After winning Junos for his last two albums, it would've been understandable if David Francey had made a mediocre follow-up (hey, everyone needs to coast sometimes), but The Waking Hour is so good it borders on spooky. Enlisting Nashville stalwarts Kieran Kane, Fats Kaplin and Kevin Welch to flesh out his sparse delivery, Francey adds dimension to his excellent songwriting. Dare I say that any Will Oldham fan would dig this? The minimalist recording technique only enhances the intimacy of the songs. Whether it's a mellow picker like the title track or the groovier Tonight In My Dreams, you'll feel like you're in the same room with 'em. Francey launches The Waking Hour at Hugh's Room Saturday and Sunday (September 25 and 26).