Award-winning singer-songwriter Francine Honey releases double single ‘I Carry On’
Award-winning Leamington, ON-based singer-songwriter and recording artist Francine Honey has released a new double single — both a solo version and a duet — for her newest song, “I Carry On.”
The song is a testament to the human spirit and its ability to overcome the challenges that life throws our way. It asks the question: Where does this courage come from?
Co-written and recorded with Francine’s songwriting friend and neighbour, Robert Gray, “I Carry On” is the second single released in anticipation of her’s upcoming fifth project, 2020 Vision — a chronicle of her life story so far in song. The double album due out later this year follows the fall 2019 single release of “Red Sky” and full-length holiday album, Take Me To The North Pole.
“When the path through is unclear,” Francine explained of the single, “there are unexpected heroes that appear with help, whether it is a partner, a caregiver, a parent, a child, a friend, or one’s faith in something larger than life. This song expresses gratitude to those that light our world and help us through. There is nothing like seeing the light of love beaming from someone’s eyes when we need it most.
“I have had my share of challenges in life struggling to make ends meet as the sole provider for my two children, and somehow I always knew I’d get through them,” Francine added. “Robert and I were outside chatting one day as neighbours do and he told me he was going through a major health challenge with cancer.
“We bonded over our mutual feelings about overcoming challenges with the help of a positive attitude, gratitude, love and songwriting! We talked about how others have inspired us in the past, and wrote about how people are there for you when you need them and the strength that we as humans find to survive and overcome our challenges.”
It took them a few months to find the time to sit down to write this song, and when they did finally meet, it came together pretty quickly. In fact, Francine was headed down to Nashville to record Take Me To The North Pole and loved the song so much, she asked producer Neilson Hubbard if they could record the song for release in 2020. Francine invited Robert to Nashville to be there if he wanted to see the song being recorded, and after, asked if he wanted to take a stab at singing the song himself in the studio.
“Luckily, he agreed,” she recalled, “and it became clear a duet brings new meaning to the song.”
For this reason, there are two versions of “I Carry On” — the solo is a more country version with Francine’s vocals. The duet featuring Gray adds another dimension to the song, she said.
Francine is not new to dealing with adversity and finding a way to “Carry On.”
A mother of two and former federal civil servant, she is finally living her dream; she has the love of her life and the career she long denied herself. Her path through life and into songwriting has been years in the making. Although she’s made music since childhood — “I wrote my first song in 1976” — Francine 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,” she said. “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.”
Francine took a few years to work on her craft, studying, exploring and chasing her sound, until 2018, when she began working with Grammy Award-nominated producer Neilson Hubbard in Nashville, TN. She recorded her full-length album to be continued… live off the floor in six days.
The album has received critical acclaim internationally; her song “Stay” was a finalist in the 2018 International Songwriting Competition and the 2018 Canadian Songwriting Competition (Folk/Singer/Songwriter). The Austin Songwriting Group out of Texas also awarded it first place in the country category while giving first place in the singer-songwriter category to “Can’t Break Through To You.”
Francine’s 20,000-plus fans online are very happy she left her government career to pursue music full-time. She performs regularly on-line with her series “Honey In Your Coffee” and streams almost every live venue performance.
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 or another TV or Netflix series, that would be cool,” she laughed. “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.”