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