis' fifth album, Iron Sea and the Cavalry, was released in 2008. Regis Behe of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review said Francis' writing style was like "a quasi-travelogue, yet one that has no real starting or end points, but traverses a distance that transcends geography." Alan Brown of PopMatters described the album as "a reflective affair that brings to mind the young Cat Stevens, especially on the melancholy album highlight 'Stowaway'". Francis released The Movie We Are In in 2010. Adam Richter of The Express-Times called album track "Light Up My Day" a "dud", but felt that "on most of the record, Francis sings songs that have engaging hooks and deft arrangements."
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