Laker Music

Reviews

Skating Rink
     
 


Greg Quill, The Toronto Star

"The third album 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. With a voice that succeeds in bringing every image and sentiment crisply to life, the Scottish ex-pat, who lives in rural Quebec, is a master of minimalism. It's astonishing how many intricate and subtle melodies he can find in the handful of basic folk chords strummed with great assurance and precision by guitarist Dave Clarke and adorned by fiddler/mandolin player Geoff Somers. Additional embellishment from accordion, bass and banjo is restrained and uncluttered. This music is tight and tidy without sacrificing passion. Even "Grim Cathedral," a rumination on the WTC disaster, cuts to the quick with elegant literary imagery devoid of jingoistic fervour."


Les Siemieniuk
for Penguin Eggs

"This has been a very hard review to write. Right up front, let me say that I love David Francey's music. After his auspicious debut recording "Torn Screen Door" blew me away, he delivered the Juno Award winner, "Far End of Summer". Good on him, I thought he is for real. A welcome new voice in Canadian music - a voice to be listened to.

And now it's time for recording number three. I expected, at the very least, a decent album from David, a solid, comfortable record. Lots of people do it, rest on their laurels, put out stuff that's good enough to satisfy, but you can tell they're not really putting the pedal to the metal.

But when you go on the journey through David Francey's world, you get total commitment from him and he grows building strength on strength. This album is stunning. And that's why I complain that this review is hard to write. No one really believes a gushing review. But "Skating Rink" is a superb collection of 13 magnificent songs.

Beautifully lead by Dave Clarke on guitar, the sparse production - a little mandolin here, an accordion there, another guitar in the middle, does everything production is supposed to do. It lets great songs shine.

David is blessed with a voice that is perfect for the songs he writes. Little short, gleaming jewels of song through which you get to know, intimately, his world. A novel's worth of observation is packed into the pictures he conjures up in a few lines.

From a small country fair;
"Young girls in a house of mirrors
combing their hair
rag end of summer hangs
up in the air"

to nervous first high school loves;
"and when you hear a sound like broken glass
that's my heart every time that girl walks past"

to those twin towers on that day;
"and the floodlight's sharp relief
magnifies the weight of grief
in the ruins that lie beneath
that emptiness of air"

So what else do I say about "Skating Rink" without becoming unbelievable and suspect. Rush out and buy this album - it's fantastic. And I personally thank David for producing an album that I will treasure in my lifetime."

Morley Walker, Winnipeg Free Press

If there is justice in the universe, this third album from David Francey should propel the Quebec-based folkie to the front ranks of Canadian roots performers...Francey writes perfect little story songs, pared to their essence and pregnant with meaning and poetry...The simple acoustic arrangements are nothing short of propulsive.His last outing, Far End of Summer, won a Juno for best roots recording, and this one, if anything, is stronger. **** ½

Patrick Langston, The Ottawa Citizen

"Maybe it was that Juno last year (Best Roots and Traditional Album). It could be the growing audiences on both sides of the border. Perhaps it's the realization that, a carpenter by trade, he may never again have to swing a hammer to pay for the groceries. Whatever, David Francey's third album shows a new sense of purpose and the confidence to experiment musically. Dipping into the world around him - skating rinks, the evening news, county fairs - he still delights in both the ordinary and the remarkable, in common humanity and individual lives. Once again, Dave Clarke lends his guitar wizardry to Francey's compositions. But with Terry Tufts and other instrumentalists along, and richer backing vocals, Francey has upped the ante considerably. He handles it with ease."


Chopper McKinnon for the Ottawa Folklore Centre's "Resonate"

"This, the third album, continues to stun you with simple songs of simple
things. Slightly more production than the first two but this enhances rather
than distracts from the sound paintings presented here. David continues to
skate on the cutting edge!!!"


Click here to order a copy of Skating Rink.


Watch for the upcoming music video of the song,
Skating Rink

back home