The Troubs

Tupelo… The birthplace of Elvis. The subject of a Van Morrison song. A specialty honey… sweet, uncommonly good.

Located in Londonderry, New Hampshire, Tupelo Music Hall presents talented nationally-recognized musicians who perform in a friendly, relaxed and attractive setting in a building that formerly housed an antiques shop. The hall is an intimate venue with flexible seating arrangements and a whole lot of charm.

The readers of New Hampshire Magazine voted Tupelo the best small venue in the state for the last six years. Artists such as George Winston, Suzanne Vega, and Arlo Guthrie have performed at the hall, which is known for its intimate size and superior acoustics.

The venue seats 240 people with theater-style seating and 132 with cabaret seating.

Light food and soft drinks are available, and patrons are allowed to bring in their own beer or wine for a minimal fee.

Strung-Out Troubadours featuring Rik Emmett and Dave Dunlop
Poor David’s Pub
Dallas, Texas
Nov. 20, 2009
By A. Lee Graham


“Music holds the secret, to know it can make you whole”
~ Rik Emmett, Hold on ~


Those words are manna from heaven for Triumph fans. Summoned to Dallas for a rare Rik Emmett appearance, a small-but-dedicated crowd sang along as the Triumph legend brought smiles and laughter to the faces of everyone.

The occasion was the latest stop by the Strung-Out Troubadours, Emmett’s partnership with fellow guitarist Dave Dunlop that mixes acoustic guitar acumen with between-song banter that could hold its own even without music.

Like a rocked-up Smothers Brothers, Emmett and Dunlop tore through fiery flamenco, caressed smooth jazz licks and revisited some vintage Triumph tunes.

“Hold On,” “Ordinary Man” and “Lay It On The Line” whisked fans back to the enorno-domes of yesteryear as they sang along to every line. The only missing ingredient were Bic lighters — oh, and a certain herb.

“Fritos, Doritos,” laughed Emmett, remembering band mates Gil Moore and Mike Levine leaving the stage and the guitarist shrouded in a “laser cone” and a cloud of marijuana smoke.

“I’d get the munchies,” Emmett laughed, recalling his acoustic solo spot on Triumph tours.

The Dallas crowd enjoyed a reinvention of that sound with “Midsummer’s Daydream,” rearranged for Dunlop and Emmett to perform. Joking that anyone can play the intro — and has on numerous YouTube clips — Emmett separated the men from the boys by capturing the nuances, tones and sheer musicianship that make the composition such a delight.

Judging from several conversations throughout the room, many in attendance were unaware of Emmett’s post-Triumph activity. And that’s a shame, for Absolutely, Spiral Notebook and other solo discs offer quality music. So does his flamenco activity with Pavlo and Oscar Lopez. And lest we forget Airtime, the hard rockin’ project that scored a hit with Triumph fans in 2007.

And the streak continues this year as Emmett and Dunlop bring seasoned showmanship and sidesplitting hilarity to nightclub stages. For all his consummate musicianship, Emmett could coast on the comedy alone.

Bemoaning middle-age body aches, poking fun at “silly hairdos” of the ‘80s and fearing optic damage from a guitar pedal board brought laughs from the audience.

Perhaps no moment confirmed their dedication more than “Ordinary Man.” On the Allied Forces album, the lyric “That’s the only answer” ends with “answer” echoing into the next verse. Not on this night. At Poor David’s Pub, the audience provided its own echo!

Emmett smiled as his fans shouted the word “answer,” confirming Triumph’s place in their rock ‘n’ roll hearts.

Emmett and Dunlop rewarded that faith by hanging out after the show, signing autographs and posing for photos. When I mentioned that Reunion Arena had been demolished only days before the gig, Emmett instantly recalled the venue where Dallas enjoyed Triumph’s Allied Forces, Never Surrender, Thunder Seven and Sport of Kings tours.

Poor David’s Pub itself moved since Emmett’s last gig at the venue, but one thing cannot be razed or relocated: the music pulsing within the hearts of Rik Emmett fans. They should (warning: Triumph pun ahead) follow their hearts and not miss the Strung-Out Troubadours.

And don’t miss Andy Schmidt, the former Stir front man whose songwriting chops and powerhouse vocals opens the show.

Originally posted by the fine folks at:
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Originally posted Nov. 7 2009
Written by Tracey Lukasik

Dave Dunlop

Photo courtesy had the opportunity to chat with Dave Dunlop, an accomplished guitar player, who has served as the long-time counterpart to Rik Emmett of the 80’s Canadian trio, Triumph.

Dave has devoted 17 years to the music business as a guitarist, songwriter and instructor. His resume includes playing lead guitar and writing with the Canadian band, The Full Nine and later touring and recording with Emmett on a variety of projects including the Rik Emmett Band, a pair of Triumph reunion gigs in 2008, and their most recent project, The Strung-Out Troubadours, for which both have received industry accolades.

He is enjoying continued success with the Troub’s second studio release entitled “Push & Pull,” that recently saw three of it’s songs crack the Canadian jazz top 30 chart. We figured it was high time to formally introduce you to this talented and comedic performer who definitely knows his way around a 6-string.
Enter, Dave Dunlop…

TRACEY: Tell us about your background; at what age did you discover the guitar? Did you take lessons or are you self-taught?

DAVE: Well, I’m an Army brat really. My Dad was in the Military, so we moved every three years. We lived in Belgium and pretty much every province in Canada. In grade 7, I met a guy who needed a drummer, so I went to his place to jam, and as soon as I saw the guitar in the corner and played it, that was it. I ran home and told my mom that I wanted a guitar and some lessons. I took classical lessons for a few years, and eventually went to Humber College to study jazz.

TRACEY: Recall your earliest experience performing live.

DAVE: Referring to the previous story; my first gig…2 months after meeting the dude who “needed a drummer,” well, we found another drummer, my friend played bass and I played guitar at a battle of the bands at my junior high school. Well, we won the friggin’ thing! My most vivid memory (remember, it’s grade 7) is my Dad coming up on stage in his military outfit to congratulate me.

TRACEY: Who are your influences?

DAVE: Influences…oh jeez! In order of when I discovered them? Ace Frehley, Elton John, Pete Townshend, Eddie Van Halen, Rik Emmett, Mike Stern, Miles Davis, Bruce Springsteen, King’s X, and John Scofield. I’m sure I’m forgetting lots, but you get the idea.

TRACEY: How did you cross paths with Rik Emmett?

DAVE: I was on the faculty of a workshop and he was guest artist. We jammed, it was cool, and at the time he needed a backup band ’cause his guys were off doing some theater thing. That was in 1996…yikes…time flies!

TRACEY: Tell us about your gear (all guitar players LOVE that question).

DAVE: I think I’m one of the few guitar players that is really not that passionate about the gear. I NEVER get my guitars set up…I just play ’em as they are and ( I hardly ever change strings). I confess to adoring my Strat that I’ve had for 17 years…ah Rufus, you’ve been good to me. Thanks to the folks at Gibson, I have a beautiful Les Paul supreme that I record with all the time. And thanks to Dean Zelinsky I have a nice Hardtail for slide. I have a relationship w/ the Traynor folks for amps. I have my beloved 5150 head as well…OK, maybe I like gear a little -;)

TRACEY: Describe the Strung-Out Troubadours songwriting process. Melody first, or lyrics first?

DAVE: No real formula there. Sometimes the music comes first, sometimes the lyrics. Sometimes Rik has an almost finished song, sometimes I do…it’s a really cool collaboration.

TRACEY: What song off Push & Pull is nearest & dearest to you?

DAVE: Two of ’em.” Only Time will Tell,” because Rik wrote a lyric and asked me to write the music. I’m still not sure if he knew how hard the lyric would hit me on a personal level. The other is “Deeper Kind of Blue, p.s.” because Rik wrote it about his brother. Those songs tear us up each and every night. (Ed note: Rik’s brother, Russell, recently passed away from cancer.)

TRACEY: Which song was the hardest to complete & why?

DAVE: “Miracle of Love” was hardest to complete but strictly for technical reasons.

TRACEY: What other projects are you involved in, musically or otherwise.

DAVE: I’m knee deep in my own solo project now (finally!) I’m also producing a young male vocalist right now, as well as developing a writing project w/ a female artist. I play w/ Orchestras around North America in a “classic rock meets symphonies” kind of thing and I’m also in the Alan Frew trio. Keeping busy!

TRACEY: What is left on your musical career “to-do” list?

DAVE: Left to do? Oh jeez….lot’s… I don’t even know where to start. I’d like to finally get my own record out there (which will happen in 2010) that’s a start. I’d like to write another record with my partner in crime from The Full Nine.

TRACEY: Let’s move on to some fun questions, a “Get to know Dave” Q&A. What superhero power would you want if you could have one and why?

DAVE: I’d like to be able to fly like superman so I could avoid all those friggin’ airports and security, etc. “Rik, I’ll meet ya in Philly, I’m flying on my own…oh, and I’m bringing liquids and gels and my guitar in a gig bag, and security can’t stop me!”

TRACEY: Awesome! Name your favorite sport and your favorite team.

DAVE: I’m addicted to playing hockey and addicted to running. I play hockey twice a week all year-round. Favorite team…well, whatever, it’s the Leafs, but I’m from Toronto, so that’s just the way it is.

TRACEY: Any pets? Kids?

DAVE: I had a cat, and developed a bad allergy, so I had to give him to my brother. We never had kids but I have my hands full with my 4 nephews whom I absolutely adore.

TRACEY: What you favorite Triumph song and/or record?

DAVE: I don’t care what Gil, Mike and Rik say…”Just a Game” is the best Triumph record.

TRACEY: I love that one too! Good call. Tell us a funny or embarrassing story involving a particular gig or moment with Rik, Triumph and/or the Rik Emmett Band.

DAVE: Triumph reunion show in Oklahoma (2008). ALL of the pyro and bomb cues were wrong. At one point I was jamming with Gil and a concussion bomb went off at the wrong time. I swear he jumped 2 feet off his stool!!

TRACEY: Anything else you’d like to add or tell the readers at Here’s your chance…1, 2, 3, go!

DAVE: Thanks to backstageaxxess for taking the time to read my insights…cheers!!

For more info on Dave Dunlop please visit: or Backstageaxxess would once again like to thank Rick Wharton, for always going above and beyond, but mostly for just being so damn cool! Check out his website at