Construction worker didn’t make his folk singing debut until age 45. Now he has three Junos, two international songwriting awards, and a presence on Hockey Day in Canada
Three-time Juno Award-winner David Francey has just added a fifth Juno nomination to his list of accomplishments.
At this morning’s press conference, Francey received a nod for Roots & Traditional Album of the Year: Solo for his 2011 release, Late Edition.
The nomination comes at a time when Francey’s extraordinary songwriting talent and his equally extraordinary story are being discovered for the first time by many beyond the folk and roots milieu.
Last year, the Documentary Channel began broadcasting Burning Bright, a film that chronicles Francey’s journey as a Scottish émigré and lifelong manual labourer who rocketed to the top of the global roots scene after making a reluctant debut at the age of 45.
He didn’t even play an instrument at the time. For years, Francey had been writing poetry and setting it to music in his head while he worked. But his devotion to the working class life kept him from contemplating a career in music. He famously only quit his construction job after winning his first Juno in 2001. Since releasing his debut album 13 years ago, he’s won three of the trophies. He’s also seen his music featured in CBC’s Hockey Day in Canada broadcasts, and he’s established himself as a regular on the world’s A-list festival circuit. He’s had songs covered by the Del McCoury Band and the Rankins, and he’s won two international songwriting competitions.
In recent years, there have been more breakthroughs. First, Francey was discovered by the godfather of Americana music, Kieran Kane, who produced his Juno-winning album, The Waking Hour. Kane reunited with Francey last year to produce Late Edition. Most recently, Francey has begun co-writing with Canadian indie rockers, the Trews.
Francey is currently touring the U.S, and he’ll begin work on a new album in the spring. This fall, he returns to the United Kingdom for a month-long tour.