Music Spotlight: Des Gambin

Dedicated family man and local singer-songwriter Des Gambin releases his new album, Drive


Originally from Jerseyside, Placentia, loving husband and father of two, Des Gambin, is making a name for himself in the music scene of Newfoundland and Labrador. With the release of his 13-track album Drive, just prior to Christmas, Gambin’s music has been spun on various stations around this province.

Gambin describes his music as country, with some songs having a hint of bluegrass, or an upbeat trad feel. The family man wrote and co-wrote the majority of the songs on the album as new and original material, however there’s a few covers of his choice that accompany the original tracks as well.

Getting Personal 

“It was part of the bucket list, I just wanted to put out a recording. I’ve written songs over the years, more personal songs, and most on this album are actually very personal. They weren’t really meant to be commercially distributed. I just wrote songs, mostly for family and friends,” Gambin shared in an interview with The Newfoundland Herald. The stories are personal.

“One song is called For Her Love, which is about my mom, she was an amazing woman. Heaven’s Bay is about my grandfather. Four or five of them are based on loss and love, you know? They’re very real. Sunday Afternoon is about my whole upbringing from listening to early records. Dad had music on all the time, so when I was a boy we’d drive in the car, and we’d listen to the good country you know, George Jones, Johnny Cash, Elvis, and whatever. My father has been the biggest influence for me, he played music since he was quite young, now he’s 76 and he continues to play.”

Gambin recorded the entire album alongside Craig Young, at Craig Young Studios in Paradise. The two worked on all 13 tracks together, from beginning to end, producing the album titled Drive. What does the album title choice and title track mean to the country star? 

“I worked at construction, oil and gas, specifically in Bull Arm. I worked in the Bull Arm site for many years, so I done a whole lot of driving,” Gambin explained.

“I use to drive back and forth quite a lot. The lyrics are about driving home at the end of the day. There’s lots of guys out there driving, and at the end of the day they just wanna get in the car and get home, no matter what. You’ll drive, you’ll fly, you’ll take a train, you’ll do whatever. You just wanna get home to your family, so that’s kinda where it came from I suppose.”

Family Man

Speaking of family, Gambin has been married to his wife, Sadie, for a number of years, and the lovebirds have two beautiful daughters together. Gambin made sure Sara and Allie were both musically involved, just as his father did for him. The girls showed off their talent by each  recording a cover song for Drive. 

“Sara covered Travellin’ Soldier by Dixie Chicks, and Allie covered Don’t Stop Believin’ by Journey. It’s a different version, the whole umbrella of the CD is more country I suppose. What Allie does with Don’t Stop Believin’ is more of an acoustic and string quartet. It’s a different version certainly, it’s a nice soft version. Sara pretty much does Travellin’ Soldier as it would sound like. They done a great job I must say, I’m very happy.”

Gambin continued, “We had our kids late because I was so busy with music and work, and Sadie was busy with her career as a teacher, she was studying and everything. My wife has been with me for a long time, through it all. Through the music, through the work and through whatever else.”

What’s on the blueprint for Des Gambin? With a new year just beginning and plenty of opportunity at his feet, there’s no doubt in my mind that Gambin will continue to make a name for himself.

“Damian Follett has approached me, and we’re doing more writing. He’s released some more recent singles and me, him, and a couple more artists are potentially planning a mini tour. All original music, and I’m hoping that’ll be happening in the near future, around the island first. My interest has certainly sparked again, so I’m actually doing a lot of writing and I’ll be going in again for sure to release some more stuff certainly in the near future.”

Be sure to check out “Drive” on Apple Music and Spotify, and keep an eye out for upcoming music and possible tours.

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