A1 The Willow Tree Written-By – Cleveland Francis* 4:15
A2 Little Green Apples Written-By – Bob Russel* 3:11
A3 Early Morning Rain Written-By – Gordon Lightfoot 3:11
A4 When I'm Sixty-Four Written-By – Lennon-McCartney 2:29
A5 Hot Sun Written-By – Cleveland Francis* 3:03
A6 Hey Jude Written-By – Lennon-McCartney 3:33
B1 Just Think About It For A While Written-By – Cleveland Francis* 3:51
B2 Both Sides Now Written-By – J. Mitchell* 3:14
B3 Rain Written-By – J. & H. Feliciano* 2:09
B4 Time Written-By – Michael Merchant 2:39
B5 Getting Ready For Tomorrow Written-By – Willie Hutchison* 3:11
B6 With God On Our Side Written-By – Bob Dylan 5:24
21 track double LP anthology, restored and remastered from the original master tapes by grammy award winning mastering engineer Michael Graves
Includes Francis’ debut release “Follow Me”, as well as a second record featuring unreleased and never before heard covers and demos.
Made with a deluxe tip-on gatefold sleeve
Liner notes written by Cleveland Francis and Forager Records
Artwork based on the original Follow Me record featuring photos of Francis from the late 60s and early 70s"
Beyond The Willow Tree is a hauntingly beautiful anthology of folk songs chronicling the experience of a young black man growing up in the segregated south. A balanced mix of covers and originals, Cleveland Francis’ body of work seamlessly blends deep, soulful vocals with the stripped down acoustic instrumentation of folk. In the late 60’s Francis coined the term “soulfolk”, playing his genre bending music across college campuses and coffee shops while earning a medical degree at William & Mary.
These songs serve as a missing link between soul and folk music, suppressed by the harsh political landscape of a music industry heavily influenced by racial stereotypes. “If you were black, you played blues or soul music … I wanted to play folk music,” Cleveland professed.
Included in this double LP set is Cleveland Francis’ entire 1970 self released album Follow Me, featuring the original artwork and liner notes printed inside the gatefold. The second LP takes you Beyond The Willow Tree with unreleased demos recorded in 1968 along with one 45 only single recorded in 1970.
“These recordings are a look into my soul through a long and lonely journey to understand feelings of my childhood, poverty, racial segregation, bigotry, war, love and hope. It represents my attempt to express and come to terms with all that I have seen and felt as a Black man growing up in America.” – Cleveland Francis