Francis Dunnery was a founding member of the 1980s band It Bites. Although he started on drums, he later became the lead singer and guitarist of the group, and maintained this position until he left in 1990 to pursue a solo career.
Dunnery settled in Los Angeles following the breakup of It Bites and released his first solo album, Welcome To The Wild Country, in 1991. This was a much more rough-and-ready album than the heavily-produced and technically fastidious It Bites records. The record enjoyed little success, being released only in Japan.
The follow up album Fearless (released on Atlantic in 1994) performed considerably better with American Life In The Summertime, the lead single off the album receiving considerable airplay in the States. It was followed in 1995 by One Night In Sauchiehall Street, a live set recorded during an all-acoustic tour in the UK promoting Fearless. This album revealed Dunnery's change to a more all-acoustic method and was the first evidence on record of his live approach as raconteur as well as musician, incorporating a surprising degree of confessional story, philosophical musing and salty stand-up comedy.
Dunnery's third studio album Tall Blonde Helicopter, was also released in 1995, following his relocation to New York City. Primarily an acoustic album, Dunnery abandoned the predominantly pop-oriented sound of his previous album in favor of an eclectic mixture of soft ballads and acoustic rockers.
Dunnery's next album was 1998's Let's Go Do What Happens released on the Razor and Tie label. The album featured rockier numbers and experimentation with more electronic sounds.
In 2009, Dunnery announced the formation of his "New Progressives" project, which appeared to have two aims - the first being to reclaim and rework the songs Dunnery had written with It Bites, and the second being to develop a new approach to progressive rock. The project was to feature a core band centred on Dunnery plus the involvement of various collaborators from various periods of progressive rock history.
Dunnery has contributed backing vocals to Anderson Bruford Wakeman Howe's eponymous album. His guitar and vocal skills were recruited by Led Zeppelin singer Robert Plant for his "Fate of Nations" world tour. More recently, Dunnery has written and recorded with The Syn.
He has recorded studio sessions for Lauryn Hill, Elton John, and many others. These include Carlos Santana on his multi-platinum album Supernatural. Also, Dunnery co-wrote several tracks and played guitar on, as well as producing Ian Brown's album Music of the Spheres.
In 2009, Jem Godfrey (Frost*) announced on the Frost* Forum that he and Dunnery had both contributed solos to the title track of Big Big Train's upcoming album, The Underfall Yard.