1131 S. Broad Street,
Philadelphia, PA 19147

Ryan Tennis

Ryan Tennis

John Francis, No Good Sister

Thu, May 22, 2014

Doors: 8:00 pm / Show: 8:30 pm

The Boot & Saddle

Philadelphia, PA


This event is 21 and over

Ryan Tennis And The Clubhouse Band
Ryan Tennis And The Clubhouse Band
The charming authenticity of Ryan Tennis' sound has drawn comparisons to Paul Simon, Bill Withers and Martin Sexton, surprising likenesses for an All-American college football player turned singer/songwriter. While his disarming lyrics and singable melodies display a rare sensitivity, the intensity of his live performances - solo or backed by the raucous Clubhouse Band - hint at his grid-iron past. On October 20th, Tennis will release his first full length album, Pack Light but Bring Everything.
Tennis took a big stride to end a big year this fall, releasing a new collection of upbeat, emotionally nuanced songs — Goodbye To The Ground. The release also served as a fundraiser in conjunction with non-profit group The Philadelphia Sessions, which sent him on a Latin American tour to start 2011.

Tennis' eventful 2010 started with the emergence of his single "To The Moon" as a local crossover hit. With a video by Emmy-winner Brook Silva-Braga, the song's sweet strains and optimistic message earned it repeat airplay on multiple formats, including WMMR and WXPN. He has since appeared on NBC's "The 10! Show" and 6abc's "Tuned In." In April, Tennis emerged atop more than 600 entrants in the Philadelphia Songwriters Project 2010 Contest, winning over a seasoned industry panel to take the prize. He opened for Shawn Colvin in July, debuted with his band at the Philadelphia Folk Fest in August, and shared the stage with folk legend Ellis Paul.
Says Grammy-winning producer/songwriter Scot Sax: "Ryan's voice and songs are confident, natural and true. He has what you can't buy and you can't learn: Appeal." Tennis has performed in Australia, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Costa Rica, Laos and Thailand — a journey of personal redefinition that followed the end of his career as an All-American college football player.

Tennis credits Philadelphia's music scene with inspiring his sense of groove. He's organized a monthly series of "Clubhouse Concerts" in his home featuring standout musicians and reaching beyond the traditional folk scene. "What I learned from a couple years of listening to and playing with other Philly artists," Tennis says, "is that if it feels good and it sounds good — and if it's true — then it's good music."
John Francis
John Francis
At 12, John Francis started writing, recording, and performing. Any stage would do, but mostly, Francis cut his teeth in the church, like many great performers. Son of ministers and musicians, Francis grew up with folk, rock, and gospel music at the center of his life. At 18, he enrolled as a Literature and World Religions major at Messiah College near Harrisburg, PA. There he immersed himself in the classics of poetry and prose, honing his craft as a songwriter. During these years, John played guitar for Gospel band on Sunday mornings. After graduating, Francis traveled to Ireland where the musical traditions of his family's homeland added more fuel to the fire.

While living in Philadelphia, Francis released the critically acclaimed "Strong Wine & Spirits". With the single "Heavy, Heavy Love", the record garnered extensive radio play in the North East. Drawing on the deep waters of Rock n roll, Folk, Country, and Gospel music, Francis conjures the spirits of his eloquent brand of songwriting, and passionate live shows. The Philadelphia Inquirer wrote, "Artful..brooding…intense."

Francis was honored by ASCAP as the recipient two national lyricist awards. The prestigious Sammy Cahn Lyricist Award, for his song "Love Came to Me Dressed in Red". (Previous winners include John Mayer and Josh Ritter.) And recently he received the Jay Gorney Award for socially conscious lyrics for his poignant song, "Who?"

Francis has played in some of the most renown listening rooms and theaters in the U.S., Ireland, UK, Switzerland, and Germany. He has played upon invitation for the United Nations in New York. In August of 2011, Francis performed for the inaugural "Johnny Cash Music Festival" in Jonesboro, Arkansas at the ASU Arena, alongside Kris Kristofferson, George Jones, Rosanne Cash, Rodney Crowell, and Tommy Cash.

He has also shared the stage with Ray Lamontagne, Jeff Tweedy, Amos Lee, Buffy Sainte-Marie, M.Ward, Josh Ritter, Suzanne Vega, Rachael Yamagata, Rickie Lee Jones, Andrew Bird, Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Peggy Seeger, Tom Paxton, the Hooters, and festivals with Steve Earle, Judy Collins, Aimee Mann, Rufus Wainwright, Mavis Staples, and Arlo Guthrie.

John Francis now makes his home (when not touring 200+ days per year) in Music City…Nashville, Tennessee. In Nashville, he recorded his newest release 'the Better Angels' in the Cash Cabin Studio. Produced by John Carter Cash in the fabled home studio of his parents Johnny and June.

'The Better Angels' was released Nov.9, 2010 through the Dualtone Music Group. It was "Most Added" to AMA Radio 3 weeks running, and climbed to #18 on the Americana Charts. Featuring legendary musicians: Kenny Vaughan (Lucinda Williams, Marty Stuart), Ken Coomer (Uncle Tupelo, Wilco), Michael Rhodes (Sheryl Crowe, J.J. Cale), Robbie Turner (Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson) and featuring Rachael Yamagata with a vocal appearance, 'the Better Angels' is a musical achievement. The record features the single "Johnny Cash on the Radio" and the two songs for which Francis received national songwriting awards.

Like his songs, Francis is rooted in the real, vulnerable, and gritty stories of human experiences, his own and those he encounters. And as he tours and travels, he's collected stories of others, and built his own story on that great "ribbon of highway".

Inside the soaring vibrato-laden tenor and the catchy rock / folk melodies, you can feel the pain, the redemption, the sorrow, and the transcendence in the voice of a young man who is, as Shane Claiborne puts its, "…a poet and a troubadour; a provocateur of dreams and an instigator of movements. Most of all, he is a friend. He is a friend of mine, but he is also a friend of many down-and-out people the world has stepped on, pushed aside, and tried to ignore. His voice becomes much bigger than his own, and his stories tell the stories of injustice and freedom that are thousands of years old. Listen, and be inspired to do something daring with your life."
No Good Sister
No Good Sister
Three part harmony driven Alt-Country/Roots-Rock

In late 2012, a mom, a teacher, and a waitress gathered in a small Philadelphia apartment specifically to hear what their voices might sound like when joined together in three part harmony. By the end of the night, Maren Sharrow, Jess McDowell, and Meaghan Kyle knew they had something special in the effortless way their three very different voices blended together in a harmony that was both timeless and exciting. No Good Sister was born.

The Spring of 2017 promises the release of No Good Sister's debut full-length studio album, You Can Love Me, which was entirely funded through a successful Kickstarter campaign. Mike "Slo-mo" Brenner (The Low Road, Marah, Magnolia Electric Co), pulls double duty as producer and lap steel player. The album features musicians from some of Philly's favorite bands: Get the Led Out, John Train, West Philadelphia Orchestra, The Roddenberries, and more. With the exception of one song, the album is entirely original music written by the three ladies of No Good Sister.

Meaghan Kyle, originally from Maryland, started performing professionally in her teens as a musical theatre actress, and pursued that career through her young adult years. Life landed her in Philadelphia where performing in theatre tapered off and singing harmony with local songwriters (Shane Dodd, Christie Lenée) took center stage. While balancing a waitressing job at a high end restaurant during the day, it was singing with Philadelphia folk collective, A Fistful of Sugar, where Meaghan met Bucks County, PA native, Jess McDowell. Jess had been singing harmony, honing her guitar chops and building her repertoire from making her rounds in the bluegrass & folk festival circuits. She met the fine folks of A Fistful of Sugar while working as a preschool teacher by day, and by night, she sang in various local groups (backing Brad Hinton, and as one half of the folk duo, Jessie James). Kyle and McDowell were paired together in a car while on a tour of New England with AFoS, and very quickly formed a musical bond. The trip inspired them to create a band that would take them from the background to the spotlight while still being able to sing the harmony that they so enjoyed creating together. Itching for a third voice, Meaghan invited Maren Sharrow, a bartender she met at her neighborhood watering hole, over to meet Jess and all sing together. Maren had moved to Philly in 2008 from Detroit, MI, where she learned to play guitar and began writing songs while singing backup vocals for local bands. Maren juggles being a No Good Sister with being a very good mom to two energetic boys under the age of 6.

Within the first month of forming, the trio won an open mic competition at World Cafe Live at The Queen in Wilmington, DE, which ultimately led them to being named the Standout Performer of 2013, with a prize package that included the recording of their three song, self-titled EP (released in 2014), and a spot in the's 2014 SXSW showcase. Their timeless three-part harmonies and dynamic songwriting have earned them a coveted Quad Showcase at the 2014 North East Regional Folk Alliance, the Best New Artist 93.7 WSTW-FM's Hometown Heroes Award, were named the 2015 Artist to Watch by Ticket to Entertainment, and won the 93.7 WSTW-FM's Wilmington Flower Market Battle of the Bands Grand Prize. In 2015, No Good Sister played on the Martin Guitar Main Stage at the 54th Philadelphia Folk Festival, preceding Arlo Guthrie, Parker Milsap and Shakey Graves. They have performed at storied venues up and down the Northeast, The Bitter End (NYC), Club Passim (Boston), and headline regularly in Philadelphia and surrounding area clubs, venues, and festivals, and have opened for national headliners, The Steeldrivers, Eilen Jewell, The Kruger Brothers, and Kim Richey. The ladies have performed live in-studio multiple times on-air programs such as The Folk Show with Gene Shay (88.5 WXPN-FM), The Key with John Vettese (WXPN), Live at the Kelly Writer's House with Michaela Majoun (WXPN), Like a Version with Dan Reed (WXPN), Radio Nowhere with Joltin' Joe (90.3 WMSC-FM), Hometown Heroes with Mark Rogers (93.7 WSTW-FM), Ocean 98.1 (WOCM-FM), to name just a few, and their 2014 EP can be heard on the airwaves as far as the UK.

These ladies are "masters of three-part harmony…reviving Americana with a country/folk leaning. Many acts are trying to do this style now, but these women truly have it going from the songs, to stage presentation…No Good Sister will make good sooner than later." - David Wannop, 21st Century Media
Venue Information:
The Boot & Saddle
1131 S. Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA, 19147