Updates - for what's new go to David Francey News
Latest CD Broken Heart of Everything
Laker Music is pleased to announce the February 25th, 2016 International release of David Francey’s new albumThe Broken Heart of Everything.
This will be the 12th album for this three-time Juno Award winner.
David Francey Tours with Original Artwork and New Album
Francey Recovering From Loss of Voice Sets Out On Art Tour
The voice of one of Canada's top touring folk artists has been silent for a while. Having earned three Juno Awards, four Canadian Folk Music Awards, a SOCAN Folk Music Award, and three critics’ Album of the Year awards from the Canadian folk magazine Penguin Eggs, this "latter-day Canadian poet laureate." (Greg Quill, the Toronto Star) has withdrawn from the folk circuit to rest and rehabilitate.
Like so many other hard-touring artists – Adele, Celine Dion, Shania Twain and Blue Rodeo's Jim Cuddy among them – David is facing challenges with his singing voice resulting from years of heavy touring. David gradually developed a hoarseness making it increasingly difficult for him to project in concert.
"I worked construction for twenty years. It took its toll. Then I toured continuously with my music for twenty more. This too takes a toll”, David remarked.
While he still had a voice, Francey gathered his favourite musicians and recorded his latest album, The Broken Heart of Everything.
David Francey’s new album showcases his extraordinary skill as a lyricist. His so-good-they-could-be-traditional melodies, and themes of the camaraderie of small-town life, the drudgery of the daily grind, the pride in an honest day’s work, the sadness of losing loved ones, the joy of close family connections, and the quiet strength of mature love have struck a chord with audiences around the world.
“Come Sunday” is a song about the tragic death of Tim Annesley, who played hockey with David on his Sunday night team in the Eastern Townships in the late ‘90s. It is both a touching account of the emptiness a community feels when one of its own is taken without warning and a celebration of small-town hockey culture – a topic David also feted on the Juno-winning Skating Rink.
“Blue Sorrow and Then Some” is a tribute to Hank Williams – inspired by a teenage memory of playing Hank’s “Greatest Hits” endlessly after salvaging the record from his aunt’s junk pile. Ivan Rosenberg's dobro and John Showman’s sweet violin give the song a classic country flavor without departing from David’s trademark acoustic folk sound.
“Only Love”, featuring fiddle player James McKie, is the kind of song that stirs up good-natured envy in other songwriters, for few can take as common a muse as love, write verses comprised of little more than metaphors, and end up with a powerful, moving piece, totally free of clichés, about the only thing in life that really matters. It’s the sort of heartfelt song with a stick-in-your-head chorus that has won David fans in everyone from John-Angus MacDonald of the Trews to Ron MacLean of Hockey Night in Canada. Lyrics from "Only Love" lend themselves to the title of this album.
“I Know It Won’t” was written in a hotel room in Grande Prairie about the exasperation of an artist who has been on the road too long. It is the kind of song about working life on which David has built his reputation. Having long ago traded his tool belt for the touring life, David now brings the same rawness and sincerity to the realities of a working artist as he has to those of being a lake boat captain, a miner, or a farmer.
David recorded the songs with his long-time band-mates Mark Westberg (guitar), Chris Coole (banjo), and Darren McMullen (mandolin, etc.) at Coole’s family cabin on Belmont Lake, a rustic setting that gives the album its intimate sound. David’s delivery is soft, smooth and emotive, a beautiful, gentle timbre arising from his ongoing struggle with vocal strain.
Still on the mend, David plans to take to the road once again with The Broken Heart of Everything in 2019.
A true artist through and through, David is also an avid painter. In fact, he has been painting almost as long as he has been touring as a performer. In addition to the release of The Broken Heart of Everything, David will be visiting select Canadian cities this spring and summer with a new exhibit of his popular artwork on his David Francey Art Tour 2018.
Much like his music, the images that attract David are drawn from his experience of the world around him. His landscapes – rural or industrial – and seascapes are the kind of places in which you might find the heroes and heroines of his music. Like his songs, his paintings are evocative and compelling yet reflective and sincere.
Remarkably, although colourblind and self-taught, David's paintings are undeniably striking. His art is often subdued and lonely but vastly intriguing and poignant. David's unique background makes his work all the more captivating.
The David Francey Art Tour 2018 will give fans of David’s music a chance to see another side of his creative personality, one that they might not have experienced before and are sure to be equally moved by. The Broken Heart of Everything, original art and prints will be available on this tour.
Media Contact: Cortney Harkin 647-649-0916 | firstname.lastname@example.org
David Francey is a Scottish-born Canadian carpenter-turned-songwriter, who has become known as “one of Canada’s most revered folk poets and singers” (Toronto Star). Born in Ayrshire, Scotland to parents who were factory workers, he moved to Canada when he was twelve. For decades, he worked across Canada in rail yards, construction sites, and in the Yukon bush, all the while writing poetry, setting it to melodies in his head and singing it to himself as he worked.
A truly authentic folk singer, Francey is a documentarian
of the working person who never imagined earning a living from his music. But when he was in his 40s, his wife, artist Beth Girdler, encouraged him to share his songs and sing in public. The reaction was instant. His first album Torn Screen Door came out in 1999 and was
a hit in Canada. Since then, he has released eleven albums, won three Juno Awards and has had his songs covered by such artists as The Del McCoury Band, The Rankin Family, James Keelaghan and Tracy Grammer.
Francey also had the honour of receiving the prestigious SOCAN Folk Music Award as well as taking home the Grand Prize in both the International Acoustic Music Award and in the Folk category for the John Lennon Songwriting Award.
"David’s straightforward songs tell honest stories of real people and real places. Poetic perception and a keen eye for the heart of the matter are trademarks of the man and his music. His songs and stories are a direct connection for audiences seeking depth and meaning in the day-to-day." Shelter Valley Folk Festival
David Francey was born in Ayrshire, Scotland where he got his first taste of the working life as a paperboy. At age 10 he was devouring the newspapers he delivered, establishing a life-long interest in politics and world events while developing the social conscience that forms the backdrop of his songs.
He was twelve when his family immigrated to Toronto. He says he can trace his love of the land, the history, and
the people of his adopted country to weekend family drives exploring southern Ontario. Music played a large part
in these family outings. They sang traditional Scottish tunes as they drove through the Canadian countryside. Dad
and sister Muriel sang melody, while mother and David sang harmonies.
His attachment to Canada grew with travel. He hitched
across the country three times, then thumbed his way to the Yukon. This attachment surfaces in his songs of rail
lines, farms, and the St. Lawrence Seaway. He grew to understand the people while working in Toronto train yards,
the Yukon bush, and as a carpenter in the Eastern Townships. These experiences colour his first CD, Torn Screen
Door, with songs like Hard Steel Mill, Gypsy Boys, and Working Poor and his second, Far End of Summer, with Highway,
Flowers of Saskatchewan and February Morning Drive.
In concert David is a singer and a storyteller. His wry humour and astute observations combined with his openhearted
singing style have earned him a loyal following.
David lives with his wife, artist Beth Girdler in the quiet but charming Lanark Highlands in southern Ontario. They are visited often by their son Colin, daughters Amy and Julia and grandkids Tristan, Alice and Millicent.
David with his Mother, Father and Sister, Muriel.
Age 16, Toronto, Canada
18, White Pass and
21, Queensland Beech,
"…one of Canada's best loved troubadours" Greg Quill, Toronto Star
“DavidFrancey is one of my fave conversationalists. Great stories, great songs.” Amanda Putz, host of CBC's Bandwidth
"He's like those Texas songwriters, the Guy Clark's and Van Zandt's and such, who take life and set it to music, in such plain but perfect language. Oh, and it rhymes. And it's catchy. Each song is a bit of common sense philosophy, mixed with a tiny bit of sadness and a lot of love" CBC New Brunswick
"A Francey record is best served with a pint over a few moments to yourself to sit back and enjoy" View
"Francey's clear, simple songs speak volumes to his followers. After a decade in music, David Francey is known as one of Canada's finest tunesmiths and a champion of the Everyman, admired for his less-is-more approach to writing. It's amazing how he manages to address deep stuff with such spare ingredients" The Edmonton Journal
"Scottish born, Francey is a two-time Juno Award winner
whose straightforward songs tell honest stories of real people and real places. Poetic perception and a keen eye for the heart of the matter are
trademarks of the man and his music. His songs and stories are a direct connection for audiences seeking depth and meaning in the day-to-day" Shelter Valley Folk Festival
"Francey writes songs that feel like they've been sung a million times in a million places by a million voices" Judith Edelman in Puremusic.com
"Francey has made a reputation for himself as one of Canada's most revered folk poets and singers… [His songs]
are small and beautifully crafted pieces of work that have made Francey both a folk festival favourite and something
of a latter-day Canadian poet laureate."
Greg Quill, the Toronto Star
"A consummate craftsman…David Francey is one of the biggest stars of Canadian folk Music"
Words & Music - SOCAN Magazine
"Francey has been bringing an acute eye to penning image-laden lyrics for years" The Edmonton Journal
"One of Canada's outstanding poets, songwriters, storytellers.
That's David Francey with a lovely little tribute to tonight." Ron
MacLean, Hockey Night in Canada. November 22/03 Following the Canadian
Heritage Classic Hockey Game
"Without a doubt, David Francey is the BEST folk singer/songwriter going in Canada today" Fred's Records, Newfoundland
"Hands-down the best songwriter working in Canada today." the
Times Colonist, Victoria
"he's the closest thing this country has to Woody Guthrie" the
Georgia Strait, Vancouver
"one of today's finest folk-based singer-songwriters" "a working man's poetry" Sing Out
"David Francey is coming into his own in middle age as one of Canada's best songsmiths - and that's not damning
him with faint praise." Daniel Gewertz, The Boston
"[Francey's] observations pack an emotional wallop… [His] songs connect because they reflect common responses
to life's journeys in a wry, poetic way." The San
Diego Union - Tribune
"the likeliest candidate for all-Canadian folk singer" …" Patrick
Langston, The Ottawa Citizen
"David Francey's songs are lean, whippet-like creations, a bit like the man himself. With not one wasted word
or superfluous line he takes the everyday, often mundane business of living and elevates it into something infinitely
more noble and memorable, the mark of a truly gifted songwriter." Eric
"David is the most exciting new narrative songwriter to emerge in many years"
Brian McNeill, Head of Scottish Music. Royal Scottish
Academy of Music and Drama
"David Francey's voice is a revelation, full and melodious, not to be missed"
The Berlingske Tidende, Denmark
"One of the best shows in our 32 year history! His CDs are great, but he's truly incredible on stage. " Dave Humphreys, Two Way Street Coffee House, Chicago
"David Francey is the best Canadian folk writer that I have heard in 20 years. I think that he is going to
be a voice in this country for a long time and that his songs will be sung by my great, great, great grandchildren." James Keelaghan, Winnipeg, Manitoba
"words of eloquence, beauty .and charm, hung on a jewel of a voice"
Kieran Kane, Nashville Tennessee
"David's songs are meant to be sung, and the more voices there are singing them, the better they sound. They
are also built to last - so well put together that they are rich in that beauty which is perhaps the most elusive
of all, simplicity ... that kind of economy of expression where the line between craft and art is crossed. " Dugg Simpson, Vancouver Folk Music Festival
"Francey has emerged as one of Canada's most gifted
songwriters." The Montreal Gazette
"Francey is indeed a unique songwriting voice with
few peers" Mike Devlin, Times Colonist
"A former carpenter who has quickly established
himself as one of Canada's most revered folksingers, alongside names like James Keelaghan and Stan Rogers." Martin Kemp, FFWD
"I usually try to catch a song or two from the
opening act to see what they do. When David Francey opened for me, though, it was a whole different ballgame. He
is a riveting performer and writer. I stayed the whole set. I just couldn't pull myself away to go back and tune
up. I'm now a
big fan." Bill Morrissey, Tamworth, New Hampshire
"My favorite songwriter since John Prine" Harvey Reid, York Maine
"one of today's finest folk-based singer-songwriters." Mike Regenstrief, Singout Magazine
"Like country blues legend Mississippi John Hurt,
David Francey writes in a direct, snapshot style. And, like Hurt, his folk-based songs ought to be
played 100 years from now."
Michael Johnson, Exclaim Magazine.
"David Francey gave an absolutely stunning performance
at Blue Skies Music Festival. He is a brilliant writer and a passionate singer who completely captivated all who
heard him- including the other performers. His songs are beautifully crafted, highly original and superbly played.
David has a talent that is something special- I have no doubt that he will be an important voice in Canadian music
in a very short time." Al Rankin, Artistic Director,
Blue Skies Music Festival
"Francey is regarded as one of the brightest lights on
Canada's roots music scene." Calgary Folk Festival
"Passionate and authentic, David Francey brings
his superb songs to life in spellbinding style." Chris White, Artistic Director, Ottawa Folk Festival
"David Francey finds the poetry in our everyday
lives and the soul in our forgotten places. And better yet, Francey cradles his down-to-earth stories in infectious
melodies that make it impossible to resist singing along." Maria Dunn, Edmonton, Alberta
"David is one of the most talented performers to
have appeared on our stage. He possesses all of what I consider to be the elements necessary to the success of
a contemporary performing songwriter: a passion for the music he creates: great songwriting: beautiful arrangements:
an amazing voice: an engaging and compelling stage presence and finally and perhaps most importantly, a warm, vivid
sense of humour and fun." Paul Symes, Black Sheep
"David Francey has the warmest voice you've heard in years.
The songs he writes are so connected and relevant to the heart & experiences of the working man, you'll listen
as though you've known this singer all your life"
Kate Power, Artichoke Music, Portland OR
"Simple and concise his lyrics unlock the magic
hidden in the ordinary" ... "His tunes are simple and irresistibly singable, while his lyrics exemplify
both the intuitive poet's gift for finding the exact image,and the professional writer's refusal to accept anything
less than honed simplicity." Steve Pedersen, Halifax
"Today a workshop with The Waifs….and
David Francey, a singer-songwriter born in Scotland and hailing from Quebec. The theme is "they call it democracy"….David
Francey is new to me. Good incisive songs, most definitely political, and accompanied by two great players."
Taken from Lee's Tour Diary, 2001. Lee, drummer for Oysterband
"David was a standing ovation success at the Ottawa
Folk Festival. His CD "Torn Screen Door" has been making the rounds of all the folk listeners. His Scottish
accent, especially fine song writing, and a rich voice the likes of James Keelaghan, Bobby Watt, or even Garnet
Rogers makes him one of the most pleasurably listenable performers today. He actually was on stage with Shari Ulrich
and James Keelaghan at a daystage here in Ottawa. As he was singing, they joined in catching him off guard. David
is modest. His smile was huge as the audience then joined in." Dean
Verger, Rasputin's Folk Café, Ottawa, Ontario
"David Francey paints a portrait of Canada with his songs - from small town Sunday mornings, love won and
lost in the big city, down the backroads, across industrial landscapes to the sea - he sings of the stuff that
we (Canadians) are made of." Carl Borgstrom, Artistic
Director, Live! at the Opera House, Orangeville, Ontario
"David has truly mastered the art of storytelling
through song...[he] writes extraordinary songs of ordinary people - songs which are both simple and eloquent at
the same time." Sally Greenberg, Berkeley, CA
"Equally politically aware and no less passionate, was David Francey, who we shared a workshop stage with at the Canmore Folk festival. Hes a Scotsman who has lived a long time in Canada and who writes and sings (beautifully) impassioned and searching songs about the world we find ourselves living in. Not a million miles away from Dick Gaughan, if youre looking for a musical and political comparison. We loved the ease with which he engaged the audience and the intensity of his delivery, and he loved our witty pop take on serious matters. More mutual admiration." Chumbawamba, England