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David Francey returns to the Empress with Terra Spencer

The fourth show in the Empress Theatre’s 2023-’24 Centre Stage Concert Series is a double-header featuring national folk icon David Francey and Maritime songwriter Terra Spencer on Thursday, Feb. 8 at 7:30 p.m.

This is Francey’s third time at the Empress, with previous shows in 2019 and 2014.

Francey’s 12th solo album, released in September 2023, is called The Breath Between, featuring his signature rich melodies and poetic lyrics.

Francey’s 2019 album, The Broken Heart of Everything was nominated for a Juno Award for Traditional Roots Album of the Year.

Francey has three Juno Awards under his belt, along with four Canadian Folk Music Awards and a SOCAN Folk Music Award.

Born in Scotland and now based in Ontario, Francey moved to Canada at age 12.

His father, a huge Robert Burns fan, inspired him to begin writing poetry and music as a child.

Francey worked as a rail yard worker and a carpenter for two decades, beginning his career in folk music at age 45.

Francey put out his first 10 albums over the course of only 14 years.

An avid but colour-blind and self-taught painter, Francey toured an exhibit of his artwork across Canada in 2018 when he was unable to perform his music due to extreme vocal strain. His paintings are simple but striking, mostly featuring prairie scenes and seascapes.

Terra Spencer is a Nova Scotian funeral director-turned-songwriter.

Spencer was recruited as a back-up singer while scooping ice cream at a music festival.

Drawing comparisons to Randy Newman and Karen Carpenter, her sharp, intimate songs and butterscotch voice have earned her a faithful following since her 2018 debut, Old News.

Spencer was nominated for 2024 CFMA Contemporary Album and Singer of the Year and has become a sought-after studio musician, co-writer, producer, and workshop facilitator.

Spencer’s song Brick and Mortar was named the winner of the Commonwealth Song Contest out of 20,000 entries.

“Terra Spencer is a sparklingly intelligent writer, open-hearted, insightful and eloquent,” Francey said. “As natural a poet as ever put pen to paper and a soul as beautiful as her melodies would imply.”

Tickets are available at www.macleodempress.com, by calling 403-553-4404, or at the Box Office on Main Street.

Up-coming Centre Stage Series concerts:

  • Gordie MacKeeman and His Rhythm Boys, Feb. 29.
  • John Reischman and The Jaybirds, April 19.

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