David Francey will kick off the North Island Concert Society’s 14th season with a Nov. 5 show at Port Hardy Civic Centre.

Multi Juno award-winner to play Port Hardy

f winning multiple Juno Awards didn’t convince David Francey he’d hit the big time, his hockey teammates brought the point home.

PORT HARDY—If winning multiple Juno Awards didn’t convince David Francey he’d hit the big time, his hockey teammates brought the point home.

For much of his adult life, Francey worked on a construction crew by day and played beer-league hockey in the evening.

But while attending festivities at the 2002 JUNO Awards after his second album, Far End of Summer, won the award in the Root and Traditional – Solo category, Francey was pressed into service for the JUNO Cup celebrity benefit game as goalie for the NHL alumni team that included the likes of Brian Skrudland, Paul Coffey and Lanny MacDonald.

“They were a little better than the boys,” Francey laughed during a recent phone interview from Saskatoon, where he was touring in support of his ninth studio release, Late Edition.

That tour arrives on North Vancouver Island Saturday when Francey takes the stage at Port Hardy Civic Centre to kick off the North Island Concert Society’s 14th season.

Francey will be joined by Mark Westberg on guitar and bass and by Chris Coole on banjo for an evening of folk music that spans the gamut of Canadiana.

“We’ll do quite a few songs off the new album, and also a lot of the old ones with a new approach,” said Francey, who was born in Scotland and emigrated with his family to Toronto in1966 as a 12-year-old.

“The tour’s been going extremely well. We’ve been playing to full houses and having a ton of fun.”

Since leaving carpentry behind to launch a full-time music career in 2002, Francey has amassed a collection of hardware that includes three JUNOs and a SOCAN Folk Music Award.

He has become in that time a Canadian folk icon, despite not beginning his career well into his forties.

Unlike most singer-songwriters, Francey is not an instrumentalist, though on occasion he will strum a bit of rhythm guitar to accompany his accompanists.

Rather than honing musicianship, he spends all his spare time observing and recording facets of contemporary life, from people he’s met to places he’s visited to, in the case of Late Edition, the news he’s read and watched.

“I write all the time, wherever it strikes me,” Francey said.

“I don’t write on an instrument so I’m not confined by that. I can write in a car, on a plane. When the muse strikes, I can write three or four (songs) in a night.”

After his breakthrough with Far End of Summer, Francey followed with JUNO-winning albums in 2004 — Skating Rink — and  Right of Passage in 2007.

The song Skating Rink, infused with poetry and startling imagery, was used as the theme for CBS’s Hockey Day in Canada, and Wonder, from Late Edition, was used in a recent episode of Degrassi.

Late Edition, which Francey describes as being on the “roots” side of the folk spectrum, was recorded in Nashville live off the floor, with Francey backed by four musicians.

In this traditional recording format, rather than mixing and overdubbing the song is recorded “live” with everybody playing together in one room at one time — much like what the audience will experience Saturday.

“We were all in one room, on each other’s mikes,” he said. “If anyone blows it, someone will say, ‘Who screwed up?’ Then someone else would raise their hand and we’d do it again.

“It wasn’t exactly a hardship; it was pretty immediate, and pretty exciting.”

Tickets for the show are $25 and are available in Port Hardy at The Hobby Nook, Cafe Guido and Port Hardy Museum; in Port McNeill at The Flower Shoppe; and in Port Alice by calling Gail Neely at 250-284-3927.

Season tickets good for all five shows in the 2011-12 season can also be purchased for $120; $100 for seniors and students.

For more information, visit niconcert.ca.

 

Just Posted

Port Hardy RCMP cleared in arrest that left man with broken ribs, punctured lung: watchdog

The IIO noted the matter will not be referred to crown counsel for consideration of charges.

News from Port McNeill’s July 15 council meeting

Next council meeting will be held Aug. 19 at 7:00 p.m. and the public is welcome to attend.

Bradshaw’s Photo Highlight: Devil’s Bath is the largest cenote in Canada

“This trail is rough and should be executed with caution”

OPINION: MP Rachel Blaney takes aim at coastal fisheries restrictions

“We all share in the responsibility of taking care of our salmon habitats and populations”

Northern Vancouver Island regional science fair winners – 2019

Daniel Kornylo won one of the 12 provincial science fair awards.

Rich the Vegan scoots across Canada for the animals

Rich Adams is riding his push scooter across Canada to bring awareness to the dog meat trade in Asia

Japanese Canadians call on B.C. to go beyond mere apology for historic racism

The federal government apologized in 1988 for its racism against ‘enemy aliens’

B.C. VIEWS: NDP pushes ahead with Crown forest redistribution

This isn’t the time for a radical Indigenous rights agenda

Two dead in two-vehicle crash between Revelstoke and Golden

RCMP are investigating the cause of the crash

Ottawa fights planned class action against RCMP for bullying, intimidation

The current case is more general, applying to employees, including men, who worked for the RCMP

Alberta judge denies B.C.’s bid to block ‘Turn Off the Taps’ bill

He said the proper venue for the disagreement is Federal Court

Canadian high school science courses behind on climate change, says UBC study

Researchers found performance on key areas varies by province and territory

Six inducted into BC Hockey Hall of Fame

The 26th ceremony in Penticton welcomed powerful figures both from on and off the ice

Most Read