“Dave Gunning is an artist as compelling, as assured and attentive to every nuance of the writing process as Lightfoot, Coburn and Stan Rogers before him.”
-- Greg Quill, The Toronto Star
Dave Gunning is best defined as a master craftsman. Over the course of 23 years, 12 albums, a Juno Award Nomination, multiple Canadian Folk Music Awards and countless Music Nova Scotia Awads, the Nova Scotian folk singer/songwriter has diligently sharpened his skills, developing into a poetic storyteller and emotionally convincing singer with few equals.
There are stories that wash over you like a tide, and then there are stories that grab you by the heart. Dave Gunning has made a point of finding the latter and wrapping them up in song since he broke upon the East Coast music scene in Canada back in 1997. The Pictou County, Nova Scotia born and bred singer-songwriter and working class hero has built up from humble beginnings to a point where his name is regularly included in conversation with artists such as David Francey, James Keelaghan, Ron Hynes, Stan Rogers, Bruce Cockburn and Gordon Lightfoot. Writing from a sonic menu that includes flavours of Irish, Scottish, French Acadian, folk and country musical styles, Dave Gunning transcends genre with songs that fill your senses and touch your soul.
His latest album, Up Against The Sky has a relaxed and intimate feel thatreflects its method of creation. "I focused a lot on tones and the vibe, rather than strategic parts on this one. Many of these tunes were sung and played at the same time, and that prevented me from being able to go back and edit, forcing a little more honesty."
Along with richly-deserved peer respect, Dave Gunning has earned a shelf full of music industry honours. That tally currently stands at eight East Coast Music Awards and two Canadian Folk Music Awards, plus a 2012 Juno Award nomination in the Roots & Traditional Solo Album of the Year category for his album … a tribute to John Allan Cameron, a compelling homage to another of Dave’s Maritime musical heroes.
His songwriting skill has also been internationally recognized, with tunes scoring victories and high placings in major international songwriting competitions. As a fervent hockey fan, Dave was also thrilled to win the CBC’s hotly-contested Hockey Night In Canada Song Quest in 2014 with “A Game Goin’ On”, a co-write with David Francey. Gunning has also remained in demand as a producer working with many artists.
For now, though, his concentrated focus is on Up Against The Sky. The record, and all that's yet to come from this compelling artist, can be looked forward to with great anticipation.
The Upstairs Lounge is a licensed restaurant and bar, doors open at 6 pm for dinner service, the concert starts at 7:30 pm. Please note this is a listeneing venue.