Photo by Tony Girardin|
Lead photo by Beth Girdler
Three-time JUNO Winner David Francey Returns to Port Stanley on Friday February
21st, 2014 @ 8 p.m. at the Port Stanley Festival Theatre. "Francey tops year-end
critic's poll (again!) and wins Hockey Night in Canada Song Quest."
Three-time Juno-winning folk singer David Francey, who made his personal struggle
with grief and depression the theme of his latest album, So Say We All, has
been rewarded for his candor, with critics voting his album the top folk album of
2013 in the Canadian folk magazine Penguin Eggs. It's the fourth of Francey's ten
collections to receive the honour, making Francey the poll's most frequent repeat
winner. Each year the magazine surveys more than 50 roots music critics, folk radio
DJs and industry people and names an Album of the Year and a Favourite New Discovery
of the year. Other artists whose albums have topped the poll include Bob Dylan,
Rose Cousins, Harry Manx, and former Led Zeppelin front-man Robert Plant for his
collaboration with Alison Krauss.
In addition to being hailed by Penguin Eggs, Francey has just been named the winner,
along with Dave Gunning, of the CBC Hockey Night in Canada Song Quest. Their song,
"A Game Goin' On," which they co-wrote and performed a duet on, was named "the next
great hockey song" from a pool of close to a thousand entries. And to add even further
to the honours, So Say We All was just named the most-played Canadian folk
album on Galaxie this year. The events that inspired So Say We All included
the untimely death of one of Francey's closest friends from his labouring days,
Ian MacGregor, coupled with a long period on the road that left Francey feeling
isolated from his family. The song "Harm" perfectly encapsulates the darkness and
mental chaos of the time with lyrics such as "Here I am a walking mess, although
I walk among the blessed, can't count that as a certain thing, it's fleeting as
a wedding ring."
Most of the other songs on the album get at the theme more abstractly. "Pandora's
Box" bemoans the mental clutter of the internet. "Cheap Motel" is a snapshot of
dreariness. "Satellite" is a metaphor for never being happy with what one has. And
"Long Long Road" is an upbeat ode to perseverance. The album was recorded in Almonte
in the Ottawa Valley and produced by Ken Friesen. It features Francey's long-time
backing band of Mark Westberg (guitar) and Chris Coole (banjo), along with ace Maritime
multi-instrumentalist Darren McMullen. For the first time, the album also features
a guest appearance by Francey's son, Colin.
Earlier this year, So Say We All netted Francey a Canadian Folk Music Award
for English Songwriter of the Year. Francey, who spent years as a labourer, is arguably
Canada's most authentic folk artist. His late-in-life transformation from carpenter
to folk star was captured in the Juno-nominated documentary Burning Bright.
This year, Francey produced an album for PEI singer-songwriter Ashley Condon. He
also signed her to his record label, which will be the first non-Francey release
for Laker Music.
Francey returns to Port Stanley on Friday February 21st 2014 @ 8 pm at the Port
Stanley Festival Theatre. Tickets are $32 plus tax & handling. Available online at
or through the theatre box office 519-782-4353.