Paulo Franco is a Richmond based singer/songwriter. In the summer of 2012 he was named a finalist in the Southeast region of the Mountain Stage NewSong songwriting contest. He was the only Virginia songwriter so selected in 2012. He also was a winner in the Ashland Coffee & Tea Songwriter's Showdown, and a showcase performer at Singer/Songwriter Cape May 2014. He has placed songs he has co-written with NBC.
His backing band are the Rateros - Dan Sessler, on lead guitar and vocals; Dave Hess on drums and vocals; and Chad Bennett on bass. He has performed as a solo artist and with his band in venues throughout Virginia, Maryland DC and North Carolina, and he has also performed as a solo artist in Austin, TX Ohio and Johnson City, TN. In December of 2013, Paulo released an EP of tunes he has co-written with his friend and fellow Mountain Stage Songwriting Contest finalist Shane Cooley. The EP also features an original from both Shane and Paulo. It was recorded by Bob Rupe (The Silos, Cracker, Sparklehorse, Gutterball), who lends his musical talents on bass. Dan Sessler's guitar playing is also be featured. The EP follows the 2012 release By The Light Of A Paper Moon. Paulo is planning a release of new songs that have been featured at his shows planned for late 2014 or early 2015.
A native of Washington, D.C., music has always been a part of Paulo's life beginning from the time his maternal grandmother sang to him as an infant. Paulo has been playing guitar since he was boy. He began by playing classical guitar at the age of 9, and a life long love affair with stringed instruments began. After a few years playing in cover bands, he decided that a dream delayed was a dream denied. He began writing music in 2008 and in earnest in 2010. His passion for music led him to record his first CD of original music in 2012, which is titled By The Light Of A Paper Moon.
Although his father was born and raised in Colombia he fell in love with American country music. Paulo Sr. and Paulo Jr. were big fans of Johnny Cash's variety show in the 60s and 70s, and Paulo Sr. always loved the music of Glen Campbell. Artists that Paulo and the Rateros cover in addition to their extensive catalogue of original music include Bob Dylan, Doug Sahm, Wilile Nelson, Townes Van Zandt, Drive By Truckers, Tom Petty, Gram Parsons, The Dead, Little Feat, Ryan Adams, Jason Isbell, Slaid Cleeves, Steve Earle, The Rolling Stones, and more.
When it comes down to answering the Eternal Rock and Roll Question, Beatles or the Rolling Stones, Paulo checks the Stones box. But, he shares a birthday with George Harrison (February 25) and the first album he ever bought when he was six years old was Let It Be. Be sure to ask him the story about when he bought it. John Doe of X fame and Virginia music legend Dr. Ralph Stanley are also February 25th Native Sons.