For years, Franchot Tone was an integral behind-the-scenes player in Central Oregon’s music scene, working as a producer with popular local acts like Eric Tollefson and Hilst & Coffey, and as a producer/sideman for Reed Thomas Lawrence.
Then a couple years ago, Tone got the bug to make his own music for the first time. He started writing songs and training to become a better singer. He stepped to the front of the stage and started playing gigs under his own name. And he started piecing together his debut album.
Last year, Tone and his family moved to Los Angeles, but tonight, he’s back in town to celebrate the release of his first full-length album, “Thanks For This,” with a show a McMenamins Old St. Francis School. He’ll get started around 7 p.m., and it’s free to get in.
By phone this morning, Tone said moving back to California — where he knows lots of well-connected musicians and studio types — was a “catalyst” for finally finishing his record.
“It became abundantly clear that I had to have an album, and I’d just never made it,” he said. “So now I’m in this spot with all the best players in the world. I see ’em daily, and I can just go over at any time to their studio and have ’em do this track or that track or whatever.
“It was time,” he said, “to make the album.”