Garrett Harris 4 p.m., April 27
Francesca Valle: Guitar (acoustic), Guitar (electric), Keyboards, Vocals | Skippy Garcia: Guitar (acoustic), Guitar (electric) | Kelly Bowen: Bass guitar | Dave Gutierrez: Drums | Thea King: Flute, Keyboards, Vocals
RIYL: Bonnie Raitt, Sheryl Crow, Pat Benatar
Inception: San Diego, 2010
Influences: The Cranberries, Bonnie Raitt, Sarah McLachlan
“So you play guitar, what are you plannin’ on doing with that?” Bonnie Raitt asked a then-16 year old Francesca Valle at a chance encounter at an after school job. Those words sparked a long conversation ending with Raitt’s admonition “You gotta do what you love, honey…”
That same teenage job would also lead Valle to meet many other entertainers like Sophia Loren, who offered up the same encouragement and helped cement a youthful passion for music after noting Valle’s “off the cuff” performance of an Italian folk tune from a film Loren had starred in. Moments later, they would be singing a duet at a cosmetics counter to a handful of onlookers who could barely believe their eyes.
With her voice often compared to the like of Janis Joplin, Valle shrugs and replies “I get that a lot, but believe it or not, I went to college to be an opera singer. If they could see me now!”
Equally comfortable singing in small coffee shops as on giant stages, Valle credits her ease with an audience to growing up with a guitar in her hand. “You know how you hear those stories of artists who started writing songs when they were five? Yeah, I was one of those kids.”
Having appeared at several San Diego Indie Festivals, Valle released here debut album Parking Lots and Poetry in 2010.