He is rather humble about his long musical career, one that has spanned decades. But in between chronicling the years, one hears an artist’s passion.
David Dunn of Mattapoisett has been involved in music his whole life. From playing in school bands, throughout his college years and later forming groups and releasing records that have received warm reception, Dunn’s inner artist has not rested. The beat goes on.
While in college and for some years afterwards, Dunn was in a band that played throughout the greater Boston area, New England and New York City while also working ‘regular’ jobs to help pay the bills. That group, named ‘Machinery Hall’, was honored as the Best Modern Rock Band in Boston in the mid-1990s. The group released several songs, and one titled “Herd” reached number one on the charts – in of all places, Scotland. Dunn chuckled as he shared what he called “ancient history” with me. But success is always sweet, and he seemed to enjoy taking me down memory lane.
He said that by 1996 the band had pretty much run its course. Musing at the time, “I don’t think I’m having fun right now,” he closed that chapter and opened another. Dunn married Diana, whose unfailing support he has always enjoyed, and they returned to Mattapoisett from Boston, settled down and started their family. They have one son, Griffin, who attends ORRHS. Not surprisingly, however, the music – his music – is just as important to him now as it was back in the day.
The group that Dunn is a part of today goes by the name ‘Huxster’ and is comprised of musicians he has known for years. On March 15, Dunn, along with fellow Huxter member Paul Amenta and joined by Dick Derry, performed at the Mattapoisett Congregational Church. This fund raising concert was a real treat for those in attendance and demonstrated the wide range of string instruments Dunn deftly handles. They performed original scores and covered a few well known rock tunes to the delight of the audience.
Huxster has released two albums and is finishing up a third that is scheduled to come out in two months. This third effort is yet to be titled, but it is a collaborative work, Dunn said, with all the band members writing songs. He continued that this new collection of songs is “straight on” rock “like the 70s sound.” Dunn said that the music will be mixed by sound engineer Paul Hager, another pal from his Boston days. Hager now lives and works in Los Angeles and is currently completing sessions with Miley Cyrus. Thanks to technology, Dunn’s group will simply upload the locally recorded tracks, and Hager will perform his mixing magic at his west coast studio. Once the album is finished, Dunn said they will use a record promoter to get the album distributed internationally. He hopes to take the music on the road with a few gigs sprinkled here and there for a week or two if the demand warrants it, which, of course, is what every pro hopes for.
While waiting for the release of his new album, Dunn is also looking forward to traveling with fellow church members this coming summer. The church will take books to children in financially improvised areas. The missionary members are heading to northern Georgia in the Appalachian Mountains where books will be delivered to children who otherwise do not have an opportunity to experience the simple pleasure of owning a book. I hope he takes a guitar along with him. If he does, those kids may find inspiration and come to understand that dreams are worth pursuing.
By Marilou Newell