A Scot who moved to Canada while still a child, I had vaguely heard of David Francey as yet one more excellent Canadian folksinger. Now I’ll have to get hold of his earlier albums as this one is a real corker. It is mainly folk, but some of the tracks are straight country – the excellent When I’m NotThinking about You, Blue Heart of Texas and Just the Same, all of which will feature on Country Time in the very near future.
The rest of Francey’s songs are folk; Borderlands is a co-write with Scottish singer Lori Watson about her native area on a winter’s day; Pretty Jackals is a pointed swipe at TV news – there are also love songs, break-up songs and a song dedicated to the Japanese filmmaker Akira Kurosawa about the degradation of life and the fight for personal dignity. The song is not at all as ponderous as my description of it an is very moving.
The album is really well produced by Keiran Kane and the backing musicians are Kane stalwarts Fats Kaplin on fiddle and accordion, Lucas Kane on drums, Richard Bennett on guitar and bouzouki and Keiran Kane on everything else. It was my third time listening before I realized there was no bass player, but the way the album is arranged there was no need for one.
Francey is, for me, a great discovery and the album is really, really good on every count.