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3X JUNO Winner David Francey Returns to PSFT
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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 www.portstanleytheatre.ca or through the theatre box office 519-782-4353.


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