PICTOU – For Dave Gunning, there’s nothing more inspiring than an NHL lockout to make him finish writing a song about hockey.
Dave Gunning will be performing at the deCoste Centre on Saturday at 7 p.m. SUBMITTED
He started “A Game Goin’ On” seven years ago and finally felt the need to finish it last year with David Francey.
“I was a frustrated hockey fan,” Gunning said. He was sick of watching “billionaires fighting with billionaires,” and wanted to get back to the game.
“It was fun to write a song about the good ol’ fashioned love of the game.”
The Pictou folk singer said it doesn’t matter who you are – Sidney Crosby or amateur players in a small town – you play for the love of the game.
The duet was released on his album “No More Pennies” in September 2012.
It’s gaining more recognition now as one of the top 50 finalists in CBC and Hockey Night in Canada’s search for the next great hockey song.
Voting ended at midnight ET on Dec. 19 to pick the top ten.
It will be announced on Saturday at 6 p.m. ET.
“It’s been quite amazing, the support.”
Francey and Gunning never had any intention of submitting the song to the contest until someone at CBC suggested they should.
Gunning re-recorded the song by himself to a more up-tempo version in a different key for the submission. Francey was very busy with touring at the time.
If it wins, he says he’d like to re-record it again in the same tempo and key, but as a duet.
“It’s been kind of exciting,” he said. Regardless of whether it goes any further, it’s been great exposure for the track, he says.
He intends to keep playing it at his shows if its success in the Song Quest ends, and they may do a video.
He felt weird about entering the contest at first, he said, because he’s a full-time musician.
However, he said they decided there was no reason they shouldn’t enter.
With winter comes hockey, and Christmas.
Holiday shows are a staple for Dave Gunning. This year is no exception.
He takes the deCoste Centre stage on Saturday.
“It’s nice to be able to play at home,” Gunning said.
He’s been playing festive shows for several years.
“Christmas time seems to be the time of year when people want to hear music.”
He’s just getting back from a few shows in Newfoundland with the Ennis Sisters.
He has a little bit of a break before he hits the road again for a series of show in Western Canada, starting in Revelstoke, B.C.
“It’s definitely been a busy year,” he said. He estimates he’s done 200 shows this year.
He’s hoping to scale back and find a balance between touring and spending time at home with his family.
Despite the business of travelling, he says it’s been great. He’s doing more shows in the United States as well as Western Canada.
He performs at 7 p.m. on Saturday.
Ticket prices range from $25 to $28.
On Twitter: @NGNewsAmanda