About

Originally from a sleepy fishing village in northern New South Wales, Franco picked up his first guitar at a very young age.

Over the years he has been inspired by the likes of Chuck Berry, Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Los Lobos, The Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Ian Moss, Robben Ford, Albert King, Irwin Thomas, John Scofield, Mike Landau, Doyle Bramhall II, The Arc Angels, Ry Cooder, Jackson Browne, B. B. King, The Rolling Stones, Freddie King, The Beatles, James Brown, Eric Clapton and other blues, soul and rock greats.

Franco continues to draw inspiration from these legendary artists and has added Kirk Fletcher, Josh Smith, Scott McKeon, Gary Clark Jr., Robbie McIntosh and others to the list. Essentially, if it’s great music, he’s into it!

After successfully auditioning for a place in Southern Cross University’s School of Arts, he was mentored by internationally renowned jazz guitarist Jim Kelly before graduating with a BA in Contemporary Music.

Since then, Franco has performed and recorded with an extraordinary variety of Australian and international artists, including:

Mahalia Barnes Richard Clapton
Bruce Springsteen support (NZ 2014) Jimmy Barnes
Charlie Drayton (USA) Joe Bonomassa (USA)
Reece Mastin Rashaan Patterson (USA)
Jenny Morris Martha Davis (Motels)
Cindy Lauper (support 2012) Trina Broussard (Motown Records)
Kasey Chambers Jessica Mauboy
Deni Hines Christine Anu
Grace Knight Tim Minchin
Normie Rowe Ian Moss
David Campbell Monica Trapaga
David Tao (Taiwan/U.S.A) Jim Kelly
Swanee Paul Capsis
Ricki Lee Jade MacRae
Bodacious Cowboys (Kerri Buchanan) Prinnie Stevens (Voice 2012)
Nathaniel (X Factor 2012) Karise Eden (Voice 2012)
Samantha Jade (X Factor 2012) Casey Donovan (Idol)
Ben Hazelwood (Voice 2012) Paulini (Idol)
Glenn Cunningham (Voice 2012) Paul Mac
Back on the Block (Kerri Buchanan) Clayton Doley
Mitch Anderson (Voice 2013) Ms Murphy (Voice 2013)

 

He has also toured extensively both nationally and internationally, sharing stages with artists such as Bruce Springsteen, Cindy Lauper, The Living End, The Baby Animals and Jimmy Barnes, and performing at numerous music festivals including:

  • Jakarta International Java Jazz Festival
  • Byron Bay East Coast Blues and Roots Music Festival
  • Manly International Jazz Festival
  • A Day On The Green
  • Darling Harbour Jazz and Blues Festival
  • Melbourne Jazz Fringe
  • Breath of Life Festival Launceston
  • Gympie Muster Country Music Festival
  • Thredbo Jazz Festival
  • Thredbo Blues Festival

Franco - Barnes Tour 01

In 2013, Franco was one of the 22nd Tour de Force entertainers who played for Australian and New Zealand military personnel serving in East Timor. He backed Jenny Morris in two shows performed before hundreds of service men and women.

Eat Timor tour

A creative and versatile musician, he has regularly appeared on national television including:

  • X Factor 2012 (Ch 7)
  • X Factor 2013 (Ch 7)
  • The Side Show (ABC TV studio band)
  • Good News Week (Ch 10 studio band)
  • Big Brother (Ch 9)
  • Mornings (Ch 9)
  • Sunrise (Ch 7)
  • The Big Night In with John Foreman (Ch 10)