Following His Passion
Brian Franke is an independent award-winning singer/songwriter residing in Virginia. He is known as both a frequently booked cover song musician as well as an original songwriter. Since 2009 he has made music his career playing over 250 shows each year both locally and as a touring artist. He has released two independent solo albums “Six Blocks Down” in 2010 and “Will You Finish My Song?” in 2014 as well as an EP with his duo FarAway, “Somehow” in 2013. His music has been noted to have folk rock undertones with catchy melodies drawing comparisons to artists such as Pete Yorn, Toad the Wet Sproket, and Bruce Springsteen.
While he picked up the guitar at age 12 and played in a couple bands in high school and college, he did not get serious about having a music career until 2009 when he gave up his day job to pursue music for a living in the Washington, DC area. He started as a solo musician at first, but soon began collaborating with local musicians in the city playing a variety of showcases such as The 9 and starting the duos Twelve Strings with Matt Weilmuenster and eventually FarAway with his wife Sara Davenport. With FarAway he and Sara have gone on to have a song placed on TV, have opened up for touring acts such as Griffin House, Carolina Story and Phillip Phillips, and had a summer tour successfully funded by their fans.
Brian has also played top venues in the DC area and toured as an original artist. These venues include Jammin Java, Iota Club and Cafe, The Washington Nationals Ballpark, The Hamilton, The National Underground and Bluebird Café in Nashville, and The Driskill Hotel in Austin, Texas. Additionally, he has played many festivals such as the Virginia State Fair, Celebrate Fairfax, the Arlington County Fair, Dogfish Head Brewery festivals, The Rock and Roll Marathon, and the Northern Virginia Brew Fest.
As Brian has continued to learn more about the music industry, he became a strong advocate for musicians to develop themselves through the use of social media. After winning a contest run by music digital marketing guru Ariel Hyatt of Cyber PR, Brian took time aside to work closely with musicians at her company on promoting themselves, increasing their fan base, and branding themselves. His advocacy also came in the form of self-help articles that were picked up by high profile websites such as ASCAP, Reverb Nation, Hypebot, and other DIY music blogs distributed to tens of thousands of readers.
His success as a musician lies in his ability to be versatile, reliable, supportive, and being respectful in the relationships he has grown throughout a nearly decade long career. Since his start in 2009 he's held regular rotations in Virginia's winery scene playing a range of folk and singer/songwriter music from the 1960s through today. This has coincided with regular gigs at popular bars, restaurants, breweries, and hotels where he pulls off upbeat rock covers from the classic rock era, to 90s alternative rock, mainstream pop, and even some of today's hits. Along with his numerous projects on and off the stage, Brian has hosted several open mics since 2011 to support the growth of local music in the DC area and started a songwriting group to foster co-writing among his peers.
He has currently relocated to the Charlottesville and Richmond areas to expand his musical geographical boundaries.