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David Francey
The Waking Hour
Red House Records
By Dave Terpeny, KyndMusic Editor


With a calm and assuring voice that is reminiscent of folk legend Cisco Houston, politically-tinged lyrical poetry reminiscent of folk legend Woody Guthrie and multi-layered contented strumming and picking reminiscent of folk legend Mississippi John Hurt it comes as no surprise that Canadian David Francey is, well, a folk legend.

In fact, he’s won numerous Juno awards (Canadian Grammy) and has been covered by artists like Del McCoury and James Keelaghan. But that’s not all. The magic of this album is how he manages to blend elements of traditional Scottish folk music, rural American music and a deep sense of wisdom seamlessly together. So why haven’t you heard of him before?

Well, my thought is that because you weren’t ready to hear of him yet. You see, David creates an amazing sense of place in his music and lyrics and sometimes those places aren’t pleasant. And sometimes he challenges you to think, to open your eyes and to believe in what you see. In short, the humble spirituality that comes through his music is not always easy to handle. You have to be in the right place.

And if you are in the right place, you will hear an amazing collection of 13 songs that deserves and, in fact, needs to be treasured.

Click here for a link to this article and KyndMusic

David Francey is humble in stardom

by GREG QUILL
ENTERTAINMENT COLUMNST


Facing the possibility of picking up a third Juno award in less than five years as a recording artist and professional troubadour, internationally renowned Ontario singer/songwriter David Francey is beginning to worry about the crippling effects of artistic myopia that often follow sudden fame.

"I still write songs the way I always did, still writing about what I'm seeing, where I've been and what I'm doing," Francey says during a break in the frenzy of the 17th annual North American Folk Alliance conference, staged in Montreal a couple of weekends ago.

"But it was time for a reality check a few weeks back at the end of a particularly busy three-week run through the southern U.S. I realized I was halfway through writing a song about the crappy motel room I was in. When you start complaining about motel rooms, you'd better put your head up and talk a good look at yourself."

Francey's Waking Hour — a collaboration with veteran Nashville roots musicians Kieran Kane, Kevin Welch and Fats Kaplin — is tipped to earn the composer and laconic, soft-spoken Scots émigré and former carpenter a hat trick by adding to roots and traditional-album-of-the-year Junos awarded to his two previous collections of original songs, Skating Rink and Far End of Summer. The Canadian music baubles are handed out in Winnipeg April 3. The show airs nationally in CTV.

"I try not to think about awards," says Francey, whose song "Saints and Sinners" (from his debut CD, Torn Screen Door) won first prize in the folk category of the 2004 USA Songwriting Competition. In January Francey appeared on CMT in the TV documentary, Four Strong Winds, a celebration of Canadian songwriters and their impact on popular music, and his vivid pastoral compositions are taught in classrooms across Canada.

"But I can't deny my life changed after I won my first Juno. I was still a construction worker then, and I hadn't even started playing guitar. I remember Beth, my wife, saying, `Maybe you should try this music thing fulltime for a while.'"

Now one of Canada's hottest festival headliners and a fixture on international festival and concert bills, Francey is about as famous as a folksinger can get, distributed in the U.S. on the formidable roots label Red House Records, and a guaranteed sell-out wherever he plays.


CD Reviews

"…his best album to date. The songs are strong and the musicianship is exquisite. Just another brilliant CD to add to his collection of great works" Chopper MacKinnon, Canadian Spaces on Waking Hour

"The Waking Hour is so good it borders on spooky" Brent Raynor, Now Magazine

"(David Francey) shows his earthy, tradition-minded nature on "The Waking Hour", burning with the quiet grace and intensity of a young Bruce Cockburn"
Jonathan Takiff, Philadelphia Daily News

The Waking Hour
This is a really good CD. The first song, "The Waking Hour", is the best single of the year. The song is just amazing.
Benjamin Paul host of Alive, You are!


"This album is stunning…"Skating Rink" is a superb collection of 13 magnificent songs.
Les Siemieniuk for Penguin Eggs

"The third album ["Skating Rink"] from the Juno-winning carpenter-turned-songwriter is something of a tour de force, a collection of 13 reflective pieces that contain countless compelling observations, yarns, confessions, hopes, dreams and regrets, all wrung from lives, homes and landscapes that are hauntingly familiar, undeniably Canadian."
Greg Quill, The Toronto Star

"…lyrics that are elegant, spare and chilling"
Jerome Stueart, The Yukon News on Skating Rink

"Far End of Summer, a brilliant collection of original folk music"
Peter Cooper, The Tennessean, Nashville TN

"In an age when society seems to be moving at a pace faster than time itself, it is refreshing to come across an album that brings the frantic tempo of life down a few notches. With a beautiful simplicity, David Francey's sophomore release [Far End of Summer] is just that, a non-complicated offering of stirring harmonies, acoustic instrumentation and finely crafted lyrics."
Martin Kemp, Calgary Record

"Torn Screen Door, David Francey's debut release, filtered slowly - mostly by word of mouth - out across Canada… It brought with it, instant credibility. Far End of Summer now follows that wonderful, irresistible initial recording…Once again his lyrics, and the lovely melodies he writes, reach into your heart and stay there….Each [song] is a little miniature masterpiece of understatement, yet brimming with insight and emotion."
Les Siemieniuk, Penguin Eggs

"David Francey seemed to come out of nowhere when he released Torn Screen Door in 1999. Although the album was hailed by critics everywhere, good old-fashioned word-of-mouth made Francey one of the most exciting traditional folksingers around. Far End of Summer offers 15 songs that pick up where Torn Screen Door left off. In fact, the second album is a seamless continuation of its predecessor."
Robert Reid, The Kitchener Record

"His [Francey's] songwriting reveals the love of the country that so often marks a first generation immigrant, and the individual tunes reflect a clear fascination with the diversity of this country and its people. With Far End of Summer, Francey has produced a collection of tunes that hold up very well to repeat listening. This is one of those albums where I find the tunes running through my head even after the CD is over. Francey seems to have absorbed the best of the folk tradition in his very bones, and his vocal stylings are perfectly suited to the music.
Gregory R. McGuire, The Antigonish Casket

In their review of "The Best Music of 2000", CBC Radio's
Definitely Not the Opera named Torn Screen Door the best folk/roots album of the year.

"One can hear his Scottish roots in his vocals, but what you will also hear are songs so well crafted that you will swear they are part of "the landscape " of human experience that have been a part of acoustic folk legacies since songs were first uttered/performed."
Chris Darling, host of Us Folk on Torn Screen Door

"David Francey's Torn Screen Door CD is one of the very best albums I've heard. I've found words and melodies from the album going through my head again and again. Find it and buy it...you won't regret it."
Vic Bell, the Nickelodeon, Calgary, Alberta

"…songs that go straight to the heart and stay there…
Rich Warren for Sing Out! Magazine on Torn Screen Door

"Torn Screen Door, David Francey's debut release, filtered slowly - mostly by word of mouth - out across Canada… It brought with it, instant credibility. Far End of Summer now follows that wonderful, irresistible initial recording…Once again his lyrics, and the lovely melodies he writes, reach into your heart and stay there. He really has the uncanny knack of writing pithy songs that you end up humming to yourself and thinking about long after you've first heard them. David is a true folk singer in the best sense of the word. Each [of his songs] is a little miniature masterpiece of understatement, yet brimming with insight and emotion.
If Torn Screen Door heralded David Francey as a fresh new Canadian voice, Far End of Summer proves he truly belongs."
Les Siemieniuk for Penguin Eggs

Far End of Summer by David Francey awarded a JUNO (the Canadian Academy of Recording
Arts and Sciences - CARAS - award) in the Best Roots and Traditional Album - Solo category

Far End of Summer by David Francey voted 2001 Album of the Year
Penguin Eggs, Canada's Folk, Roots and World Music Magazine

Martin Kemp, Calgary Record
"In an age when society seems to be moving at a pace faster than time itself, it is refreshing to come across an album that brings the frantic tempo of life down a few notches. With a beautiful simplicity, David Francey's sophomore release [Far End of Summer] is just that, a non-complicated offering of stirring harmonies, acoustic instrumentation and finely crafted lyrics."

Robert Reid, The Kitchener Record
"David Francey seemed to come out of nowhere when he released Torn Screen Door in 1999. Although the album was hailed by critics everywhere, good old-fashioned word-of-mouth made Francey one of the most exciting traditional folksingers around. Far End of Summer offers 15 songs that pick up where Torn Screen Door left off. In fact, the second album is a seamless continuation of its predecessor."

Gregory R. McGuire, The Antigonish Casket
"His [Francey's] songwriting reveals the love of the country that so often marks a first generation immigrant, and the individual tunes reflect a clear fascination with the diversity of this country and its people. With Far End of Summer, Francey has produced a collection of tunes that hold up very well to repeat listening. This is one of those albums where I find the tunes running through my head even after the CD is over. Francey seems to have absorbed the best of the folk tradition in his very bones, and his vocal stylings are perfectly suited to the music.

In their review of "The Best Music of 2000", CBC Radio's
Definitely Not the Opera named Torn Screen Door the best folk/roots album of the year.


Chris Darling, host of Us Folk on Torn Screen Door
"One can hear his Scottish roots in his vocals, but what you will also hear are songs so well crafted that you will swear they are part of "the landscape " of human experience that have been a part of acoustic folk legacies since songs were first uttered/performed."

Vic Bell, the Nickelodeon, Calgary, Alberta
"David Francey's Torn Screen Door CD is one of the very best albums I've heard in the last year. I've found words and melodies from the album going through my head again and again. Find it and buy it...you won't regret it."

Sing Out! Magazine on Torn Screen Door
"…songs that go straight to the heart and stay there… "

back home

 

Mainstage, Edmonton Folk Festival

with James Keelaghan, Ottawa Folk Festival

"David is the most natural writer that I have ever met in my life. There's no pretense in what he writes. There's no tricks. He just writes what he feels and it comes out sounding like that. And to me, that is just an amazing thing...he's a totally genuine human being as well. What you see is what you get. He's just got such a great soul." James Keelaghan in Penguin Eggs

Listen to what CBC's Cate Friesen has to say about David Francey on ROOTS REPORT...more

"David Francey's musical artistry and turn of phrase mark him as both a remarkable storyteller and musician."...more
Robin Brenner
www.rambles.net

FROM SING OUT! Magazine
"Not only is Francey a master of lyric, he's also a remarkable tunesmith. Saints And Sinners stands out with its infectious melody and thought-provoking lyrics, and the excellent use of repetition."

with Willie P. Bennett, Blue Skies

"David Francey gave an absolutely stunning performance at this year's Blue Skies Music Festival. He is a brilliant writer and a passionate singer who completely captivated all who heard him. His songs are beautifully crafted, highly original and superbly played. I have no doubt David will be an important voice in Canadian music in a very short time."
Al Rankin,
Artistic Director, Blue Skies Music Festival

with Moxy Früvous, Ottawa Folk Festival

"I have played [Torn Screen Door] almost as much as all our other albums combined. It is an incredibly FABULOUS DISK - the most timeless thing I have heard in quite some time. Song after song, the expression, craft and playing are just amazing."
Mike Ford (Moxy Früvous)



Classic songs about life, love and working for a living.

by Dugg Simpson
Artistic Director
Vancouver Folk Music Festival

David Francey lives in rural Québec and when he is not performing his most wonderful songs for people, he works as a carpenter. Having spent a fair bit of time now listening to his music, I think I can say with some assurance that these facts of his life have a strong affect

on his work as a songwriter. Carpenters build things that are to be used, and they build things to last. 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.

His work is the just about the complete opposite of the disposable, high-tech, hurry-up world that most of us find ourselves living in, which I think is where the rural part of his life informs his work. There are a lot of other people out there trying to strike that same sort of musical chord, but damn few ever pull it off. David writes songs about love and the losing thereof, yes, but unlike so many others he also writes songs about working for a living, about birds down the road and about those small precious parts of life that are slipping away all the time, like the last run of the St. John's Train and a family losing their farm.

It sounds startlingly like folk music, of the kind that kick-started the folk revival in the early sixties, or the kind that Stan Rogers became so justly famous for singing. He writes songs you find yourself singing after hearing them only once and wishing you had the lyrics to hand so you could sing them all the way through.

Vancouver Folk Festival workshop with Kate Rusby, Geoff and Dave, Bill Bourne and the Be Good Tanyas