From carpenter to songwriter - Since leaving construction and recording Torn Screen Door in 1999 Scottish-born Canadian, David Francey is recognized as one of today's finest singer-songwriters. Earlier this year Francey's CD, Right of Passage, earned him his third JUNO (Canada's top music award) in less than 5 years. Francey recently had the honour of receiving the prestigious SOCAN Folk Music Award.
"David'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 the man and his music. His songs and stories are a direct connection for audiences seeking depth and meaning in the day-to-day." Shelter Valley Folk Festival
David Francey was born in 1954 in Ayrshire, Scotland, where as a paper boy he got his first taste of the working life. He learned to read at an early age, and by age eleven was devouring the newspapers he delivered. This helped establish his interest in politics and world events while developing the social conscience that forms the backdrop of his songs.
He was twelve when his family immigrated to Toronto. He says he can trace his love of the land, the history, and the people of his adopted country to weekend family drives exploring southern Ontario. Music played a large part in these family outings. They sang traditional Scottish tunes as they drove through the Canadian countryside. Dad and sister Muriel sang melody, while mother and David sang harmonies.
His attachment to Canada grew with travel. He hitched across the country three times, then thumbed his way to the Yukon. This attachment surfaces in his songs of rail lines, farms, and the St. Lawrence Seaway. He grew to understand the people while working in Toronto train yards, the Yukon bush, and as a carpenter in the Eastern Townships. These experiences colour his first CD, Torn Screen Door, with songs like Hard Steel Mill, Gypsy Boys, and Working Poor and his second, Far End of Summer, with Highway, Flowers of Saskatchewan and February Morning Drive.
In concert David is a singer and a storyteller. His wry humour and astute observations combined with his openhearted singing style have earned him a loyal following.
David lives with his wife, artist Beth Girdler and their three children Amy, Julia and Colin in the quiet but charming Lanark Highlands in southern Ontario.
Since October 2006, Craig Werth has served as the accompanist/co-arranger for three-time Juno-winner David Francey. Craig served as co-producer for Francey's "Right of Passage" which won a best album Juno in 2008. Currently he is often on tour with David but is sometimes available for solo performances and other projects.
In addition to the Francey connection, New Hampshire musician, songwriter, educator, and humorist, Craig Werth, has been performing at coffeehouses, folk festivals, concert halls, and schools (from kindergarten to Elderhostel) for... a wicked long time. He also brings to his writing and performing a life-load of experience as a counselor, teacher, outreach caseworker, builder of musical instruments, and family man. Craig's compositions explore topics ranging from natural wonders like whales, dinosaurs, and zucchinis; to relationships, parenting, his Newfoundland heritage, and his Long Island and Catskill Mountain roots. He performs primarily with voice, guitars, bouzouki, and mountain dulcimer.