This year is starting out to be a positive one, on many fronts.
For favourite Pictou County musician Dave Gunning, it’s starting with five folk award nominations for his album, Up Against the Sky.
The album is a 2020 Canadian Folk Music Awards nominee for: Contemporary Album of the Year, Songwriter of the Year, Contemporary Singer of the Year and Solo Artist of the Year. In addition, his song All That’s Yet to Come is nominated as song of the year for the 2020 International Folk Music Awards.
According to Gunning’s website, the album was recorded in Gunning’s home studio and released in 2019, the sessions 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 strings on four tracks.
Eight of the 10 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.
The album’s cover art was taken by longtime friend and fellow Pictou County recording artist George Canyon.