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Summer Edition
Volume 97, Number 1

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John Francis (Maher)

Music of mercy
Young singer/songwriter sings, plays, and writes about social justice

Born to two musicians, and brought up listening to vinyl records from the '60s, John Francis (Maher) '01 has music pumping through his veins. The Philadelphia EP, released in 2004 and produced by Grammy award–winning Phil Nicolo, quickly marked John Francis as an emergent young singer/songwriter to watch.

The roots of his lyrics run deep, drawing on English, Chinese, and Irish poetry, and complement his eclectic rock style. But well-written music isn't the only thing that motivates John Francis. His heart for those living in poverty — which led him to found the campus organization Students for Social Action during his college years — now forms the common thread that runs through his lyrics.

"When I was at Messiah, the most important question for me was, 'How is Jesus real to the culture and times that we live in?'" says John Francis. He is still seeking the answer to that question as he records his first full-length album under the production guidance of another Messiah graduate, Devon Greenwood '96. "Mercy runs through this record. It's actually somewhat of a protest album — but it's got a lot of love songs on it, too."

Dulcimer Hope Brubaker '04

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