In 2018 Ontario folk singer David Francey released his 12th album, The Broken Heart of Everything. The record was well received – earning the singer his seventh Juno nomination – but he wasn’t able to bring that music to the people.
That’s because not long after releasing the album Francey lost his voice, which kept him from hitting the road for more than two years.
“I was really glad to get the record out but I never got a chance to tour it, unfortunately,” he said. “So it’s one of those records I play a bit off it right now but I never got to … take it across the country, having a bit of fun with it. So hopefully this’ll make up for that.”
Francey has been performing sporadically since his voice returned but he’s got a fuller schedule this year that will be taking him across Canada, the northeast United States and Ireland.
Francey is kicking off his 2020 on the West Coast, where he’s spending his January playing shows across B.C., including a date at St. Andrew’s United Church on Jan. 14. He said it’s been probably four years since his last concert in Nanaimo.
He said it’s good to finally be back on the road. Back when he had a busy touring schedule he was enjoying “every minute of it,” but he said he’s scaling back his performances.
“I think it’s great to this day,” he said of the touring lifestyle. “I’ll just be doing it in shorter bursts, that’s all. It was always fantastic to go to places where you have been and see some old friends and newer places where you don’t know anybody but make some friends.”
Coinciding with his return to touring, Francey is re-releasing his 1999 debut record Torn Screen Door on vinyl. It’s the first time he’s put out music on that format.
“I just thought it would be nice to honour it by pressing it and see what happens,” he said.
Francey added that it’s “completely hard to believe” that it’s been 20 years since he became a recording artist. He said he had two goals in mind when he got started.
“One of them was to make sure it stayed fun and didn’t become a slog, which it hasn’t,” Francey said. “And then the other thing was I wanted to be around 10 years later. I didn’t want to be there for a couple of years and then disappear, which I saw happen a lot. I just wanted to be on the scene 10 years later so here it is 20 years later and still on the scene, so I suppose it worked out.”
WHAT’S ON … David Francey performs at St. Andrew’s United Church, 311 Fitzwilliam St., on Jan. 14 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets $25 from Fascinating Rhythm, Arbutus Music and http://franceynanaimo.eventbrite.ca.