Rapid Fire Questions

David Francey

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” (Toronto Star).

 

Born in Ayrshire, Scotland to parents who were factory workers, he moved to Canada when he was twelve. For decades, 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.

A truly authentic folk singer, 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 hit in Canada. Since then, he has released eleven 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.

 

We asked David some Rapid Fire Questions Below

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1. Porridge for Breakfast or Full Fry Up ? 

Full Fry Up. I rarely eat breakfast but can and will destroy a plate of fried eggs, bacon, mushrooms, black pudding, white pudding, sausages, fried potatoes, fried bread and toast when the opportunity arises. That takes care of eating until dinner. 

2. Dog or Cat ? 

Very fond of both. Three dogs and one cat just now.

3. What’s Your Favourite Touring Destination ?  

There are more than one. I’ve been lucky enough to tour Australia months at a time. It’s another world all together. I find the place and everything about it fascinating. I really miss it. Definitely somewhere I could stay. 

4. Coffee or Tea ? 

Coffee. Breakfast of Champions, but I drank tea since I could hold a cup. 

5. What's Your Ideal Holiday Destination ? 

I go to Ireland twice a year with Inishfree Tours, Spring and Fall. What a stunningly beautiful destination that is, no matter where you are. 

We pile on a small bus with 22 fans and run those beautiful roads during the day and take in music every night, from concerts to pub sessions. Add Guinness to the mix and that’s a hard combination to beat.

6. Beer, Wine, Liquor, Non-Alcoholic ? 

Yes please. Not that fussy. Do enjoy an ice cold Bulmers Cider or a crisp pilsner on a hot day though. Any day really. It’s not actually weather dependant. 

7. Do You Prefer a Festival Stage to Perform or a Small Intimate Venue ? 

I love playing the festivals since both those scenarios are on offer. They each have their moments. The interplay between the musicians on a workshop stage and the audience can be such a delight. It can be magic and often is. 

Being on Mainstage with a few thousand people singing along with your song approaches the 

surreal at times. It’s quite the rush. Every time. 

8. Car or Bicycle ?

Car. A Van to be precise. I’ve had some of the best days of my life on tour with the boys. Mark Westberg, Chris Coole and Darren McMullen and I went out for a couple of months and hundreds of shows numerous times, and there was never a minutes argy bargy in all those miles. Truly the best of times with the best of friends. 

9. House or Apartment ? 

House. I grew up in flats and apartments. My first house came with 3 1/2 acres and cost me $19,000. It was a start.

10. Do You Like a Live Performance or Doing Studio Work ? 

I like playing live very much, but I love recording, no matter the studio. Last couple of times out we set up our own studio. We recorded in one cottage and stayed in another north of Havelock, Ontario. Creating music, isolated, well fed, happy and in the best of company. For days on end. It’s hard to beat that. 

11. Do You Like to Write on Your Own or Collaborate with Others ? 

I write on my own as a rule but have had a wonderful time co-writing over the years. It took me ages to finally try a cowrite. My first was with Kieran Kane. Pretty hard to get a better start at it than that. We had a blast, did good work. That sold me on it. 

I really enjoy writing with Ashley Condon from PEI.  She’s a wonderful writer and a terrific writing partner. I really like our work together. 

12. Shower or Bath ? 

Shower. Quickly. 

13. Indian Cuisine or Italian Cuisine ? 

Indian. I toured Britain with James McKie. He lives on the stuff, hotter the better. Can’t do that kind of heat but loved the food and the flavours. A big favourite of Beth and I.

14. Country or City Living ?

I worked and lived at Spruce Court Co-op in Cabbagetown in Toronto, for 10 years in my twenties. I had a grand time exploring that city and enjoyed being in the middle of it. I moved for various reasons, to a dirt road in the Eastern Townships of Quebec. Lonesome and then some. I never lived in a city again. Now I live in Elphin, Ontario, population 38 at last count.  Life is good in the Hinterland,  in pandemic times especially. 

15. CD or Vinyl ?

I still have my vinyl records but I like cds. Small, rugged and bigger print than a cassette.

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