"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
"..you'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."
“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.”
DARRYL STERDAN, SUN MEDIA