Antigonish, Judique to host Cormier and Gunning

Photo by Jonathan Beadle -- Dave Gunning (left) and J.P. Cormier will perform at the Judique Community Centre on December 8, then on December 13 and 14 at the Canadian Association for Community Living in Antigonish.

SYDNEY: A dynamic duo of the east coast music scene will be performing in three shows in the Strait area.

As part of a Maritime Christmas tour, Dave Gunning and J.P. Cormier will perform at the Judique Community Centre on December 8, then on December 13 and 14 they will play at the Canadian Association for Community Living (CACL) in Antigonish at 8 p.m.

Gunning and Cormier did a similar tour last year, and based on that success, decided to do it again this year with most shows sold-out, including four nights in Halifax.

“We did it last year and it was a blast,” Gunning told The Reporter. “It’s just a nice excuse to be close to home for Christmas as well.

“The shows went over really well, people were laughing and crying. We had a great run last year, so much fun that we decided to do it again.”

Although both are well established solo musicians, Gunning pointed out they’ve been playing together since 1995 and released Gunning and Cormier 2 last year. He said they are at ease playing together on stage or hanging out as friends.

“J.P. and I have been friends a long time and we love hanging out,” Gunning noted. “It’s really comfortable, I guess because we’ve been doing it together for so long. It feels like home.”

On stage, Gunning said they support each other, even though he is known more as a singer/songwriter, while Cormier is the instrumentalist.

“We just support each other,” he said. “If it’s one of my songs, he plays on it, if it’s one of his songs, I play on it. We’re up on stage together the whole night. No one leaves the stage.

“I play guitar and sing the whole night. He’s going to play guitar and sings the whole night too. He might bring his fiddle out. We both do what we do and he’ll likely do a couple of instrumentals.”

Gunning said the Strait area shows will feature a number of holiday classics.

“It’s very much a Christmas show,” Gunning said. “We do some non-Christmas songs. It’s a little more than half Christmas.”

Aside from a nice holiday vibe and playing with a friend, Gunning said it is particularly special to close the tour in his native Pictou County. That is part of the reason he and Cormier decided to tour closer to home this year.

“I tour Australia every year- and-a-half, and I remember one Christmas having to leave on Christmas Day to go to Australia for a month,” Gunning recalled. “As great of an honour that it is to tour Australia, it kind of sucked to be leaving during the holidays.”

Because audiences attend their shows knowing what to expect, Gunning added that audiences can expect a good time.

“We’ll be doing what we do, with a bit of Christmas spirit,” he added. “I know that we both love to see people laughing and having a good time; that’s something that we enjoy doing.”