One of the key elements of the Shot O’ Soul sound, lead vocalist/frontman Jim Franciscus’ bluesy vocals take the blues to another place during the band’s performances. Cisco is an entertaining, energetic performer who loves to make Shot O' Soul audiences feel they are onstage with the band. His vocal prowess not only gets the attention of audience members, his insistence that they join the party with him keeps them entertained and encourages them to be a part of every Shot O' Soul show!
He loves everything about being onstage and it shows in his performances. A veteran of the Pittsburgh music scene for more than a decade, Jim fronted popular blues/rock band Sonic Blues before forming Shot O' Soul along with current band mates Denny Bank and Lee Baumann in 2008.
Jim cut his teeth while performing with Sonic Blues on some of the area’s best stages. He credits his Shot O' Soul band mates with helping him discover traditional and contemporary blues artists like Tommy Castro, BB King, Buddy Guy and others who have influenced his vocal style. Shot O' Soul’s mix of classic and original blues and R&B songs is ideally suited to Cisco’s vocal abilities. He and band mate Jeanie Girl compliment one another and make for an unbeatable one-two vocal punch. These two make Shot O' Soul a must-see act for local music fans!! Jim has a deep love for blues music. His goal is to make Shot O' Soul one of the best live acts in the Pittsburgh area, a household name in the local music scene, and an act that audiences continue to demand and enjoy! Judging by the packed venues and enthusiastic fan response that have become typical of a Shot O' Soul. show anywhere in the Pittsburgh area, the achievement of that goal seems inevitable.
JeanieGirl - Lead Vocalist
I am a Pittsburgh girl at heart and have been singing since I was old enough to tie my jump rope to the dining room chair’s leg and use it as a microphone! Music has always been a huge part of my life. As a child I was exposed to many types of music. My mom always had opera on the hi-fi and I share the love of classical piano with her as well. My mom is the one who taught me how to harmonize as we sang Beatles tunes. My biggest musical influence comes from my two older sisters who had me grooving to the sounds of Motown. My favorites were Aretha, The Temptations, Marvin Gaye, Gladys Knight.
My love for the blues started young also. I remember first hearing Eric Clapton and just losing my mind. The wail of that sad guitar told me everything his songs were meant to say. I was hooked! So, here I am..Blessed to be onstage with such an outstanding group of musicians. I am so humbled at their unbelievable, undeniable talent!
"I am hoping to see you at our next gig....til then ..let the blues fill your heart and soul…I do and it always makes me feel so much better!! XOXOXO JEANIEGIRL!!"
Denny Bank - Bass
Born in Pittsburgh, Denny is a graduate of Trafford High School. He counts among his influences the Beatles, the Jimi Hendrix Experience, the Out of Sights, the Rockin' Souls, the Doors, the Rolling Stones, the Iron City House Rockers, the Mystic Knights, the Nieds Hotel Band and the Businessmen. In his spare time, Denny likes to collect vintage guitars and amplifiers. He is married to his "wonderful wife 'Lyn' (Lynda) who has been so understanding for so many years about 'the Music'. I love you, sweetie!"
"Thanks to all of the members of Shot o 'Soul who I admire and respect. Plus these few from my past: Nick Miele, Ricky Matulja, Butchy DeCeaser, Dave DiRinaldo, Dave Lenart, Donny Adamik, Johnny Labik, Eric Beam, Gil Snyder, Jim Scuffle, Dave Zordich and C.J. Puhala."
Rich Fundy - Keyboards
Originally from Long Island, NY, Rich has called Pittsburgh home for many years.
He cites artists such as Keith Emerson, Richard Wright and Rick Wakeman as some of his greatest musical influences. Rich even spent a number of years as the keyboardist for a Pink Floyd tribute band before joining Shot O' Soul. Rich currently resides in West Newton, PA.
Mark Passaro - Guitar
Mark brings 30 plus years of electric, acoustic and slide guitar experience (through his own custom built amps no less) to Shot O' Soul's lineup in addition to backing vocal support.
Mark has spent time with such acts as "Eyewitness Blues" and the "Mystic Knights" along with longtime local favorite, "The Sweaty Betty Blues Band". When not performing with Shot O' Soul you can catch Mark fronting his own band, "The Redeemers".
According to Mark, "The SONG is the thing- it's got to fit. Excited to become a part of "Shot O' Soul" now!"
Dan Sommer - Drums
Dan began his musical journey at the age of 11 taking private lessons and playing snare drum in the grade school band. His high school years gave him exposure to a variety of experiences including drumline, symphonic and jazz band performance, not to mention performing at high school dances, parties and local community events as part of his own pop/rock band.
Prior to joining Shot O' Soul, Dan was a founding member of the Pittsburgh-based original rock band, The Naked Citizens and has recorded and performed in support of singer/songwriter Scott Argiro.
"For me, one of the most exciting things about being part of such a great band as Shot O' Soul is the diversity of music in the band's repertoire. Having both male and female lead vocalists provides limitless opportunities for the band to explore and pay homage to some of the greatest popular music of the 20th century and today!"