VICKI ARNDT – GAZETTE CONTRIBUTOR
A Scottish-born Canadian singer whose authentic folk music earned him the John Lennon Song Writing Award grand prize is coming to the Empress Theatre in Fort Macleod.
David Francey, known as one of Canada’s most revered folk poets and singers, performs Thursday, May 1 and Friday, May 2 at 7:30 pm.
Francey, whose music first caught the attention of the Canadian folk scene 16 years ago, has since gone on to win three Juno Awards and several Penguin Eggs Magazine Album of the Year awards.
Francey also won first prize in the prestigious ninth annual U.S.A. Song Writing Competition and has been a winner and nominee for a host of other awards.
Having spent many years working in Canada’s rail yards, the Yukon bush and construction sites, Francey’s music is well known for chronicling the struggles of the poor and working class with pure honesty.
Francey’s latest album So Say We All lyrically documents a period of time full of struggle and difficulty in Francey’s life.
Songs including Pandora’s Box, Rain, So Say We All and Blue Skies explore the loss and rebirth of love, some of Francey’s experiences on the road, and life’s wonderful moments and dark times.
Francey tours his latest music with the support of several talented musicians. Guitarist Mark Westberg, multi-instrumentalist Darren McMullen and guitarist and banjo picker Chris Coole bring to life Francey’s musical poetry on stage.
Born in Ayrshire, Scotland, Francey moved to Toronto with his parents at the young age of twelve but it wasn’t until Francey was in his 40s that his wife, artist Beth Girdler, encouraged him to share his talent with the world.
Francey’s first album, Torn Screen Door, released in 1999 was an instant Canadian hit.
Songs from the album include Hard Steel Mill, Working Poor and Gypsy Boys written about Francey’s years of blue-collar work.
Ten albums and many awards later, his songs have been covered by artists including The Rankin Family, The Del McCoury Band, Tracey Grammer and James Keelaghan.
Francey’s songs and voice have also appeared on many artist albums including Reunion by The Rankin Family, Lamb’s in Spring by Raylene Rankin, Book of Sparrows by Tracey Grammer and Simply Beautiful by Debbie Carroll.
Francey’s ability to consistently combine perfect poetry and catchy melodies surprise even the most established songwriters.
So Say We All was released on April 30, 2013. Since the release, Francey has toured steadily throughout North America with dates leading him into 2015.