David Francey is a Scottish-born Canadian carpenter-turned-songwriter who has become known as one of Canada’s most revered folk poets and singers. He will be playing at the Big Yellow Merville Hall, Friday, Jan. 17.
Francey is a documentarian of the working person who never imagined earning a living from his music. But, when he was in his 40s, his wife, artist Beth Girdler, encouraged him to share his songs and sing in public. The reaction was instant. His first album, Torn Screen Door, came out in 1999 and was a surprise hit. Since then, he has released 11 albums, won three Juno Awards and has had his songs covered by such artists as the Del McCoury Band, the Rankin Family, James Keelaghan and Tracy Grammer.
Born in Ayrshire, Scotland to parents who were factory workers, Francey moved to Canada when he was 12. For decades, as an adult, he worked across Canada in rail yards, construction sites, and in the Yukon bush, all the while writing poetry, setting it to melodies in his head and singing it to himself as he worked.
In concert, Francey is a singer and a storyteller. His wry humour and astute observations, combined with his open-hearted singing style, have earned him a loyal following.
Joining Francey for this concert will be fiddler Pierre Schryer and guitarist Adam Dobres.
As one of Canada’s leading traditional fiddlers, Schryer, the Canadian Open Fiddle champion and the North American Irish Fiddle champion, captivates an audience with his energy and warmth. His ability knows no bounds, covering styles from Irish, Scottish, Québecois and Cape Breton to Canadian old time, American swing and more. He has toured throughout Canada, the U.S., Ireland, Europe and the UK since the mid-’90s, and shared the stage with dozens of internationally renowned colleagues in the traditional music scene.
His contribution to Francey’s show will be mind-blowing.
Dobres is equally at home with bluegrass, Celtic, jazz, gypsy, country, folk, old time, rock, blues, and more. His love of the electric and acoustic guitar has taken him around the globe, performing throughout North America, Europe and New Zealand. In Australia, he opened for the legendary Jackson Browne, and he has toured North America with old-time string band Outlaw Social, the Dustin Bentall band and Blue Rodeo. In 2011, Dobres joined the Ruth Moody Band, and again toured the world, releasing several albums.
Celebrate the beginning of a new decade at the Jan. 17 David Francey concert at the Big Yellow Merville Hall. Tickets are $20/$10 (youth) at Long & McQuade, Courtenay; Blue Heron, Comox; the Music Plant, Campbell River and at the door. Doors open at 7 p.m. Showtime is 7:30. FMI: Craig 250-339-4249. www.davidfrancey.com