Since first hearing him on Tom Power’s CBC program Deep Roots, I have become seriously enamoured with David Francey, and his latest and CFMA-award-winning album So Say We All is one I never tire of hearing. So when I heard that he would be at Montreal’s Le Petit Campus this week, off I went.
With accompaniment by Darren McMullen on bouzouki and mandolin and Mark Westberg on guitar — both men providing vocals as well – David’s show did not disappoint. Despite his voice showing some of the strain of 40 days of touring, David led us through two full sets of songs and stories that drew us in and made us feel like we were on the inside. We laughed and clapped, sang along, and at the end rose up and agreed: this is good.
There is a cadence to David’s voice, beyond his lovely Scottish brogue, which is very pleasing – the complexity of tone, rhythm, and harmony combined with subtly-crafted yet highly relatable lyrics create deceptively simple and memorable songs. However, the thing that makes seeing him in person so special is his storytelling. Each song is introduced by tales of what inspired him: mostly funny, some heartbreaking — almost all of them featuring Beth, the love of his life and a warm presence in every tale and tune. David’s music is about the kinds of things we all experience and often struggle with: love, grief, politics, religion, work, nature, all the vicissitudes of this crazy world delivered lyrically in ways that speak to the heart.
David Francey epitomizes all that is wonderful about the singer-songwriter experience. He has a few dates left in this tour, but if you missed him this time, no worries – chances are he’ll be back and he’ll be just as wonderful.
Come Rain or Come Shine
A Star Above
Satellites and Sinners
Torn Screen Door
Long Long Road