Thursday, March 10, 2016

Empty Train review in the Winnipeg Free Press

David Francey
Empty Train (Laker Music)
AYRSHIRE, Scotland’s David Francey
has been a Canadian citizen most of his
life, but the 61-year-old still sings with
the thick brogue of his native country.
That’s a good thing, since his type of
folky tale-telling and heartfelt insights
benefit from his deep, dusty cadence.
Francey plays no instruments himself
here, leaving his band, the Handsome
Soldiers, to deliver the tuneful, rootsy
vibes. Mandolin, banjo, acoustic guitar
and the occasional fiddle finesse avoid
cliché and contour Francey’s graceful
lyrics perfectly. Within this framework,
the singer’s words lay out the kind of
wisdom gained not only by living a conscious
life, but having the skill to turn
sincere emotion into song.
Hospital tells the tale of a son watching
his father barely exist while in
care and the toll it takes on the whole
family. Blue Girl details a tormented
slog through the porn industry, while
Crucible lifts unknown soldiers to prominence.
Empty Train succeeds because
Francey writes the kind of songs driven
by personal experiences, yet speak to
the larger life truths of compassion and
sincerity. Get aboard this train.

— Jeff Monk
Winnipeg Free Press

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Folk Roots/Folk Branches with Mike Regenstreif: David Francey – Empty Train

Folk Roots/Folk Branches with Mike Regenstreif: David Francey – Empty Train: DAVID FRANCEY Empty Train Laker Music I’ve written often about David Francey since he emerged – seemingly ...

Friday, September 27, 2013

David Francey So Say We All Review, The Province

DAVID FRANCEY: So Say We All Review by Posted by: Stuart Derdeyn, The Province

Scottish-born Francey has built a deserved reputation as one of Canada’s best singer’songwriters and he’s in particularly fine form on his ninth album. Blessed with one of those haggard-and-seductive voices that really gets under your skin, he covers a lot of ground – literally – on this 14 song collection. From stays at a Cheap Motel to rolling down the Long Long Road with Blue Skies, Blue Yonder and American Blues all popping up, he observes on the little things that uplift a downtrodden spirit time and time again. It’s a case of less-is-more in most of the songs as he sticks to vocals and guitar with occasional mandolin or banjo added in to keep as intimate as possible. Familiar though it may sound, it never falls into cliche which is hard to do in this genre.
(April 30, 2013)

David Francey So Say We All Review in Exclaim Magazine

By Kerry Doole

It can be argued that David Francey has had more impact than any old-school Canadian folk songsmith since the late great Stan Rogers. A late bloomer, he has now released ten albums that have deservedly won acclaim here (three Juno Awards) and beyond. So Say We All is one of his very best; it finds him digging deep, mining themes of depression, grief and unrequited love with genuine empathy. "These songs encompass what proved [to be] a very difficult year," he writes in the liner notes, though those tracks collected here range as far back as 1995. Some of the metaphors and locales (cheap motels, life as a road) are well worn, but it's a testimony to Francey's skill and always convincing vocal style that he can breathe new life into them. There is astute social commentary in "American Blues" ("and we run in the shadow of the power and the might") and "Bitterroot," but it's the songs forged from the soul that hit hardest. The vocal-only "Blue Yonder" (featuring Tannis Slimmon) and equally sparse closing title cut are amongst the highlights. As ever, the best players surround Francey, including string wizard Chris Coole, while the recording and mixing of Ken Friesen keep the sound clean, but never slick. This is another winner.

Original article

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Late Edition - Velvet Rope Magazine

David Francey

I’ll start my first review off like this. David Francey’s music is not something I thought I would like. I’ve either grown as a person and have developed a greater appreciation for music as a whole or his music just managed to circumvent my expectations. Either way, it’s a good thing, because David Francey is a folk musician, and that’s not normally my thing at all. The closest I normally come to folk music is City and Colour.

The album I listened to is his 2011 release, The Late Edition. As I pressed play on my iPod I prepared myself for the…the…oh wait, this is kind of nice. This would be perfect background music for drinking, or a poker night, or sitting outside at night staring at the stars while smoking a cigar at the cottage. Or maybe just something a little more low key to get you through the daily 9-5 grind. The point is, I liked it. A lot actually. His music is comfortable, reminiscent and genuine.

The Late Edition has a nice flow to it in that it sounds unified but each song can stand on it’s own. It’s got some really mellow relaxing songs like Grateful and Borderlands as well as the very rock sounding I Live in Fear (I love this track).

I also love that I can pick up hints of his accent in his singing. You really just need to listen to it to appreciate it. I may just have to go back through his other 8 albums at some point. So ya, folk music, I’ve added it to my list. I’d high-five you if I could David Francey, well done.

If you’d like to learn more about David Francey, like him going from Carpenter to musician, check out these links:



Late Edition - Hour Community

"Since releasing his first album in 1999 at age 45, David Francey has released an album every couple of years or so, enjoying well deserved success in his middle age. The Scottish-Canadian singer-songwriter has won the Best Roots & Traditional Album Juno Award three times over the past decade and this new record could earn him a fourth, filled as it is with folk and country gems. Francey has a way of making you sit up and pay attention, enjoying the interesting turns of phrase he delivers in that distinctive voice and accent of his. Recorded in Nashville with Kieran Kane (banjo, guitar), Fats Kaplin (fiddle, mandolin), Richard Bennett (guitar, bouzouki) and Lucas Kane (drums), Late Edition offers plenty of good news."
for Hour Community by by Kevin Laforest

Late Edition - CBC New Brunswick

"12 cuts, only 2 of them over three minutes, and he gets everything he wants into each one. These are acoustic roots numbers, tasteful and full of hooks, flavoured with fiddle, banjo and mandolin"

CBC New Brunswick, Bob Mesereau