kim dunn
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kim dunn

Halifax, Canada | Established. Jan 01, 2016 | SELF | AFM

Halifax, Canada | SELF | AFM
Established on Jan, 2016
Solo Americana Singer/Songwriter


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"A Job Well Dunn"

When you go to concert, you want to hear the star: Bruce Guthro, Matt Minglewood, Rita MacNeil, or whomever. Most people won’t give a thought to anyone else onstage, but these singers make music with the help of their band.
If you looked to the left of the stage with all three of these artists, chances are the keyboard player would be Kim Dunn. From the Northside, his ability with any style of music has made him one of the hardest working sidemen in the business.
Kim also has a reputation among his fellow musicians as a talented singer and gifted songwriter and he has put those skills to use with his first solo recording, Take This Hammer. If you’re looking for jazz, it’s there. If you want some solid blues, that’s there as well, along with hints of country. There’s some solo singer-songwriter, some ballads, some pop — something for everyone, all done with Kim’s skillful crafting and gracefully presented with his wonderfully melodic voice.
The production is top-notch, the voices mixing together as one. And they are one voice as Kim does ALL vocals except for one short chorus on one of the dozen songs. And while he plays a great many instruments, he doesn’t leave it all to chance as he surrounds himself with some of the best in the business: Jamie Robinson, Chris Corrigan, Geoff Arsenault, Chris Luedecke, just to name a few.
I really like the opening and closing cuts on this CD. Backroads of Heaven has this wonderful melody with piano and banjo woven together and moving in and out, while Good Night is this quick little children’s ditty with a wonderful surprise that just goes on and on with Kim and the rest of the musicians clearly having fun. Perhaps my favourite song is his interpretation of Lennon & McCartney’s Blackbird, a new arrangement of a familiar standard.
Take This Hammer likely won’t be a CD that will get great chunks of airplay on mainstream radio but Kim Dunn has given us something that will be listened to and enjoyed by his ever-expanding list of fans for years to come.
This past weekend I spent some time at the Sydney Curling Club, enjoying some good (and bad) action on the ice, all for a great cause. It was the Ann Terry Curl for Cancer, an annual fundraiser that added over $11,000 to the coffers of the Cape Breton Regional Hospital Cancer Centre.
One of the things that I always enjoy about that event is the entertainment at the followup banquet. For many years The Men of the Deeps have been the featured act, their contribution as a way of supporting both the cause and the person it was named for. Ann Terry, a renowned former broadcaster and former Devco employee, was instrumental in supporting the miner’s chorus in its early years.
The Men of the Deeps, arriving in their usual dramatic fashion, gave the audience a full set with almost an hour’s worth of music. This was an evening of the Men of the Deeps at their best, and for a good cause as well.
The Ultimate Band wrapped up in style last week. There are so many talented young performers out there that it was difficult to make a decision. When the dust settled, Broadstreet Breakdown took top honours.
Tonight the Northern Yacht Club in North Sydney is the site of the Songwriters Circle of Hope, a fundraiser for the Cape Breton Regional Hospital Cancer Centre. Hosted by Alton MacKinnon, this year’s event will include Rob Barrie, Chad Tetford and Troy Young.
Saturday night Dwayne Cote, Howie MacDonald and Joel Chiasson will be playing for the dance at the Cedars Club.
Friday, the play In Pink is onstage for two shows at the Savoy.

Dan MacDonald is a former Inverness County resident who now resides in the Sydney area. Involved in the Cape Breton music scene for more than 20 years, he operates his own company, Creignish Hills Entertainment. Contact him at
- The Cape Breton Post

"Longtime musician Dunn releases first solo CD"

It’s conceivable I’ve seen Kim Dunn perform more than almost any other East Coast musician, as the go-to man on keyboards for artists like Matt Minglewood, Rita MacNeil and Bruce Guthro.

But when I heard the North Sydney native take the spotlight at the recent Tunes for Troubled Times concert at the Rebecca Cohn, to sing the Great Depression-era pop standard No Love, No Nothing, it was something of a revelation. His soft, understated croon brought the decades-old song to life with just the right mix of blues and soul, making me think that Dunn had been hiding his light under a bushel for far too long.

As luck would have it, Dunn was just about to turn up the dimmer switch, with the release of his first CD Take This Hammer; collecting eight originals and collaborations plus covers ranging from the Beatles and Sam Cooke to folk-blues legend Leadbelly on the title track.

Take This Hammer works on any number of levels as a title, including the felt hammers inside a piano that are the objects of attack when Dunn sits down to play or compose, and Leadbelly’s lyrics about working on the railroad for a dollar a day, analogous to the busy musician’s earliest professional days scrambling for gigs to make ends meet.

“I get some funny reactions to the title,” grins Dunn, seated in the converted train station of the Bike and Bean Café near his home in Tantallon. “I think Guthro actually suggested it in the first place, when we were driving down the road on the way to a gig.

“Some people die laughing, like they take … I don’t know, something sexual from it. When I told Rita what I was going to call it, she said, ‘No you’re not!’ But I didn’t know what to call it; I thought of (song titles like) Life’s Looking Back, but that seemed too self-absorbed, and Backroads of Heaven might make some people think it’s a country record or a gospel record. But it didn’t take too much work for Bruce to convince me.”

In fact it’s Guthro encouraging Dunn to perform some of his new songs tonight at St. F.X. University’s Chapel Auditorium in Antigonish, in a Songwriters’ Circle concert with Dave Gunning and Jessica Rhaye at 8 p.m. Solo performances have been rare in a life filled with music, starting on that day in Grade 3 when nascent piano man wouldn’t leave the house for school until he’d figured out When the Saints Go Marching In on the family upright, using one finger on the keys.

Eventually he found himself playing in high school bands, inspired by local heroes like Minglewood, Sam Moon and Buddy and the Boys. “A lot of the musicians in those bands came from North Sydney. All dropouts,” he adds with a laugh. “I made sure I got my education.”

After university, Dunn moved to Halifax in the early ’90s and eventually took the keyboard slot in Minglewood’s band which was previously filled by his brother Paul. Over the years he’d become a favourite of Cape Breton singer-songwriters like MacNeil, Guthro, Jimmy Rankin and Gordie Sampson, both for his innate skill on piano and organ and a sweet, textured voice that added unbeatable harmony. But songwriting was a talent he managed to keep to himself.

“I’ve always been writing songs, but I don’t know if I’ve had it easy with it, or even still if I’ve really found my niche,” he says. “I’ve written a lot of songs that I can see other people doing.

“With this record, about 70 per cent of it came together in the last couple of years, and I realized I might have something here. I didn’t want to go into a studio without feeling that, like I was trying to put a square peg into a round hole and contriving it too much.”

The word “contrived” doesn’t come to mind listening to Take This Hammer. Dunn is unforced and natural on the gospel ballad Backroads of Heaven, with Old Man Luedecke’s banjo urging him on, while Shine — co-written with brother Paul — is a tender sigh over missing a loved one when life on the road gets in the way.

“It’s not something that I do every day of my life, I still don’t think of myself as a songwriter,” says Dunn, who will be back on the road with MacNeil in May. “The people who really influenced me come more from a playing standpoint, because that’s what I’ve been doing most of my life, learning how to play.

“I really don’t know where the influence to write songs came from; I listen to a lot of everything. Certainly the Beatles, Randy Newman . . . I’m a huge Steely Dan fan. . . . I’d love to be able to write a song like Peter Gabriel, but if I spent my time wishing that, I’d never get around to writing these songs.”

For more on Kim Dunn’s new music, visit For tonight’s Chapel Auditorium show, part of the Music on Main series, tickets are $25, available at Brendan’s Fairway in Antigonish or by phone at 735-2658. - The Chronicle Herald


• Kim, thanks for the fantastic House Concert on Wednesday!! It left the room flying high from the rich sounds and lyrics of your music. You are a true artist and it was such a pleasure to meet you and host your show. You have definitely won over a following here in Vancouver!! –come back soon! ,,,Jelena Putnik, concert host – Vancouver...Feb/2013

• ‘A fun and engaging ‘House Concert Evening’ as Kim Dunn thoroughly entertained a sold out, welcoming Williams Lake crowd at Juniper Trails Bed & Breakfast – great energy, fantastic musicianship, lots of smiles! Hopefully Kim will make it back out our way again sometime soon’ – Steve Harkies, Concert Host, Williams Lake....Feb/2013

• “ a region where the standard of local recordings is very high, Kim Dunn’s Take This Hammer stands out...well crafted songs, delivered with confidence and class...first rate all the way.” – Stan Carew – host of Weekend Mornings – CBC radio

• “Kim’s show at The Carleton blew everyone away. Great songs, beautifully played. This is a seasoned musician at the top of his game.” Geoff D’Eon, Pilot Light Productions. -


"Take This Hammer" 2009



Kim Dunn has been working on a successful music career for 30 years now,with
a brief four year reprieve studying Jazz at ST. FX.

Born and raised in North Sydney, Nova Scotia, on beautiful Cape Breton Island, he has worked with the who’s who of East coast artists including, Rita
MacNeil, Bruce Guthro, Matt Minglewood, Jimmy Rankin, Lennie Gallant,
David Myles, Jill Barber, Dave Gunning, George Canyon, and continues
to do so.

With an ECMA to his credit, recipient of the first MUSICIAN SPECIAL ACHEIVEMENT AWARD,
Dunn has garnered much respect and demand for his abilities as sideman,
and has producing, writing, and arranging credits as well.

After playing on countless cd’s of other artists, Kim has brought his
songwriting, and singing to the foreground with his first solo project, ‘Take
This Hammer’. His biggest asset has always been versatility and he
has implemented this feature prominently on this self-produced debut CD.

Personal highlights include having had the chance to meet and work with Alison Krauss,
Peter Gzowski, Philip Glass, and performing at the Montreal Jazz Festival.

Kim has traveled and performed in the United States, Holland, Germany, Switzerland,
and has toured extensively throughout Canada. His immediate plans for the future
involve doing more shows of his own, but plans to remain actively involved and
busy with his other musical ties as well.