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David Francy

David Francey Cairns Recital Hall MEMBERS: $29.75 REGULAR: $35 COLLEGE/UNIVERSITY: $25 HIGH SCHOOL: $5

2:30PM Sun 28 Feb


OF OUR TIMES The sound of David Francey’s warm Scottish brogue is like hearing a friend ask how you are in the most welcoming way possible.

Francey is a three-time JUNO-award- winning singer-songwriter who burst onto the music scene in the late 1990s with an incredible blend of hauntingly beautiful melodies and poignant lyrics. His songs are able to cut an incredible line between novelty and tradition that makes them sound timeless and, at the same time, utterly new. His songs are also local and focus on the details of the world around him, while also drawing on material that allows them to translate to a wide audience of listeners. Francey describes how “Music has always been something I needed to do.” This compulsion to write songs and lyrics has been a mainstay of his life because doing so “helps me to process the world,” which he comments, “can be a pretty confusing place most of the time.”

Francey’s father was deeply affected by the poetry of Robert Burns and this fascination rubbed off on Francey as he was growing up. The combination of Burns’ poetic and lyrical clarity and the deep well of Celtic music serve as a backdrop to what Francey writes, but

he has also been deeply affected by lyrically-focused singer-songwriters of his age. As Francey says, “As a teenager, I was really drawn to the lyrical songwriters singing about what was going on in the world or who explained love a little bit to me.” The songs he listened to him helped him to gain insight into the world around.

Although the former carpenter’s musical career began at a later in life, he said that from a young age, “I started writing poetry and kept doing it all my life and never really stopped once I started. I never really expected to do anything with it, just something inside me kept me writing it.”

The brilliance of his spare and penetrating lyrics emerges when they are framed by the mournful and evocative melodies that he hears when composing the lyrics. Francey described how he has an incredibly powerful memory for lyrics and melody. He commented that, “I’d come up with a song in my head and write it down and then years and years later, I could sing you exactly what that is going to be. It came with a line of melody and it was stuck with glue and didn’t go away.”

When asked about where his songs come from, Francey responded, “I always feel like I am drawing these songs up from a well. Nothing mystical about it, just the common well of thought and feeling. I think the well I am drawing from is all the music that went into me. I listened to an awful lot of melodic people because I just love the beauty of melody.”

David Francey’s music is ageless and absolutely new, melodically beautiful and lyrically poignant, and responsive to the emotions and feelings of living in an occasionally confusing contemporary world. Francey sees how “if you’re going to be a folk singer, it really behooves you to chronicle your times to let people know what is happening now.” And this is precisely what this gifted songwriter does in his songs that evoke the timeless melodies of the past, while commenting on the present.

- Jon Eben Field


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