Singer/ Songwriter Dave Gunning
Pictou, Nova Scotia native and folk singer Dave Gunning continues to impress and delight both music critics and fans across the country with the release of his latest CD, ‘We’re All Leaving‘ . The album, Gunning’s seventh release (and many say, his best), is a a beautifully produced and polished compilation of 11 original songs he co-wrote with fellow Nova Scotian, Jamie Robinson and others, including Rose Cousins, Matt Anderson and David Francey. The collection includes the title song, ‘We’re All Leaving’ and other soon-to-be roots favourites, ‘There’s A Song in There’ and the CD single, ‘Made on a Monday’ (which has received considerable air play on radio stations across Atlantic Canada).
The first song on the CD, Smith’s Rock, could easily be a single. The song is a lively, country rock tribute to the back breaking work of the early settlers to Pictou County, who from “sun up to sun down” cleared the land of trees and roots for the harvests of future generations. Dave Gunning and co-writers, Jamie Robinson and John Meir were inspired by the story of Smith’s Rock, a well-known landmark at Stonehame Chalets. A plaque near the famous rock tells the story of the untimely death of Howard Smith, a local farmer who was killed as he attempted to blast the huge boulder from his land on Fitzpatrick Mountain.
“The next day, July 14th, 1938, his brother stopped by to see him but only found the door open to his little cottage and some of Howard’s blood-stained clothes on his bed. A search party was conducted and Howard’s body was found a short distance from his barn. This is the rock that tragically took Howard’s life and is a symbol of the hardships many faced during these times. It has been placed here in his memory and the memory of all of those who toiled over this land.”
Jeff Gunn, a fifth generation farmer in the region and Manager of Stonehame Lodge and Chalets says he was delighted to see Smith’s Rock included among songs on Gunning’s new CD. “I love the song and the story it tells. And as you might expect, it’s my personal favourite.”
Dave Gunning (and Jamie Robinson) will perform Smith’s Rock and other songs from the MacKenzie Room at Stonehame Lodge and Chalets on December 20th. The venue, on Fitzpatrick Mountain, is not far from Smith’s Rock on the Stonehame property. The live concert will include a traditional Christmas dinner with all the “fixins”, homemade dessert (warm apple crisp with Scotsburn ice cream), and tea or coffee.
Dave Gunning released his first CD in 1997. Since then, he has garnered six Music Nova Scotia Awards and three East Coast Music Awards. He plans to release a CD dedicated to the music of John Allen Cameron over the next several months.