Music by David Nunn – RACC January 2023 Member of the Month
How did you get your start in music and what inspired you to be a guitarist?
My brother and I and my best friend had a rock trio in sixth grade. We had an excellent music teacher in middle school who fueled my love of music. My mother and grandmother were also excellent pianists and we always had quality music playing in the house. Plus, I had a superb music theory teacher in high school, and a fantastic jazz band that I really enjoyed playing in. I actually was considering going to Berklee College of Music in Boston, one of the top schools for guitar training, but I chickened out and took a lacrosse scholarship instead and studied business at The University of Virginia. I often wonder where my path would have led if I focused on music earlier in my career. I actually only started playing music full time around 2014, after Adam Dubroff suggested I meet some people in Telluride and start playing for Telski and local hotels. I’ve probably played over 1,000 gigs since then.
How would you describe your style and your repertoire?
My love is blues, jazz and guitar-centric blues-rock like Eric Clapton, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Duane Allman. When I was in 6th grade, a high school friend of mine had an amazing band playing note for note early Allman Brothers. When I heard that blues-rock fused with jazz drumming, I was hooked. The real joy for me is improvisation and seeing where the music takes me.
Do you always play solo?
I usually play solo and have worked hard to add looping and digital drumming beats to my performances. It gives me a lot of versatility so I can lay down rhythm tracks then solo on top of that. I always play “in the moment” though and everything is done live without any pre-set background tracks. I have over 900 songs on the iPad as accompaniment, but never have a formal set list. I let the moment present itself and see what tunes I’m inspired to play based on the venue and the audience.
I connected with Kenny Mihelich and Eddie Boiani a few years ago, and we formed a guitar-bass-drums trio called David Nunn & The Bad Habits. The name started as a joke since my last name is Nunn, but it stuck. We’ve had a lot of fun playing together, focusing on guitar-oriented blues rock like Eric Clapton, ZZ Top, Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Allman Brothers and classic rock tunes, mostly from the ‘60s and ‘70s. It’s “old school” but it’s what I love.
I’ve also started playing with Kenny on cello and formed a guitar-cello duo we call KindaBlues. It’s a fun collaboration and gives us some versatility to play smaller intimate events and venues. We recently played in Montrose at Bluecorn Café – a wonderful space to perform in.
What types of venues and events do you perform at?
I play solo every Wednesday at The Chipeta Lodge. I also perform often at San Juan Brews, Silver Basin Brewing and Storm King Distilling in Montrose, as well as The Peaks in Telluride, and several other local restaurants and hotels. We’ve also had success booking private events in Telluride with the trio. I was playing six days a week when COVID hit, but I’ve backed that down considerably post COVID to about two or three gigs a week. I focus on Montrose, Ouray and San Miguel counties. At this point in my life, I really don’t want to travel overnight to perform, or drive back home in the middle of the night.
What are you up to this winter?
I’m still playing regularly at The Chipeta Lodge, plus a few gigs in Telluride. The summer season is busy, especially with the band, but that slows down considerably during the winter.
Do you have any other news to share?
I’m working on a CD and will be recording at a friend’s studio up on Log Hill. I keep talking about it, but 2023 is the year to actually do it. I have several dozen original songs now, and I find myself writing more and more. I want to capture the songs on a quality recording before they dissipate. I am usually inspired to write a tune, then lose interest before I actually have the discipline to finish it. I’m working on that!
What do you value from being a Ridgway Chamber member?
We’re in a small community, and I think it’s important for all businesses to connect with each other. There’s synergy there, knowing locals and their businesses. There are a lot of talented people in Ridgway with fascinating backgrounds. Let’s support each other.