The Nickelodeon folk club hosted these guitarists last night to a sold out show. This is a quaint venue and by all accounts…this act deserves a bigger arena. They are seasoned pros with decades of guitar playing experience with Dave Gunning and J.P. Cormier operating in tandum since the mid nineties. Jake Lauzon has proved to be a travelling companion producing yet more gel to the stage chemistry.
There’s so much material in addition to yet another release titled “Leather and Dust” that fan favourites “Kelly’s Mountain”, “Molly May”, and “Leaving Charlottetown” didn’t make the set list. Not only did they bring the house down but Dave Gunning’s dry humour with his soft spoke voice left some patrons in fits of laughter.
J.P.’s roots started out by winning fiddle and guitar contests in his youth. From there basic training involved acclimatizing to the fast tempo of bluegrass in the southern U.S where mandolin and banjo chops advanced in the company of the Sullivan family.
Dave Gunning is simply a work horse with melody emanating oftentimes in an octave altered from the lead playing of JP. Dave is ribbed among “String Theory” enthusiasts (weekly guitar talk show hosted by J.P) for how high he capos the guitar. The personality differential between these two is obviously broad adding to the appeal.
The guitar playing is something to behold. J.P exhibits scale mastery along the neck and utilizes open strings and altered chords for piquing interest. Then there is the dynamics and flow of a song that shows how extremely synchronized these two have become.
We don’t know Jake well yet but the word is that he’s also a multi-instrumentalist at the ready for whatever flavour needs added to a song.
The Western Canadian portion of the tour is underway and dates are posted on their web site “gunningandcormier.com”.