Up Against The Sky

“12 albums into a storied career, acclaimed folk songsmith Dave Gunning is set to release his strongest collection of songs yet. His well-crafted material is simultaneously poetic and rooted in reality, and is delivered via emotionally eloquent vocals.” – Kerry Doole

“Dave’s new recording is gorgeous, my album of the year so far.” – CKUA, Andy Donnelly

“Really, what’s to say about Dave that hasn’t already been said? He’s the whole package. He’s an absolutely first-rate songwriter, a particularly strong guitarist as singer-songwriters go, and entertaining as hell on stage.” – Heather Kitching, Roots Music Canada

“With the expansive discography Dave Gunning’s got under his belt, he’s managed to boil folk music down to a science. Each new release tweaks and adds to the formula. His newest album, Up Against The Sky, is a shining result of years of experience. Gunning spends ten tracks perfectly capturing the human experience in all of its facets – life and love and loss. Regardless of the subject matter, Gunning excels at crafting lyrics that are simply real. He paints an image so clear that you fill as if you’re there. All of the stories and messages on this album are delivered in Gunning’s warm and comforting croon, but he’s adept at changing his tone just so, enough to completely change the feel of a song. Melodically, his range doesn’t really reach any crazy or unexpected extremes. Emotionally, there’s no stopping the depths and heights he can reach.” – Maggie McLean, theeastcoastmag.com


“Over a career now spanning 20 years and 10 albums, folk-based singer/songwriter Dave Gunning has earned multiple Canadian Folk Music and East Coast Music Awards (and a Juno nomination) for his well-crafted work. An engaging performer, he has entertained audiences in the U.S., Europe and Australia and is highly respected by his peers. New (eleventh) album Lift is shaping up as his best yet. The self-produced record has a sparse and acoustic feel, but there’s plenty of lyrical and musical variety here, with some tunes having a pro-environment message. Gunning has a very honest and big-hearted vocal style, and we expect this fine album, Lift, to add to his trophy collection.” –  newcanadianmusic.ca

 “Penguin Eggs picks for September. Another wonderful record from one of Canada’s best songwriters.” – Penguin Eggs

 “Dave Gunning’s career gets a Lift. Expect more awards on the Gunning trophy shelf for his brand new 11th album, Lift. This highly accomplished and eclectic collection is sure to please his still-growing audience at home and abroad.” – fyimusicnews.ca

“Dave Gunning delivers straight-forward acoustic gem with Lift. Gunning is certainly one of the most celebrated songwriters we’ve seen from the Maritimes…he’s joined the ranks of the very best from these parts. As I’ve said before, if you want to know about the Maritimes, get a Dave Gunning album.” – CBC Music New Brunswick

“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.” – theaureview.com

“Nova Scotia is a cool place for folk. In fact is downright cold in winter, but also has a fine folk music sensibility throughout its populace, much of which transported from Europe and of course adapted to the locale. Dave Gunning is doing his part to carry on the tradition, but with a mix of present-day sensibility in his songs that integrates a heartland North America feeling much of the time. There are some classic historical song stories and some timeless protest styled songs as well, so you get a fine mix of themes and stories here. And the vocals and music will hold your interest just as well.”  – folkworld.de

 “Gunning’s national acclaim should continue with his new album, Lift. Stellar songwriting and tasty delivery mark everything from the tale of a farmer’s journey “A Tractor,” the sea shanty “A Breaker’s Yard,” the apocalyptic tale with a train metaphor “This Changin’ Wind and the second-cousin train story song “The Red Onion” to the love songs “Love Fell In” and “To Be With You” and the life anthem that would do Colin Linden proud “Sing It Louder.” – Fredericton Daily Gleaner 

The record has a great deal to recommend it, from its heartfelt historic ballads and love songs to the warm, pared-back production style, but Gunning is especially proud of how he was able to express his feelings about the effort to convince Pictou County’s Northern Pulp mill to curb its emissions and effluent.” – Chronicle Herald

“A gifted and prolific writer, he is also a delightful entertainer with a gentle humility and a charming wit, someone who can hold an audience in the palm of his hands. His latest CD, “Lift,” is a wonderful musical mix. Over all, “Lift” is a lovely and lovable recording, certainly one of his best.” – The Cape Breton Post

 “His storytelling enthralled the audience as they hung onto every word, and it was no wonder there was a line-up for his autograph after his set; almost as long as the line for a Walkerville beer.” – Windsor Square

“It is that sense of intimacy through his writing, and his performances that makes Gunning an absolutely intriguing performer to watch and listen to.” – Newfoundland Herald

“Dave Gunning is one of Canada’s musical treasures. He is a songwriter who can be comfortably grouped with the likes of Gordon Lightfoot, Stan Rogers and Murray McLachlan. As a performer, his professional approach is engaging, humorous and above all musically compelling.” – Mike Hill, Artistic Director, Mariposa Folk Festival