By Adriana Rubio

“Franco and the Dreadnought” is an acoustic music act from Manchester, UK performed by gifted solo artist John Blaylock (Aka Franco).  Franco was born in England in May of 1982. He is a multi-instrumentalist talented musician. Franco sings, plays guitar, piano, drums, keyboards and bass guitar. He met his music partner, Martin, in 1999 in a music store… a Martin DXME Dreadnought Acoustic Guitar! They became inseparable music friends since then.

Some years ago “Franco and the Dreadnought” were signed by “International One” as a solo artist project with songwriting and melodies that go right to the heart. The album is filled with stunning acoustic and piano tunes. Franco's musical compositions are undoubtedly delightful. Singing melodies and lyrics are lovable.  There’s no doubt that Franco and Martin are a perfect match.

As a result of the uniqueness of Franco’s acoustic music sets, the band signed two non-exclusive licensing deals with “Silvercurve Management” in New York and “Blue Pie Media” in Australia. Franco’s music has attracted the attention of many.  A management deal to release 4 singles over the next 12 months with “Animal Farm” in London was also signed.

Among all the deals signed, songwriting, rehearsals and recording sessions, the band plays live gigs at “RockNess Festival”, “Dentdale Music + Beer Festival” and “Bakewell Acoustic Festival”.

After many successful years with “International One”, “Franco and the Dreadnoughts” did a self-release song which was played on Radio 1 by Zane Lowe, Steve Lamacq on Radio 2 plus it was Clint Boon's single of the week on XFM. 

All this together opened the doors to a new record deal with a label under “UNIVERSAL”. On the same page, Franco was asked personally by Desmond Tutu, a 1984 Nobel Peace Prize, to write a song celebrating the life of Nelson Mandela. The archbishop gave it as a gift to Mr. Mandela for his 90th birthday.

There is a busy agenda on Franco’s musical career. The band will be touring Scotland in September 2011 and recording in London. Also, drum and bass remix of “Bulletproof” is expected to be released by “Dangerous New Age Records” in September. 

The passion Franco feels for music is unquestionable. The band never worries about anything not even under unfavorable weather conditions. “Franco and the Dreadnought” performed the “Rockness Festival” at 6:00 pm on a Saturday night, having a train back home at 9:00 am on Sunday. No tent around so Franco and his Martin DXME Dreadnought Acoustic Guitar stayed up all night doing acoustic shows round the campsite but it just rained hard all night! Still played lots of songs for the enjoyment of many.

For further info on Franco’s band, touring, new recording deals and best of all to listen to the music, please visit the 6 Track EP site at:



Article & Interview
By Adriana Rubio

Courtesy of Strong Management

“Sinners & Saints” actor Johnny Strong is an American talented artist born in Los Angeles, CA. He is best known for his acting roles in the Steven Seagal movie “The Glimmer Man”, Sylvester Stallone’s “Get Carter”, “The Fast and The Furious”, “Black Hawk Down” and most recently in the William Kaufman film “Sinners & Saints” playing the lead role of Homicide Detective Sean Riley.

Aside from his acting career, Johnny received a Black Belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ) from his Instructor Chris Lisciandro in 2009. Johnny is also a Mixed Martial Arts instructor (MMA) at Chris Lisciandro’s Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Club, a First Degree Black Belt and well respected Martial Artist among the Jiu-Jitsu community.
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is a Martial Art combat sport and self defense system mainly focused on ground fighting. It is also known as a “gentle art” because it teaches that a smaller individual can effectively defend against a bigger one by using leverage and technique to defeat the opponent without punching or kicking. Follow the link below and watch Johnny demonstrating how to execute a counter move to a “rear naked choke defense”. (Don’t try it at home if you are not familiarized with this kind of art or without supervision).

Johnny Strong began studying Martial Arts unintentionally at a young age in the nearby area of a local park where he grew up. As a teenager, he started playing guitar and taught himself to play various musical instruments. Johnny’s been interested in expressing himself creatively from when he was a kid. The practice of Martial Arts contributed greatly to increase his inner artistic talent side.

“Martial Arts started it all. I guess I found everything else that I did creatively with that form of expression. But, it all depends on whatever the individual art point is. I’ve always been into creative expression in a sense of some sort of drawing in a line, you know, as in a picture. When you draw a picture, the underline and what you draw is the nature of the structure. I gave the truest form of that expression, the underline of expressing myself creatively. I felt attracted to that kind of expression. When you believe in those things, what you find is the nurture of whatever my art point is, my Jiu-Jitsu, acting, drawing, painting or making music”. 
Musically, Johnny Strong plays guitar, piano, bass guitar, drums and has a powerful-rock-screaming singing voice with emotive and ardent effects. Johnny is the founding member of a band called “Operator” which was formed after his acting role as a Delta Operator in the film “Black Hawk Down”.

“I took a break from making movies in 2002 and started writing music and recording. I wrote everything and played all the instruments on it. And eventually a representative of Atlantic Records called to make a record deal”. 

A self-released demo entitled “Can You hear me Now” in 2004 was the first album in Operator’s history which made Atlantic Records pay attention to it. The label signed Operator in 2005. Operator’s first album was released as a solo project since no one other than Johnny was in. Johnny sings all lead and backing vocals, he plays lead and rhythm guitars, bass guitar, piano and drums in all the tracks. 

“Soulcrusher” is Operator’s first debut CD as a band and it was released in 2007 by Atlantic Records. The album was engineered by a well known and respected Music Producer, Engineer & Mixer Bill Appleberry of BK Entertainment Group. Three singles were also produced: “Nothing To Lose”, “Soulcrusher” and “Delicate”. The song “The Only One” is among the music credits for the TV Series “UFO Hunters” as the theme song.

There mustn’t be anything more annoying than being compared to this and that or getting high doses of criticism. Anyway… Many people have compared Johnny’s voice to Seattle based bands Soundgarden-Audioslave singer Chris Cornell. If you ask me, both sing on the same key level, so some of the singing melodies may sound familiar to those still in love with the grunge musical era. Both are gifted singers shinning in their own art and style. There’s a very noticeable ingredient to highlight here which is not something that comes out from Chris but from the old Rock & Roll school of AC/DC’s Bon Scott and Led Zeppelin’s Robert Plant especially in some songs from Johnny’s latest album “The War Of Art”. The fusion of these two is what it makes Johnny’s particular singing style so emotive and, to this point why not “unique”. There are a number of experimental songs combining sounds and melodies that will make you shiver even in non-high-screaming parts. Johnny’s voice enriches the action of the music beats. The combination of both makes each song particularly enjoyable. The album also counts with a cover song from Guns N’ Roses –Appetite For Destruction- “It’s so Easy”.

For “The War Of Art” Johnny first recorded 8 songs with “Soulcrusher” producer Bill Appleberry. Johnny then added 28 more songs and released a complete 36 songs new album in 2010. The song “Let You Go” from “The War Of Art” album was used as the main soundtrack for the film “Sinners & Saints” where Johnny Strong plays the lead role of Homicide Detective Sean Riley. “Let You Go” is also present on the 4 minutes promotional video of "Chris Lisciandro's Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Club".  

Johnny Strong truly believes in the underline he’s been drawing of himself over the years. He believes in positive power and very especially he believes in himself. Johnny feels for the most part happy.

“I have an amazing life. I work very hard and I’m grateful for all the things I grew up whether my Jiu-Jitsu, my kickboxing, my movies or my music for the records I’ve made. My success is being happy. I enjoy every day of my life. I feel great”.

From "Sinners & Saints" film
For further information on Johnny Strong you can visit his official website at:

To purchase Johnny's album "The War Of Art" visit iTunes site at:

To explore more on Johnny’s acting career visit the IMDb website at:

For information pertained to his latest film “Sinners & Saints”, visit the movie official site at: