“There's a song in there somewhere," sings Dave Gunning optimistically on his seventh album We're All Leaving, but the Pictou County, Nova Scotia performer is being far too modest.
Scoring three 2010 East Coast Music Award Nominations for Songwriter, Male Solo Recording and FACTOR Recording of the Year, and recently named as a Finalist in the Great American Song Contest and International Songwriting Competition for his song, Before The Morning Sun (co-written by James Keelaghan), Gunning is on the move.
Since debuting with Lost Tracks in 1997, Dave has proven he can find a song just about anywhere–in childhood memories, local legends and the everyday lives of those around him–and turn it into something profound, honest and deeply moving.
Dave’s ability to tell a story in song has resulted in six Music Nova Scotia Awards and three East Coast Music Awards (2008 Folk Recording, Male Artist of the Year for House For Sale, 2005 Folk Recording, Two-Bit World), rousing welcomes from crowds at festivals and venues on both sides of the Atlantic and the admiration of Canada's finest composers, a number of whom have become collaborators on We're All Leaving.
His previous award-winning collaboration, House for Sale's Hard Workin’ Hands with master Newfoundland’s song craftsman Ron Hynes, was named First Place Winner in the folk category in the 2008 Indie International Songwriting Contest and was honored as a Finalist in the USA Songwriting Competition and the John Lennon Song Contest. His song, Cowboy’s Dream co-written with Canadian country star George Canyon was also honored as a Finalist in the International Songwriting Competition. Not only does Gunning work with the best, his honest approach to painting melodic pictures brings out the best in those he works with.
On We're All Leaving, James Keelaghan, David Francey and Matt Andersen are among the co-writers who've helped to make every track a well-polished vignette, as well as the musician Dave names as his MVP, guitarist Jamie Robinson, whose resume runs from accompanying Jimmy Rankin's modern folk ballads to the globe-spanning pop/rock of Halifax's MIR. Playing guitar, mandolin and piano, Robinson joined an all-star East Coast ensemble in bringing We're All Leaving's songs to life, including keyboardist Kim Dunn, drummer Adam Dowling and bassists Jamie Gatti and Bruce Dixon, with some vocal assistance from Bruce Guthro and Rose Cousins. The versatile guitarist's ability to mesh modern and traditional sounds was a perfect match for Gunning's desire to take a few steps forward on We're All Leaving, weaving together a bigger story arc of the gradual exodus from the country to urban environments.
A veteran performer, Dave has toured extensively both solo and with his band, performing to sold-out venues, festivals, house concerts and theatres throughout Canada, the U.S., the U.K. and Denmark. He has shared the stage with good friend and country star George Canyon (on his Christmas tours 2008, 2006, and 2005) and toured with Canadian icons, Ron Hynes, Stephen Fearing, John Allan Cameron and Stompin’ Tom Connors.
To commemorate and celebrate their 2008 signature tour, Dave and George released their collaborative Christmas CD, fittingly titled Candles & Evergreens, which follows Gunning’s first seasonal release titled Dave Gunning Christmas, featuring the popular original holiday favorite Daddy’s Beer, which has become a holiday hit with fans and country radio programmers.
Engaging and charismatic, Dave's magnetic gift of captivating audiences by creating a bond through down-to-earth details, homespun humour and seasoned musicianship will be in full display as he continues to tour in support of the latest chapter of a career heading for international recognition: We’re All Leaving.
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