David Francey The First Set: Live from Folk Alley

For many musicphiles, Kent State brings to mind CSNY’s classic anthem "Ohio” that chronicled the killing of five students by the National Guard on May 4, 1970. But, for folk purists, this home of higher education has also been the musical milieu for one of the country’s top folk festivals for the past four decades. Recorded on November 11, 2005 at the 39th annual Kent State Folk Festival, this live recording showcases the storytelling power of this Juno-winning folk poet. Joined by the finger-pickin’ prowess of Shane Simpson, Francey is at ease with the intimate audience and so he opens up and takes the time to delve into the tales behind his creations. While the record only features nine songs, Francey lets listeners in on the back stories to his babies. The disc opens with "Paper Boy,” a song that recalls the songwriter’s first job as a young pup delivering The Daily Record in a small Scottish town. With these extended monologues that introduce the songs, the listener gets a better understanding of what the songs mean and what the songsmith’s state-of-mind was writing these songs, so you gain an even greater appreciation for the artist’s songs. The dialogues drag on at times as Francey goes off on a tangent and digresses for too long, which detracts from the flow of his set as many of the intros end up being longer than the songs. (Laker)