Flying Cat Music is honored to present multiple award-winning Canadian singer/songwriter Dave Gunning in concert. He will be performing at the Empire State Railway Museum on Saturday, May 14, at 7:30 p.m. Doors open at 7:00. Tickets are $19 or $17 with reservations. For information or reservations email email@example.com or call 845-688-9453. The museum is located at 70 Lower High Street in Phoenicia, New York.
Dave Gunning has already earned a shelf full of music industry awards. Along with two Canadian Folk Music Awards, he has eight East Coast [Canada] Music Awards, plus a 2012 Juno Award nomination in the Roots & Traditional Solo Album of the Year category. Gunning also won the Great American Song Contest twice, in 2010 and 2014 (the latter for the Brother Sun covered instant classic “These Hands”); the 2008 Indie International Songwriting contest; and the 2005 International Acoustic Music Award. But he is perhaps most renowned for his live performances, with The Guardian saying of him “What makes Gunning so remarkable as an entertainer is his rare gift to be able to befriend the audience as a whole,” while The Newfoundland Herald notes “It is that sense of intimacy through his writing, and his performances that makes Gunning an absolutely intriguing performer to watch and listen to.”
Canadian music is a rich and diverse tapestry of sound, peopled by an extraordinary assemblage of stellar talent far deeper than the standard rotation of familiar stars that most American listeners typically discover. Though some luminaries like Joni Mitchell and Neil Young, Gordon Lightfoot and Bruce Cockburn may stand out here; when our eyes turn to Canada it is like seeing the Milky Way from an urban lawn bathed in a haze of refracted light — many a star is missed. For most Americans, Dave Gunning is among the foremost Northern Lights hidden from our view, however brightly he shines in Canada. That loss is ours, the inability to see clearly beyond our own borders. It’s as if “American” music were only known outside the States for Bob Dylan and Dolly Parton, Bruce Springsteen and Joan Baez.
Dave Gunning has been called “the next big thing in the True North of Song, an artist as compelling, as assured and attentive to every nuance of the writing process, as Lightfoot, Cockburn and Stan Rogers before him,” by the Toronto Star. Newcanadianmusic.ca says “Gunning writes like a dream, grabbing the listener with a foolscap of lines that are as tight as the planks on a fisherman`s dory and as colourful as a Newfoundland outport.” CBC [Canadian Broadcasting Company] New Brunswick describes him simply as “Defining our lives, baring our souls…” while CBC Canada calls his latest CD, 2015’s Lift, “a straight-forward acoustic gem.”
Delving further into the world of Canadian music that review goes on to say “This tells you the level of the company he keeps: You’ll find songs here written with Thom Swift, Matt Andersen, Catherine MacLellan, and Jim Dorie, the people that we all consider among the best writers on their own. There isn’t one of them who doesn’t sing the praises of Dave Gunning.” Cashbox Magazine Canada expands on that theme, stating “Eleven albums in, Dave Gunning has become a truly masterful songwriter, one who has earned real peer respect from such Canadian folk songwriting legends as Ron Hynes, David Francey, and James Keelaghan.”
But to call Dave Gunning a superb songwriter alone seriously underestimates his strengths as a performer who consistently delights his audiences, as this account from The AU Review of a Sydney, Australia performance perfectly captures “Gunning’s famed practice of incorporating storytelling into his set was a treat, as it allowed the audience to connect very strongly to his music: every song in his set was introduced with the tale of what had inspired it… His set was impeccable, and the energy he drew from the audience went straight into his performance; he was constantly in motion, whether it was strumming his guitar softly as he spoke, or stamping his foot while he played. We were charmed.”
It is the power of his live performance that won Dave Gunning the title for Concert of the Year from LiveIreland.com for his 2006 performance at Milwaukee Irish Fest. Gunning has been lauded as a roots, genre-bending artist, with major folk and country strands in his repertoire. Additionally, his music clearly exhibits strong Celtic influences. His multi-award winning 2011 release, A tribute to John Allan Cameron, showcases that side of his music with seventeen superb and heart felt homages to the late Canadian Celtic great.
Eric Thom, who writes for Blues Revue and Sing Out in the United States, Maverick in the United Kingdom, and Penguin Eggs and Roots Music Canada, sums up Dave Gunning’s overall appeal well with this tribute to him “Shy, self-deprecating and hilarious in his low-key way, he is instantly larger-than-life in his ability to tell a story, to arouse a flood of emotion through his colorful descriptions of everyday life and in his ability to infuse a sense of history through material which demonstrates a love for common people.”
Join us for what promises to be a very memorable evening of great stories and song.