Robert Francis began taking piano lessons before his toes could reach the foot pedals. When he was seven years old, his mother encouraged him to learn guitar so he could play the traditional ranchera songs she'd grown up singing with her sisters. Two years later, Ry Cooder gave him his first guitar, a vintage National Steel. In his teens Red Hot Chili Pepper's John Frusciante took him on as his only student and a few years later, he released his first album One by One at nineteen. His second album Before Nightfall, included the song, Junebug which became a commercial success in Europe. Strangers in the First Place, his new release and first for Vanguard Records, represents a breathtaking artistic leap for the singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist.