Pictou County native Dave Gunning is gearing up for another gig with Bruce Guthro’s Songwriter Circle.
He’ll be in the city for a two-night engagement at the Casino Nova Scotia with friends Guthro, David Francey and JP Cormier.
“I’ve done dozens of these over the years. I love different formats like this, and these circles. It’s just a great atmosphere,” he said.
“Doing this with Bruce is amazing. We all do these and corporate ones too. It’s always so much fun, and there’s never one like the others.”
He sees the spontaneity and inspiration that come up in these events as a way to feed off other artists and work.
“People really seem to enjoy these things, and there’s this feeling of excitement in the room,” he said. “Hearing stories, songs and getting a window into what inspires us is something people really latch onto.”
Heading back to Halifax March 15 & 16 will be a nice reprieve for Gunning, set to take up the stage at the Schooner Room.
“I do 160 dates a year, and most of them are outside the Maritimes. I joke that I leave my care at the Halifax airport more than I do in my driveway,” he said.
“I travel to other parts of Canada, the U.S., the U.K., and I’ve done three tours of Australia. Travel is a constant in my life, but I do love living in the country.”
Gunning says the folk scene in the Maritimes is hospitable for him.
“We look at events like Stanfest and Hullabaloo, and there’s so much support. The folk scene is so vibrant in Atlantic Canada, and things seem to have just gotten better over the last 20 years,” he said.
But the other component that excites Gunning is the songwriting he gets to do.
“That’s what gives me my voice, and writing is one of the things that makes us unique as artists. We choose what to write about, and what goes in our catalogue,” he said.
“I have written a ton, about my hometown, things that happened on my travels, and so much more. It’s been a huge focus.”
Gunning’s new album, Up Against The Sky, came out March 8, and represented a nice change for him.
“I got to have a ton of fun recording, and partially that’s because there was no pressure or stress. I played and sang and let myself mess up. I recorded 14 songs,” he said.
“I listened back to everything, added strings to some cuts, had some people help, and decided to release it. I’m happy with it, and I hope people enjoy it.”
Catch Gunning, along with David Francey and JP Cormier at Bruce Guthro’s Songwriter Circle on March 15 & 16.
It’s a 19+ event, the doors open at 7:15 p.m. each night and the show is at 8 p.m. Tickets are $52 for the Casino NS show.
More information can be found online.