Three time Juno award winner David Francey proves his has a lot of writing left in him as he crafts beautiful songs on his latest disc on subjects like worn motels, weathervanes, television news and even satellites. Francey is able to construct lasting beauty from subjects other songwriters wouldn’t even consider worthy.
Francey is a Scottish-born former carpenter that now makes his home in Ontario, Canada. ”The songs on this album seem to me to encompass what proved a very difficult year. From the heights of joy to the depths of grief, the lesson learned was to celebrate every day spent on this side of the soil and to keep marching no matter what comes our way…” says Francy via his website.
On his tenth studio album, So Say We All, Francey enlisted the talents of some of Canada’s best acoustic musicians with a core band consisting of banjo player Chris Coole, multi-instrumentalist Darren McMullen and guitarist Mark Westberg. Tannis Slimmon also lends her voice for some harmony vocals as well as Colin Francey on the drums.
With a powerhouse acoustic band like this, there is a real danger that Franceys songwriting might get overshadowed by the fancy fingers of his peers. In this beautifully arranged and produced disc, however, this is not the case.
Franceys lyrics are centre stage from the start of the disc with “Rain” and “Cheap Motel”, a track that will resonate with most road musicians. “The ice machine, she’s broken down – and we’re stuck out here on the edge of town - In the cheap motel..” laments Francey.
“Weather Vane” speaks to the simplistic beauty Francey finds with objects in everyday life. The master troubadour pens a thoughtful classic with “Pandora’s Box” in which he asks the listener: “What’s it like behind those eyes, That watch the weary world go by – unnoticed, unrecognized…”.
“Satellite” lets Chris Coole shine on clawhammer banjo in one of the more up-tempo tracks on the album. McMullen also adds a perfectly crafted blistering mandolin solo to add some icing to the cake.
The disc continues with some more strong tracks like “American Blues” and “Ordinary Man”. The disc ends beautifully with a piano and voice arrangement of the title track “So Say We All”.
Francey proves once again he is a fountain of song with this disc. The tour in support of this album includes Coole, McMullen and Westberg and if you have a chance you should definitely catch this band live.
Francey has a uncanny ability to craft instant classics from the most ordinary subjects