On Saturday, October 3rd, Neal Francis took part in Democracy Comes Alive, a one-day, nonpartisan virtual music festival aimed at channeling the power of music to make a critical impact on civic engagement in this this year’s elections and beyond.

The fast-rising Chicago-area singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist had previously issued performances for Democracy Comes Alive’s precursors, virtual festivals Quarantine Comes Alive and Justice Comes Alive. While his QCA and JCA performances both creatively employed thematic production elements and showed off Neal’s prowess on a wide range of instruments, his Democracy Comes Alive performance was much more straightforward, and presented a much simpler visual message. Seated at a keyboard in front of a billowing American flag backdrop, Francis performed the soulful, timely tunes “This Time” and “These Are The Days” (with some added lyrics about Trump) from his acclaimed 2019 debut solo album, Changes. Jokes aside, the simple performance gave off the sentiment that this time, these days, we can’t forget that we’re one nation, no matter who wins.

Relive Neal Francis’ performances of “This Time” and “These Are The Days” at Democracy Comes Alive in the video below. If you enjoyed the performance and have the means, consider making a donation to HeadCount and the Democracy Comes Alive artists here.

Neal Francis – “This Time”, “These Are The Days” – Democracy Comes Alive

On Monday, Neal Francis also appeared as a musical guest on Episode 6 of Keep Your Mind In Tune, the new educational web series created and hosted by the founders of Live For Live Music and TurkuazKunj Shah and Dave Brandwein respectively. Neal both opened and closed the episode, participating in a remote collaboration with Nikki Glaspie (The Nth Power, Beyoncé, Maceo Parker), Divinity Roxx (Beyoncé), Erica Falls, and members of Turkuaz on The Meters‘ “People Say” and delivering an energizing cover of Parliament‘s “Come In Out Of The Rain” to close things out. Watch the full episode of Keep Your Mind In Tune featuring Neal Francis here.

Neal Francis joined 50+ performers and 10+ other speakers as part of Democracy Comes Alive, presented by Live For Live Music in partnership with voter registration nonprofit HeadCount. The 10-hour streaming event, powered by Nugs.TV and Plus 1, generated $40,000 and counting in funds for HeadCount as well as the participating artists, who remain out of work as the pandemic continues. In addition to the funds generated, Democracy Comes Alive led thousands of people to HeadCount’s tools to check your voter registration status and register to vote. For more information, head here.