Thursday, December 21, 2006

Carols for a Christmas Eve

"Carols for a Christmas Eve [is a] a soothing and heartwarming collection of traditional favourites." Greg Quill, Toronto Star

"As usual, most of the Christmas CDs are more so-so than ho-ho, but for the winter winners, check out the following albums...Carols for a Christmas Eve (David Francey). Gather round the Victrola for a timeless take on sing-alongs, done gracefully by pianist Kathryn Briggs and Scottish-Canadian folk star David Francey. In the liner notes, Francey says he had a love for singing Hark! The Herald Angels Sing as a youth. Clearly, he still does.
Brad Wheeler, the Globe and Mail

One voice, one piano: so uncluttered are the arrangements of these 14 carols that at first they sound wrong. But don’t reproach two-time Juno-winning folksinger David Francey for that. Blame instead music programmers who inundate radio stations, malls, you name it with bombastic versions of what are, at heart, elegantly simple songs of praise and celebration. Francey and his pianist, Kathryn Briggs, find joy and wonder in carols like The First Noel and Silent Night. They also find the drama ­ and what could be more dramatic than redemption? ­ in The Holly and the Ivy, I Saw Three Ships and Good Christian Men Rejoice. Recorded at the Old Town Hall in Almonte, Ontario, the album does exactly what the liner notes promise: leaves enough space that we automatically jump in and sing along. Patrick Langston, the Ottawa Citizen

"'ll love this minimalist recording of David's favourite carols...designed to be sung along with. If you've been singing along for years on auto-pilot, without really thinking about the lyrics, this rendition will give you cause to really experience the meaning of the words to old chestnuts like Good King Wenceslas and God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen." Penguin Eggs

"Have you ever spent a Christmas out on a farm, in a 100-year-old house filled with joy and good cheer, while the whole family warms themselves around the hearth as that musical uncle of yours sits at the piano and sings his way through a songbook of Christmas carols? ...the music would sound very much like this album does, with Francey's vocals accompanied by Kathryn Briggs's piano."
Vue Weekly

“Francey's Carols for a Christmas Eve is a classy testament to the holidays” “Carols for a Christmas Eve is a fancy-free stroll through some of the season's best-loved eggnog complements. Simple arrangements of Kathryn Briggs' piano and Francey's strong voice… make the disc a warm reminder of the beauty of the music, sans bells and whistles.”
Shawn Conner, the Vancouver Courier

On Carols for a Christmas Eve. “The Toronto folksinger gently keys into the Christmas spirit with the help of pianist Kathryn Briggs…
Yule Love: The combination of his earthy voice and her delicate touch.”

The First Set - Live From Folk Alley

"David Francey deserves a rest. What with his prodigious output of 4 amazing albums, in the last 6 years, it’s not surprising that he has put out a live album. Everyone eventually does – or if not - a greatest hits album.So, on the night of November 11, 2005 at the 39th annual Kent State Folk Festival, WKSU’s Jim Blum and his crew captured a lovely slice of David’s performing life. An evening set of nine songs accompanied by Shane Simpson on guitar and vocals. If you’ve never seen David live, the inclusion of the full introductions to each of the songs showcases his self-deprecating sense of humour and give some insights as to where the songs came from.It’s a wonderfully recorded piece of work. Nothing new and not a greatest hits collection by any stretch, Live from Folk Alley is just a lovely digitally preserved moment in the stellar career of one David Francey." Les Siemieniuk, Penguin Eggs Magazine

The Waking Hour

"…his best album to date. The songs are strong and the musicianship is exquisite. Just another brilliant CD to add to his collection of great works"
Chopper MacKinnon, Canadian Spaces on Waking Hour

"The Waking Hour is so good it borders on spooky"
Brent Raynor, Now Magazine

Dave Terpeny, KyndMusic Editor on The Waking Hour
With a calm and assuring voice that is reminiscent of folk legend Cisco Houston, politically-tinged lyrical poetry reminiscent of folk legend Woody Guthrie and multi-layered contented strumming and picking reminiscent of folk legend Mississippi John Hurt it comes as no surprise that Canadian David Francey is, well, a folk legend.
In fact, he’s won numerous Juno awards (Canadian Grammy) and has been covered by artists like Del McCoury and James Keelaghan. But that’s not all. The magic of this album is how he manages to blend elements of traditional Scottish folk music, rural American music and a deep sense of wisdom seamlessly together. So why haven’t you heard of him before?
Well, my thought is that because you weren’t ready to hear of him yet. You see, David creates an amazing sense of place in his music and lyrics and sometimes those places aren’t pleasant. And sometimes he challenges you to think, to open your eyes and to believe in what you see. In short, the humble spirituality that comes through his music is not always easy to handle. You have to be in the right place.And if you are in the right place, you will hear an amazing collection of 13 songs that deserves and, in fact, needs to be treasured.

"(David Francey) shows his earthy, tradition-minded nature on "The Waking Hour", burning with the quiet grace and intensity of a young Bruce Cockburn" Jonathan Takiff, Philadelphia Daily NewsThe Waking Hour This is a really good CD. The first song, "The Waking Hour", is the best single of the year. The song is just amazing.
Benjamin Paul host of Alive, You are!

“what a relief … to hear something purer, simpler, more...folk… David Francey's album, The Waking Hour” “ Francey writes songs that feel like they've been sung a million times in a million places by a million voices. And I trust they will be.”
Judith Edelman , Puremusic

Seemingly out of nowhere, middle-aged David Francey burst onto the roots music scene five years ago with a stunning debut CD. Two more releases both netted him Junos for best roots/traditional albums by a solo artist. With those credits on his résumé, Francey headed to Nashville and recorded this gem with the Dead Reckoners – Kieran Kane, Kevin Welch and Fats Kaplin – providing rootsy, off-the-floor backup. Observing the scene in Montreal’s Berri Street bus station, or a small town in Ohio on the anniversary of 9/11, or the media reportage on the day of Timothy McVeigh’s execution, Francey creates compelling song-vignettes. There’s a bluegrass flavour to Wanna Be Loved and Tonight In My Dreams while Badlands is cast in an old-time country vein. **** Mike Regenstreif, the Montreal Gazzette on The Waking Hour

The Waking Hour wins Penguin Eggs Magazine's 2004 Album of the Year award

The Waking Hour is nominated for Canadian Folk Music Award - Contemporary Album of the Year

The Waking Hour is nominated for a JUNO in the Roots and Traditional - Solo category

Skating Rink

“…so Canadian you can practically hear the snow falling”
Food and Drink on Skating Rink

"This album is stunning…"Skating Rink" is a superb collection of 13 magnificent songs. Les Siemieniuk for Penguin Eggs

"The third album ["Skating Rink"] from the Juno-winning carpenter-turned-songwriter is something of a tour de force, a collection of 13 reflective pieces that contain countless compelling observations, yarns, confessions, hopes, dreams and regrets, all wrung from lives, homes and landscapes that are hauntingly familiar, undeniably Canadian." Greg Quill, The Toronto Star
"…lyrics that are elegant, spare and chilling"

Jerome Stueart, The Yukon News on Skating Rink

Skating Rink by David Francey awarded a JUNO (the Canadian Academy of RecordingArts and Sciences - CARAS - award) in the Best Roots and Traditional Album - Solo category

Skating Rink by David Francey voted 2003 Album of the Year
Penguin Eggs, Canada's Folk, Roots and World Music Magazine

Far End of Summer

"Far End of Summer, a brilliant collection of original folk music" Peter Cooper, The Tennessean, Nashville TN

"Torn Screen Door, David Francey's debut release, filtered slowly - mostly by word of mouth - out across Canada… It brought with it, instant credibility. Far End of Summer now follows that wonderful, irresistible initial recording…Once again his lyrics, and the lovely melodies he writes, reach into your heart and stay there. He really has the uncanny knack of writing pithy songs that you end up humming to yourself and thinking about long after you've first heard them. David is a true folk singer in the best sense of the word. Each [of his songs] is a little miniature masterpiece of understatement, yet brimming with insight and emotion. If Torn Screen Door heralded David Francey as a fresh new Canadian voice, Far End of Summer proves he truly belongs."
Les Siemieniuk for Penguin Eggs

Far End of Summer by David Francey awarded a JUNO (the Canadian Academy of RecordingArts and Sciences - CARAS - award) in the Best Roots and Traditional Album - Solo category

Far End of Summer by David Francey voted 2001 Album of the Year
Penguin Eggs, Canada's Folk, Roots and World Music Magazine

Martin Kemp, Calgary Record
"In an age when society seems to be moving at a pace faster than time itself, it is refreshing to come across an album that brings the frantic tempo of life down a few notches. With a beautiful simplicity, David Francey's sophomore release [Far End of Summer] is just that, a non-complicated offering of stirring harmonies, acoustic instrumentation and finely crafted lyrics."

Robert Reid, The Kitchener Record
"David Francey seemed to come out of nowhere when he released Torn Screen Door in 1999. Although the album was hailed by critics everywhere, good old-fashioned word-of-mouth made Francey one of the most exciting traditional folksingers around. Far End of Summer offers 15 songs that pick up where Torn Screen Door left off. In fact, the second album is a seamless continuation of its predecessor."

Gregory R. McGuire, The Antigonish Casket
"His [Francey's] songwriting reveals the love of the country that so often marks a first generation immigrant, and the individual tunes reflect a clear fascination with the diversity of this country and its people. With Far End of Summer, Francey has produced a collection of tunes that hold up very well to repeat listening. This is one of those albums where I find the tunes running through my head even after the CD is over. Francey seems to have absorbed the best of the folk tradition in his very bones, and his vocal stylings are perfectly suited to the music."

Torn Screen Door

Vic Bell, the Nickelodeon, Calgary, Alberta
"David Francey's Torn Screen Door CD is one of the very best albums I've heard in the last year. I've found words and melodies from the album going through my head again and again. Find it and buy won't regret it."

Chris Darling, host of Us Folk on Torn Screen Door
"One can hear his Scottish roots in his vocals, but what you will also hear are songs so well crafted that you will swear they are part of "the landscape " of human experience that have been a part of acoustic folk legacies since songs were first uttered/performed."

In their review of "The Best Music of 2000", CBC Radio's Definitely Not the Opera named Torn Screen Door the best folk/roots album of the year.

“…songs that go straight to the heart and stay there… Rich Warren for Sing Out! Magazine on Torn Screen Door