Occurs on Friday September 6 2019

Approximate running time: 2 hours


Highland Arts Theatre
40 Bentinck Street
Sydney NS B1P 1G2

Performance Notes

× Highland Arts Theatre & The Coast 89.7 Presents Dave Gunning CD/Vinyl Release: "Up Against The Sky"

Tickets: $32.00 Taxes & Service Included.

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."

The sessions in Dave's home studio were co-produced by Gunning and Jamie Robinson. Gunning contributed the bulk of the instrumentation, including all the bass parts and even drums on every song but one. Musical guests include his close musical comrade J.P. Cormier on fiddle on "Celebrate The Crop," and Andrew Alcorn on horns on "In The Time I Was Away", while the Atlantic String Machine added subtle yet atmospheric strings on four tracks.

Eight of the ten songs here are co-writes, with Dave's writing partners including Jamie Robinson, Ray Stewart, Thom Swift, Paul McKenna, and Mark Lang. The two solo compositions are "The Loyal Fisherman," an epic ballad of love and betrayal, and "Celebrate The Crop," a lovely fiddle-fuelled celebration of the simple pleasures of the farming life "everyone's coming over and we'll share all that we've got.”

The first single taken from the album is "In The Time I Was Away," a gently reflective look at the changes wrought by absence. "When you’re away from home for large chunks of time on a regular basis you miss things that have happened. Sometimes they’re big things and sometimes they’re the little things," says Dave. Written with Mark Lang, it is punctuated by a horns accompaniment that shows Gunning's ability to add unconventional yet effective musical touches to his material.

There’s also a philosophical feel to "All That's Yet To Come," the opening track on Up Against The Sky, and another highlight of an album devoid of lowlights. It faces the future with an optimistic tone - "I'm proud of the past and all that's yet to come.”

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