deFrance has been called the “hardest working band in Arkansas,” racking up more than 600 shows since forming in 2015. The band calls Little Rock home but these road warriors carry their modern take on classic rock & roll across the nation every week, having performed shows at legendary venues such as the Whisky A Go Go in Hollywood, California, as well as earning the respect of fans statewide, with two of their songs being selected for use in Arkansas tourism commercials. The band’s technical prowess and deliverance of a truly pure rock & roll sound has been recognized with support opportunities for Foghat, ZZ Top, Whiskey Myers, Robert Randolph, Shooter Jennings, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, and most recently the band earned the exclusive opening spot for Bon Jovi on their This House is Not For Sale tour at Verizon Arena in North Little Rock, performing in front of 14,000 people.
Drew deFrance, lead singer and guitarist in the band that bears his name, says he and his band members are excited to have been chosen as the band to play when one of the city's best-known clubs brings back live entertainment.
The fact that Little Rock, Arkansas band, deFrance, have been relentlessly pounding the pavement – touring, writing, and (through no fault of their own) having to shelve dozens of songs – since 2015, should be more than enough to validate the quartet’s commitment to making music together. But that's not even the half of it.
Lights Down Low debuted April 22 on Billboard Magazine, and writer Gary Graff nailed the lively vibe of the track when he compared it to The Band's cover of Bruce Springsteen's "Atlantic City."
“Lights Down Low” takes you into a chilly reminder of what heartache and isolation look like in these trying times of quarantine. Beautifully shot and creatively linked to Sharpe Dunaway, this video adds an element of what it’s like to be a true Americana artist.
When Drew deFrance says there's more where his upcoming third album came from, he means a lot more. The Arkansas-based singer, songwriter and bandleader -- whose video for "Lights Down Low" is premiering exclusively with Billboard -- has three more releases in the works, even as he's preparing for his deFrance band's self-released No Longer a Stranger in This Town album to drop on May 15.
deFrance also released a statement saying in part, “One of the common threads throughout history is the inability to withhold the human spirit. We as people are not meant to be secluded, fenced in or quarantined. We’re destined for discovery, adventure and vast accomplishment. It’s an unfathomable condition in these current times that unfortunately is essential for our safe and prosperous future. So it comes as no surprise that many local, national and international artists have recently stated: ‘We regret to announce that all of our upcoming shows are cancelled or rescheduled for a later date, but here is our live stream!'
deFrance took that sound to the stage as early as 14, playing local bars and venues and eventually stretching out to gigs across the country. It has stayed with him, even adopting Tom Petty’s often stated songwriting mantra: “Don’t bore us, get to the chorus,” said deFrance.
If you've been looking for some rock 'n' roll -- like, you know, fun, fist-pumping, loud guitars, driving rhythm section rock 'n' roll -- then Second Wind, the new record from Little Rock's deFrance, ought to scratch that itch.
In all of the best ways, deFrance is a band that delivers on your first impressions with their music matching their looks: an Americana group that is ready to give you a rock show. Or, in this case, a rock album. For the first time in four years the guys are releasing a new collection of tracks with ‘Second Wind.’
Four years since their formation, deFrance has played 550 live shows; the band is fresh off a European tour that included several stops in England. DeFrance said the band plays two to five shows each week. Americana meets rock ‘n’ roll, the band’s music touches on themes like rebellion, love and heartbreak and being southern.
I was also particularly impressed with guitarist Drew DeFrance’s riffs, which were a feature throughout (including one moment where he played with his glass of whiskey in hand!).
Opening for Bon Jovi was Little Rock band deFrance. The five-member group performed a 20-minute set of guitar-hearty, good-time rock, with some members tossing their long locks around like Bon Jovi once did back in the day.
Little Rock band deFrance — Connor Roach, Daniel Curry, Drew deFrance, Elliott Cotton and Andrew Poe — take the coveted opening spot for Bon Jovi. “Yeah, we think we can fit it in our schedule to open for Bon Jovi,” says singer, guitarist and band namesake Drew deFrance with a chuckle.
Hometown band DeFrance has been chosen to open for Bon Jovi in North Little Rock. This is the third tour in recent years that the Grammy Award-winning band has invited local and regional artists to share the stage. Those chosen have demonstrated that they have the sound, style, and substance to open an arena show.
A Little Rock band has been chosen to open for Bon Jovi for its central Arkansas show. In a Friday news release, the Grammy award-winning group said DeFrance will be the opening act at the North Little Rock stop of its 2018 tour.
“We are more than excited to play some Arkansas rock ’n’ roll alongside such great musicians that we’ve admired since our youth. After years of hard work and persistence we would like to thank Bon Jovi for this amazing opportunity. We are looking forward to seeing all of our family, fans and friends at Verizon Arena!” says band frontman, guitarist, songwriter, and manager, Drew deFrance.
"Even if you don't know the song. it feels familiar. Like your dad used to rock it in the Dodge Dart."
"They are insanely talented and play their instruments like extra limbs attached to their bodies."
"Roll down the windows and turn this up."
"deFrance has that soulful southern blues-rock sound that clearly gives Creedence to their muddy Ark. waters background."
"Amazing guitars and they are tight as fuck! Put them on tour with ZZ Top fast!"
The fourth semifinal round of the Arkansas Times Musicians Showcase welcomes back some favorites from 2017 including deFrance.
The Best: Man, DeFrance is unfailingly tight. The 5-piece has played something like 200 live shows this year, and it shows. Drew DeFrance is a seasoned frontman who knows his craft.
The high-energy roots rock deFrance plays is at once familiar and fresh. The band is mostly unanimous in their influences. Jimi Hendrix, Tom Petty, Ryan Adams, The Grateful Dead and even elements of punk like The Ramones all show up in the tunes. There is also a real soul and R&B thread especially in the newer songs coming on the next album–it’s not the influences that are fresh (though the band does say they love to listen to top 40), but the way they incorporate them into a sound that is mostly rock n roll, but with a little something else…That "otherness” that makes music stick to you and move you–that is what makes them remarkable.