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East Coast roots duo to play Okotoks stage

Debuting their second album 'Leather and Dust', Dave Gunning and J.P. Cormier play the Rotary Performing Arts Centre March 15.
J.P. Cormier and Dave Gunning are playing the Rotary Performing Arts Centre in Okotoks on March 15.

Two East Coast musicians have joined forces and are making their way to Okotoks 

Roots singer/songwriters Dave Gunning and J.P. Cormier are hitting the Rotary Performing Arts Centre (RPAC) stage March 15 with tunes off their new album, Leather and Dust. 

“We love music, we love writing music, and we love playing in front of an audience,” said Cormier, adding their friendship stretches back 30 years. 

“We’re just like brothers, all we do on the road is laugh, continually.” 

Their work, like them, is all over the map and doesn’t stay put for too long, and Cormier pointed out the East Coast is just the jumping-off point. 

“J.P. worked a lot in the (United) States years ago and has a huge bluegrass influence in his music, and of course my world was more Atlantic Canada and Canadiana, like Stan Rogers and John Allen Cameron,” Gunning said.  

“Really a mix of whatever we’ve been inspired by over the years, which is music from all over the world really – it just happens that we live in Novia Scotia, seeds of that will always be in the music.” 

Given that, the show is sure to take the audience for a ride. 

“There’s lots of funny stuff that happens, there’s lots of laughing throughout the night, and stories,” Gunning said. 

“Maybe a few tears even, there’s a wide range of emotions that we go through, we’re all experiencing it together.” 

Since their first album Two was released five years ago, Cormier said they're enjoying the continued adventure.

"Our bass player Jacob Lauzon is probably one of the best multi-instrumentalists in Canada right now,” Cormier said. “For us it’s a vacation out here (touring), we’re getting to show Jake his own country and and Dave and I are going back where we’ve been a hundred times.” 

Given the crunch on live performance in recent years, Gunning still counts his blessings. 

“After the last few years of not being able to do it regularly, it feels good to be back out and we’re not taking it for granted, that’s for sure,” Gunning said. 

“I spent a lot of time in the Okotoks area hanging out with George Canyon - he's originally from Nova Scotia, and he’s had me out riding horses in the Foothills. 

“We’re excited to be back, we love Alberta, we’ve played there a few times over the years, and we just can’t wait to be back out there.” 

The March 15 show starts at 7:30 p.m. 

Advanced copies of their new album Leather and Dust will also be available for purchase. 

For tickets and information, visit



Brent Calver

About the Author: Brent Calver

Award-winning photojournalist for the Western Wheel newspaper covering Okotoks and the Foothills region.
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