I’ve only been down east once in my lifetime; a family trip to a summer cottage on Prince Edward Island. I relish the chance to return because, except maybe in the winter, the east coast of Canada is a rather beautiful place. No matter where you go (okay, Moncton kinda sucks) it’s the type of pastoral setting Wordsworth would write about if he weren’t dead and people still actually liked topographical poetry. Sure I was only there once, and I only went through New Brunswick and P.E.I. (and okay I am biased about Moncton because of a hotel debacle during my trip, I’m sure it’s charming in its own right), missing out on Newfoundland and Nova Scotia, but I know its beautiful. I know because David Francey tells me so. Lemming you say! But it’s true, just listen to the a capella ode to the Gulf of the St. Lawrence, “Banks of the Seaway” for proof. As an east coast folk artist Francey certainly knows his way around a guitar and a lovely melody, but its his expression of the lifestyle of the area that is really brilliant. That’s what is most attractive about this, or any folk artistry; its ability to put forth a narrative to the listener that comforts. Whether in the prairies, or hell, Iceland, there is a comforting aspect to the music, something that grounds it in a humanity that bridges a gap of locality. Because you may not associate with open fields and rocky coastlines, but you understand the human pain of fallen loved ones, as with “Flowers of Saskatchewan”, a tribute to war heroes. Its stripped down acoustics; using generally traditional instrumentation throughout the album to augment Francey’s unique, heavily accented vocals, help maintain an earnestness even at times of heavy lyrical sentimentality. Far End of Summer is a warm record; unassuming at times, but to be anything else would to be missing the point entirely. This is a simple record of beautiful melodies and stirring harmonies.