Previously Performed in: 2017, 2016
Home is a tricky concept in our age of the global village. Reckoning with the dreams and heartbreaks of a particular place usually requires residency, history, heritage, but as more and more of us are from a multitude of places and stories, that reckoning becomes more complex. Given that, it’s fair to call Foy Vance’s music an emotional reckoning. He sings with an earnest sensibility, a truthfulness and openness that cuts and invites. So beautifully does Vance capture the heartbreak and vulnerability of the unrealized American dream that it's possible to imagine him growing up among the steel mills of Philadelphia or the coal mines of West Virginia, so his Northern Irish roots may come as a surprise.
Vance was born in Bangor, Northern Ireland, the son of a travelling church minister who, soon after his son's birth, uprooted the family for a few years to share the faith with congregations in poor churches in America's south. His music has been used in a variety of soundtracks, including Grey’s Anatomy, and he’s worked with Ed Sheeran a few times, culminating in being signed to Sheeran’s Gingerbread Man label for his third studio album The Wild Swan in 2016. Vance’s musical gifts continue to gain him greater recognition. Perhaps his greatest gift lies in his songwriter’s ability to see the complexities of identity and belonging underneath the national borders, and into the thoughts and frustrations of blue-collar workers, regardless of origin.