© All rights reserved 2019 | Francine Honey
WHAT THE PRESS ARE SAYING…
“Honey gets as real as she’s ever been with us in “Stay,” and subsequently dispenses her most relatable and endearing song so far.”
“..a rootsy ballad worth your time…music enthusiasts who live for contemplative Americana really can’t go wrong with what Francine Honey has compiled for us in “Stay,” which collectively sets the bar just a little higher..”
“..a life lesson in the form of a melodic poem…a stellar record, and this single and music video are its crown jewel.”
“..a classy singer doing what she does better than most anyone else in her scene can…If there’s one artist that serious Americana aficionados should be following this year, it is unquestionably Francine Honey, who is pulling out the big guns in her new music video and rebelling against the meager standards of a mainstream country sound that is anything but exciting these days.”
“…finding her place atop a crowded country hierarchy…intimate and charismatic…a noteworthy highpoint in her young career.”
“…brimming with warm harmonies that are as sprawling in style as they are simple in design…a picture window into the heart of one of country’s burgeoning powerhouses.”
“Honey brings everything that she’s got as a singer to the table in this song…a major turning point for her journey towards stardom.”
” Francine Honey magnificently sketches a portrait of the kind of love that’s tangled right around her veins…“Stay,” which could very well have been recorded by Patsy Cline, taps into the shimmering magic of the Nashville Sound, a golden waltz number that’ll leave you in a daze.”
B-SIDES & BADLANDS
“To Be Continued …peaks at just the right points….“Shacked-Up Sweetie” is a glorious blast of honky tonk with gritty snap in the guitar work and an appealing bluesy yet commercial sound.”
“..a rich, welcoming adventure for those who who embrace pensive, cautious and gorgeous songwriting.”
TAKE EFFECT REVIEWS
“..a modern sound with rough and ready traditionalist country …Honey’s voice holds everything to together with a zesty performance.”
“…infectious from the moment that it touches down…you could definitely make the case for this being the most accessible Canadian country album of the year.”
“one record that is engaging from start to finish. A must-listen for all country and folk music buffs who have been craving something fresh and original…”
”There’s something for almost every taste among these 11 tracks, ranging from traditional folk music to more contemporary blues-rock rhythms…“Shacked-up Sweetie” has all of the adrenaline of a raging bar band fueling a crowd of excitable cowboys and ramblers looking to dance the night away….
wistful harmonies that ache with a yearning that is anything but disingenuous.”
“Another exceptional musical export from the Great White North…an authentic and individualistic interpreter of Americana…”
“…an endearing old world charm that is far from the plasticity of the mainstream….Honey’s vocals undisputedly steal the show.”
“Shacked-up Sweetie” might be the song and video combo that jump-starts a stagnant Nashville scene…a strong contender for best video and single of the year.”
“…spellbinding ballads…Canadian country music simply doesn’t get much better than what this skillful songwriter has done in her new record’s eleven engaging songs.”
“one of my favorite new music videos of 2019 has got to be “Shacked-up Sweetie,”
“…an impeccably produced album from top to bottom, and has a progressively-styled arrangement of songs that makes it easy to play from beginning to end without feeling the need to shuffle the tracks around…”
“Bar none, I don’t think I’ve heard a country record quite like To Be Continued… from either an American or a Canadian singer/songwriter before, and for all that it lacks in corporate-conceived grandiosity, it more than makes up for in cutting lyrical might, evocative musicality and an effervescent master mix that makes every song feel like a personalized performance. …”
“…appealing and uncomplicated..”
“..a rousing country tune …This one will get your boots on the dance floor.”
LA Music Critic
Indie Voice Blog
“…a wonderful calling card for a talented and schooled musician on the move.”
“…Her commitment to her craft is filled with exciting leaps and bounds in her career. Its nice to see an artist take a leap of faith and put the hard work behind it. …”
Chalked Up Reviews
Nominated as IndieShark’s
‘Album Of The Year’!
PICK OF THE WEEK!
“Sensuous string arrangements and vivacious vocal spectacles are what I’ve come to expect from Honey, and she delivers nothing short of her very best in this latest release…She’s got a fire that I don’t see going out any time soon.”
**STAY IS A FINALIST IN TWO CATEGORIES IN THE INTERNATIONAL SONGWRITING COMPETITION**
2018 Canadian Songwriting Competition SEMI FINALIST Song: “Stay” Category: Folk/Singer/Songwriter on the album “To Be Continued…”
2017 Canada South Songwriting Contest Finalist – song “Mamas Take Bad Dreams Away” on To Be Continued…
Texas Songwriter’s Symposium – Canadian Showcase Artist 4 years in a row.
Radio-Canada -Y a pas deux matins pareils, March 12, 2019
CTV News Windsor – Interview with Melanie Borelli, Nov. 23, 2018
Y a pas deux matins pareils, Ici Première, Entrevue avec Elvis Nouemski Njike, 23 novembre 2018
Afternoon Drive, CBC – Interview with Chris dela Torre, Nov. 19, 2018
Sessions Podcast – Interview with Barry Davis, “Outta the Park” Nov. 9, 2018
Matins sans frontières, Radio-Canada, Entrevue avec Lisette Leboeuf, 29 octobre 2018
Folk Roots Radio – Interview with Jan Hall Oct. 23, 2018
Folk Roots Radio – Interview with Jan Hall July 28, 2016
Belleville Intelligencer Interview with Sgt. Chris Downey
Interview with Sgt. Chris Downey at CFB Trenton for Pond Hockey Fundraising Tournament
highlighted on TV shows…
COMMERCIAL AND NON-COMMERCIAL RADIO…
Bilingual Ontario singer-songwriter Francine Honey’s third album To Be Continued… features tales of heartache and hope delivered with her usual mix of Americana, Country, Rock, Canadiana and Blues.
Bilingual Ontario singer-songwriter Francine Honey’s third album To Be Continued… features tales of heartache and hope. Francine has performed across North America, the U.K., Europe, Switzerland and Italy.
Hard-luck stories can have happy endings. Especially in Francine Honey’s world. The bilingual Ontario singer-songwriter’s third album To Be Continued… features tales of heartache and struggle, loss and crisis — many drawn from her own life. Along the way, the down-to-earth performer also shares two fundamental lessons: You are not alone, and hope is always around the corner. A songwriter since childhood, and a former civil servant, Francine packs a lifetime of emotion into every song. Her music has taken her across Canada and the U.S., and on to the U.K., Switzerland and Italy.
Hard-luck stories can have happy endings. Especially in Francine Honey’s world.
“Some of these songs are about going through tough times and then getting to the other side,” the Ontario singer-songwriter says of her third record To Be Continued… “I know I’ve certainly been through my share of struggles. But it’s important to have hope and know you’re not alone. If you’re going through something, someone else has gone through it too. And you have to remember: You don’t know what’s around the corner. Your ‘to be continued’ might be beyond what you ever imagined.”
She speaks from experience. Some five years after her first album — a homemade Christmas present for friends and family — the mother of two and former federal civil servant is living the dream. She has the love of her life, the career she long denied herself, and an album that showcases her most striking and stirring compositions. “I’m so happy,” she says. “I’m really proud of this record and how it all came together.”
Cut in Nashville with Grammy-nominated producer Neilson Hubbard (John Prine, Jason Isbell) and first-call players like guitarists Will Kimbrough and Kris Donegan, pianist Danny Mitchell, bassist Dean Marold and legendary fiddler Eamon McLoughlin, To Be Continued… takes Honey’s mix of Americana, Country, Rock, Canadiana, and Blues to the next level, capturing the sound she’s been chasing for years. “It’s hard to articulate what you hear in your head and get it to come to life through other musicians,” she says. But after getting Hubbard’s name from singer-songwriter Gretchen Peters, she knew she’d found her man. “I looked up the songs he produced and went, ‘That’s what I’ve been hearing!’
“Almost every song on this record is Take 1. Isn’t that amazing?” she marvels. “It really was magic. Basically, we just went through each song one by one. They listened to my demo and we talked about the feeling we wanted for the song and worked out things like guitar tones and how we were going to start and end. Then it was like, ‘All right, let’s run this through and see what we can come up with.’ And at the end of almost every take, I was like, ‘Wow. I don’t think we could do that any better.’ Every song was its own unique ride.”
To Be Continued… also takes listeners on a journey. Courageously drawing from her own life, Honey’s songs run the gamut of emotion. “Snowflakes On My Eyelashes” channels the grief of loss; “Can’t Break Through to You” examines PTSD; and the moving “Marilyn” documents a harrowing health scare. “That’s a very tough subject and a very personal song,” she confesses. “The room goes quiet when I play it. But I’ll see someone wipe a tear from their eye, and know that song has touched someone.” It’s not alone: “Stay” was a semi-finalist in the Canada Songwriting Contest and “Mamas Take Bad Dreams Away” made the top five in the Canada South Songwriting Contest.
Equally laudable are cuts on the lighter side of the roster: The upbeat driving ode “Open Road”, the sexy come-hither blues of “Honey” and the uplifting title cut that chronicles her romance with a friend who re-entered her life at just the right time. “I sure had to kiss my share of frogs,” she quips. “I thought I was just meant to be single and figured we would just be friends, and I was happy with that. Little did I know.”
Little did she know she’d ever be a professional songwriter. Although she’s made music since childhood — “I wrote my first song in 1976” — Honey never dreamed of making it a career. Instead, she studied math and computers, got married, had kids and worked as a project manager. Her life seemed perfect. Then a near-simultaneous breakup and job loss forced her to relocate, find a new career and raise a family alone. Music went on the back burner; she never stopped writing, but songs went unfinished — until her kids fixed that.
“When my 18-year-old daughter and 16-year-old son kept telling me to “Get a life, Mom!” they really were showing wisdom beyond their years. After spending time thinking about what my life would be after they left the nest, I realized I had stories to share, and there was still an opportunity for me to at least try and turn my musical hobby into my profession.” So she left her federal government job in 2013 to pursue music full-time under her maiden name Francine Leclair. The self-produced album An Ordinary Woman came in 2008, followed in 2014 by Re-Drawn, produced by Lang Bliss in Nashville. The latter includes the song “I Soldier On” and its French partner “Je Vis Sans Limites”, which support the Soldier On fund in Canada. In 2015, she also re-recorded many of her early songs for the EP An Ordinary Woman (In Studio).
Along the way, the down-to-earth artist has displayed extraordinary dedication to her craft. She is a graduate of the Berklee College of Music Professional Singer-Songwriter Certificate Program. She regularly makes the nine-hour drive to songwriting workshops in Nashville, where she has been mentored by icons like Beth Nielsen Chapman (who contributes backup vocals to Honey’s “Snowflakes On My Eyelashes’), Mike Reid (Can’t Make You Love Me), Mary Gauthier (Mercy Now), Verlon Thompson (Boats to Build), Gretchen Peters (Independence Day) and Jonatha Brooke (My Mother has 4 Noses). She is a member of the Songwriter’s Association of Canada, Nashville Songwriter’s Association International, Canadian Country Music Association and Americana Music Association. She co-ordinates the Leamington/Windsor Regional Writer’s Group, mentoring other songwriters. She has showcased at the Texas Songwriters Symposium three years in a row, the WinterFolk Blues and Roots Festival in Toronto, the Kingsville Folk Music Festival and the Folk Music Ontario conference. Her music and songwriting have taken her across North America, to the U.K., Switzerland and Italy.
Her journey is far from over. The next chapters in the bilingual singer’s memoir include an EP of french singles from the To Be Continued… sessions; a set of French-Canadian classics sung by her family at the holidays; a Christmas album; and more music with Neilson. Meanwhile, she is expanding her reach with online content, including videos for every song on To Be Continued… and intimate performances for fans. And she continues to co-write with other artists, aiming to have her music recorded by fellow performers and licensed for TV. “If I could get a song on Grey’s Anatomy, that would be cool,” she laughs. “But really, I just want to keep going, writing better songs. I’m finally a songwriter and I know I’ll do this the rest of my life.”
The story continues …
Now charting on College Radio.
Now playing on CBC, Sirius XM and Country Radio across Canada.
click on photo to enlarge, then right-click to download
© All rights reserved 2019 | Francine Honey