Updates - for what's new go to David Francey News
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 ten 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 and in the quiet but charming Lanark Highlands in southern Ontario. They are visited often by their son Colin, daughters Amy and Julia and grandson Tristan.
Latest CD So Say We All
Laker Music is pleased to announce the April 30th, 2013 International release of David Francey’s new album So Say We All. This will be the 10th album for three-time Juno Award winner.
Fourteen years ago at the age of 45, Francey began an astonishing journey from manual labourer to award-winning folk troubadour – renowned for writing with heart-wrenching honesty about the struggles of the poor and working class. His new album reflects his own journey through a period of struggle.
“The lesson learned,” he says, “was to celebrate every day spent on this side of the soil and to keep marching no matter what comes our way.”
That spirit of perseverance bursts from each song on the album, from the opening track “Rain” about the failure and rebirth of love to the bittersweet hymn “So Say We All.” Capturing the dark times (“Pandora’s Box,” “Ordinary Man”) as well as life’s shining moments (“Satellite,” “Blue Skies”), the album is a perfect acoustic showcase of what makes Francey’s songwriting so special. Poetic and fearless, Francey draws from his own experiences, delving into his recent depression (“Harm”) and singing about his colorful experiences on the road (“Cheap Motel”).
Now ten albums into his recording career, Francey has demonstrated the kind of consistency as a songwriter that makes even other songwriters shake their head in disbelief. On So Say We All, he shares yet another collection of so-good-they-could-be-traditional numbers marked by the perfectly-stated poetry and stick-in-your-head melodies of the enduring folk song, best exemplified by songs like “Blue Yonder” and “Long Long Road.”
These remarkable songs are brought to life by Francey’s first-rate touring band – guitarist Mark Westberg, guitarist/banjo-picker Chris Coole and celebrated Maritime multi-instrumentalist Darren McMullen. Capturing their raw energy and musicianship, producer Ken Friesen recorded the band live at Signal Path Studio in Almonte, Ontario. Keeping it all close to home, Francey also brought in his son Colin to play drums and invited fellow Ontario artist Tannis Slimmon to sing harmonies.
Beautifully spare and full of instant classics, So Say We All is sure to be a favorite with folk fans of every generation.
In support of his new album, David Francey will be touring Canada and United States throughout 2013 and 2014. For his full schedule, please visit www.davidfrancey.com
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