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Empty Train 2016 Release

DavidFrancey-EmptyTrain-Cover-SmallLaker Music is pleased to announce the February 26th, 2016 International release of David Francey’s new album Empty Train. This will be the 11th album for this three-time Juno Award winner.
David Francey populates Empty Train with captivating cast of characters

Colin and John-Angus MacDonald of the Trews contribute a co-write

People watching.

It’s the ultimate pastime of the introvert:  spending time alone in a crowd, contemplating the dynamics of the characters around you, reflecting on their emotional lives, reflecting on your emotional life.

On Empty Train, three-time Juno winner David Francey elevates the practice to high art.

The long-time manual labourer-turned-revered singer-songwriter populates Empty Train with the lonely, faceless patrons of a Yukon night club (“Mirror Ball”); hospital patients who “might get home but you never know” (“Hospital”); working class heroes in the form of sailors, signalers and stokers (“Crucible”); and women seeking to escape their circumstances through the sex trade (“Blue Girl”).

And then there’s the man who struck up a conversation with Francey on a flight in California:  a real life California football coach heading to the Holy Land, hoping to cheer up Palestinian children for a moment with his handful of magic tricks (“Holy Land”).

Francey contemplates each of their circumstances, singing with sensitive, weathered vocals, accompanied by beautifully spare acoustic arrangements, courtesy of long-time collaborators Mark Westberg (guitars), Chris Coole (banjo and guitar), and Darren McMullen (mandolin, bouzouki, etc.).  Fiddlers John Showman (New Country Rehab) and Rachel Davis (Còig) guest, along with Francey’s son, Colin, who contributes some guitar and backing vocals.

As he has for eleven straight albums now, David draws listeners into the emotional power of his stories using nothing but his incisive way with language, his ear for a catchy melody, and his deep and obvious empathy for people who are struggling – no fancy production or orchestration required.

In fact, the album was recorded in a rustic cabin North of Havelock, Ont.

Francey, as many by now know, has been documenting the lives of the poor and working class almost his entire life.

A proud physical labourer from a proud working class Scottish immigrant family, he spent more than 30 years toiling in the Toronto rail yards, the Yukon bush and the Eastern Townships’ construction sites – hitchhiking across Canada at least three times in the process – all the while quietly chronicling in song the triumphs and hardships of life in the trenches.

He played no instruments, never aspired to a career in music, and only reluctantly took to the stage at the age of 45 under pressure from friends and family.

The reaction was instant.

Within two years, he’d won his first Juno, was touring internationally, and got to thinking that perhaps he should quit his construction job and try this music thing full time for a while.

Since then, he’s won two more Junos and been nominated a total of five times.  His songs have been covered by the Del McCoury Band, the Rankins, the Barra McNeils and Tracy Grammer – among countless others – and his “Skating Rink” video aired several times on Hockey Day in Canada, earning Francey the fandom of host Ron MacLean.   He performs regularly at some of the world’s most prestigious music festivals – Tonder in Denmark, Port Fairy in Australia – and he’s been the subject of a nationally-televised feature documentary (Burning Bright).

He has also won the respect of songwriters across the musical spectrum for his seemingly effortless ability to turn out songs that seem destined to become classics.  “Junkie’s Heart” on Empty Train is a co-write with two such fans:  Colin and John-Angus MacDonald of the roots rock outfit the Trews.

Long ago, the Georgia Straight called Francey “The closest thing Canada has to Woody Guthrie.”

More recently, Exclaim wrote, “It can be argued that David Francey has had more impact than any old-school Canadian folk songsmith since the late great Stan Rogers.”

Now more than 15 years into his career, with not a miss among his eleven albums, it won’t be long before Francey himself becomes a standard-bearer for the next generation of promising songwriters.

In support of his new album, David Francey will be touring Canada and United States throughout 2016. For his full schedule, please visit http://www.davidfrancey.com

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A Game Going ON by Dave Gunning and David Francey wins Song Quest

CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada ran a contest in a search of “Canada’s next great hockey song” and the winner is “A Game Going ON” written by David Francey and Dave Gunning.  Dave’s wonderful recording of the song can be heard at CBC.ca

“The original idea for this song came from David Francey and he asked me to co-write it with him,” Gunning wrote.  “Last year during the NHL lockout we finished the song. I was certainly frustrated along with so many other hockey fans and felt it was good timing to release a song that encapsulated the old fashioned love of the game, the real reason why so many of us play hockey either professionally or for fun.”

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So Say We All – top folk album on Galaxie Radio

Thank you Galaxie! and Ashley Condon’s “This Great Compromise” also on the Laker Music label took the 5th spot!

“Top 50 most played Canadian albums airing on Galaxie Folk-Roots in 2013 Galaxie’s Folk-Roots (Canada) channel broadcasts uninterrupted 24/7 and is available from virtually all digital cable providers throughout Canada (over 9 million homes).”

Rank — Artist — Album Title — Label

1 — David Francey — So Say We All — Laker Music
2 — Pharis & Jason Romero — Long Gone Out West Blues — Lula Records
3 — Jadea Kelly — Clover — Divergent/True North
4 — Ruth Moody — These Wilder Things — Red House
5 — Keith Glass — Bad Dog — keithglassmusic.com
6 — Lynn Miles — Downpour — Lynn Miles Music
7 — Ashley Condon — This Great Compromise — Laker Music

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“So Say We All” wins 4th Penguin Eggs Magazine “Album of the Year”

The critics have spoken and David’s album “So Say We All” got top pick!

“David Francey’s latest album So Say We All has earned him an unprecedented fourth Penguin Eggs critics annual Album of the Year Award. His last came in 2004 with The Waking Hour. “
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David wins First Place in USA Songwriting Competition

Just announced, David won first place in the Folk Category at the USA Songwriting Competition for his song “Broken Glass” off the “Skating Rink” CD!

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David Francey Receives Four Canadian Folk Music Award Nominations

DavidFrancey-SoSayWeAll-Cover-Mediumsm“From the scenic hamlet of McDonalds Corners, Ontario, multiple Juno award-­winning artist David Francey also received nominations for his album So Say We All released via Laker Music. The former carpenter turned much-­lauded songwriter picks up nominations for Contemporary Album of the Year, English Songwriter of the Year, Solo Artist of the Year and Producer of the Year.” (CFMA)

to read more go to Canadian Folk Music Awards Nominees

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David Francey releases So Say We All

Laker Music is pleased to announce the April 30th, 2013 International release of David Francey’s new album So Say We All. This will be the 10th album for three-time Juno Award winner.  

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“Canada’s best contemporary songwriter” (Sing Out).

Fourteen years ago at the age of 45, Francey began an astonishing journey from manual labourer to award-winning folk troubadour – renowned for writing with heart-wrenching honesty about the struggles of the poor and working class. His new album reflects his own journey through a period of struggle.

“The lesson learned,” he says, “was to celebrate every day spent on this side of the soil and to keep marching no matter what comes our way.”

That spirit of perseverance bursts from each song on the album, from the opening track “Rain” about the failure and rebirth of love to the bittersweet hymn “So Say We All.” Capturing the dark times (“Pandora’s Box,” “Ordinary Man”) as well as life’s shining moments (“Satellite,” “Blue Skies”), the album is a perfect acoustic showcase of what makes Francey’s songwriting so special. Poetic and fearless, Francey draws from his own experiences, delving into his recent depression (“Harm”) and singing about his colorful experiences on the road (“Cheap  Motel”).

Now ten albums into his recording career, Francey has demonstrated the kind of consistency as a songwriter that makes even other songwriters shake their head in disbelief. On So Say We All, he shares yet another collection of so-good-they-could-be-traditional numbers marked by the perfectly-stated poetry and stick-in-your-head melodies of the enduring folk song, best exemplified by songs like “Blue Yonder” and “Long Long Road.”

These remarkable songs are brought to life by Francey’s first-rate touring band – guitarist Mark Westberg, guitarist/banjo-picker Chris Coole and celebrated Maritime multi-instrumentalist Darren McMullen. Capturing their raw energy and musicianship, producer Ken Friesen recorded the band live at Signal Path Studio in Almonte, Ontario. Keeping it all close to home, Francey also brought in his son Colin to play drums and invited fellow Ontario artist Tannis Slimmon to sing harmonies.

Beautifully spare and full of instant classics, So Say We All is sure to be a favorite with folk fans of every generation.

In support of his new album, David Francey will be touring Canada and United States throughout 2013 and 2014. For his full schedule, please visit http://www.davidfrancey.com

L-R Chris Coole, Darren McMullen, David Francey and Mark Westberg

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