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.”
To Be Continued… is an album that showcases Honey’s 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, Mary Gauthier, Jason Isbell) and first-call players like guitarists Will Kimbrough and Kris Donegan, pianist Dan 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!’
Although she’s made music since childhood — “I wrote my first song in 1976” — Honey never dreamed of making it a career. However, along the way, the down-to-earth artist has displayed extraordinary dedication to her craft. Francine’s debut self-produced album An Ordinary Woman came out in 2008 and was followed in 2014 by Re-Drawn, produced by Lang Bliss in Nashville. As a graduate of the Berklee College of Music Professional Singer-Songwriter Certificate Program, Francine regularly makes the nine-hour drive from Ontario, Canada, to song-writing 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 (I 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). Francine is a member of the Songwriter’s Association of Canada (SAC), Nashville Songwriter’s Association International, Canadian Country Music Association and Americana Music Association. She co-ordinates the SAC’s Leamington/Windsor Regional Writer’s Group, mentoring other songwriters. She has showcased at the Texas Songwriters Symposium four years in a row, the WinterFolk Blues and Roots Festival in Toronto, the Kingsville Folk Music Festival and the Folk Music Ontario conference. Francine’s music and song-writing have not only taken her through Canada and the U.S but to the U.K., Switzerland and Italy.
Now, To Be Continued takes Francine’s listeners on a journey. Courageously drawing from her own life, Honey’s latest 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!” And about Shacked-Up Sweetie, Francine’s latest single release and video, “I wrote this song for my sweetie and I. We talked about getting married and decided not to. It took me a while to work through my feelings about not getting married, but in the end, I realized that it’s really all about the commitment you make to each other, not the church ceremony. True love is just bigger than all of that.”
Francine’s music can be heard on CBC radio, Sirius XM and country stations across North America and she receives millions of views on her videos. She has appeared and been interviewed on CTV News, CFRU’s Folk Roots Radio and more.
Check out the single ‘Shacked-Up Sweetie’ here:
Other useful links:
Links to the full album “To Be Continued…” here :
Check out more about Francine Honey here:
Folk Roots Radio interview with Jan Hall:
Sessions Podcast with Barry Davis :
CTV News Windsor:
Scribes & Songsters Interview: