Three-time JUNO Award-winner to appear at Opera House

Canadian singer/songwriter David Francey will appear in concert at the 1891 Fredonia Opera House on Friday at 7:30 p.m. The event is part of the Folk in Fredonia Music Series at the Opera House.

A former construction worker who left the field in 1999 to record his debut CD, Francey has become recognized as one of today’s finest singer-songwriters and has been called by the Toronto Star “one of Canada’s best loved troubadours” and “hands-down the best songwriter working in Canada today” by the Victoria Times Colonist.

A three-time JUNO Award-winner (Canada’s Grammy), Francey also has received the prestigious SOCAN Folk Music Award as well as the Grand Prize in both the International Acoustic Music Awards and in the folk category of the John Lennon Songwriting Awards. With nine CDs to date, his most recent, “Late Edition,” has garnered much praise and two Canadian Folk Music Award nominations.

Francey’s straightforward songs tell honest stories of real people and real places. Poetic perception and a keen eye for the heart of the matter are trademarks of his music; and his songs and stories are a direct connection for audiences seeking depth and meaning in the day-to-day. SOCAN Magazine calls Francey “a consummate craftsman … one of the biggest stars of Canadian folk music.” The Vancouver Georgia Strait said, “He’s the closest thing this country has to Woody Guthrie.”

Born in Ayrshire, Scotland, Francey was 12 when he and his family emigrated to Toronto. His love of the landscape, the history and the people of his adopted country can be traced back to family weekend drives exploring southern Ontario. Music played a large part of those family outings; the Franceys sang traditional Scottish tunes as they drove through the Canadian countryside. Francey’s dad and sister sang melody while David and his mother sang harmonies.

Francey’s attachment to Canada grew with his travels. He hitchhiked across the country three times and then thumbed his way to the Yukon. This attachment surfaces in his songs of the rail lines, farms and the St. Lawrence Seaway. His understanding of the people grew as he worked in Toronto train yards, in the Yukon bush and in construction in the Eastern township of Quebec.

In concert, Francey is a singer and a storyteller. His wry humor and astute observations combined with his open-hearted singing style have earned him a loyal following. Not bad for a construction worker turned songwriter.

Tickets to David Francey are $15 ($13 for Opera House members) and may be purchased in person at the Opera House Box Office or by phone at 679-1891, Tuesday through Friday, 1-5 p.m. They may also be purchased online any time at www.fredopera.org.

The Folk in Fredonia Music Series is sponsored by The Gilman Family. The event also is made possible, in part, with public funds from the United Arts Appeal of Chautauqua County and from the New York State Council on the Arts, a state agency. Opera House media partners are WDOE 1410 AM & 94.9 FM and KIX Country 96.5 & 100.3 FM.

Chautauqua County’s only performing arts center presenting its own programming year-round, the 1891 Fredonia Opera House is a member-supported, not-for-profit organization located in the Village Hall in downtown Fredonia. A complete schedule of events is available at www.fredopera.org.