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DAVID FRANCEY - The Broken Heart Of Everything

DAVID FRANCEY - The Broken Heart Of Everything
Laker Music LAKR1012

David Francey didn’t release his first album till he was 45, after 20 years working in construction. Now 63, he releases his eleventh at a worrying time when vocal strain has led to a break in touring. The quality and humanity of his songs, and the warmth of his performances, have brought him devoted fans, in Britain as well as his adopted Canada. They will devour The Broken Heart Of Everything and wish him all the best.

The beautifully crafted Poorer Then sets the tone for an album in which mortality plays a big part. Come Sunday recalls the death of an ice hockey team member, while Where Harry Sat remembers a WW2 navigator killed in action. Another theme is the strain caused by absences from home, explored with characteristic honesty in Lonely Road and I Know It Won’t. But David’s lyrical gifts stop all this being too bleak, and there are tributes to love and friendship in Only Love and Moon Over Melbourne.

David is backed by the usual cast of Mark Westberg (guitar), Chris Coole (banjo) and Darren McMullen (mandolin, bouzouki etc), with support from James McKie and John Showman (fiddles). The country music influence is most obvious in the Hank Williams-inspired Blue Sorrow And Then Some. Yes, you hear the hoarseness in the vocals (along with the enduring Scottish accent) but it doesn’t spoil this too short 32-minute treat.

All being well, David will tour this album in 2019. I’d love to see him here again.

Tony Hendry

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This album was reviewed in Issue 125 of The Living Tradition magazine.