Dave Gunning is best defined as a master craftsman. Over the course of 23 years and 11 earlier albums, the Nova Scotian folk singer/songwriter has diligently sharpened his skills, developing into a poetic storyteller and emotionally convincing singer with few equals.
The fruits of those labours are now vividly on display in his latest collection of songs, Up Against The Sky. The relaxed and intimate feel of the record reflects 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.