Steve Gunn

September 30, 2013 § Leave a comment

William Tyler tipped me to Steve Gunn’s new album. Time Off, a few months back and it has quickly become one of my favorite releases this year.

I had the opportunity to see Steve live on Saturday night at Fond Object here in Nashville.

In trying to describe Steve’s music the Pitchfork review by Amanda Petrusich does so best:

Like all acoustic guitarists with extensive record collections, Gunn has endured plenty of comparisons to John Fahey, but the association feels almost too facile to perpetuate: While Gunn’s produced some more explicitly cerebral work (for a time, he was into manipulating tapes of field recordings), Time Off’s biggest asset is its ease. There’s a real sense, listening to these tracks, that everything could be a little simpler if we all stopped trying so hard. It is deeply mellow in a way that the famously cantankerous Fahey would have likely found confounding.

The sentence I chose to emphasize is a sentiment I have recently pondered as technology now allows the addition of unlimited possibilities in today’s recording process and even live performances.

Plenty of times Gunn’s guitar work is described as circular…here’s an example with a personal favorite, Lurker:

Another great performance, Old Strange, takes time to invest, but is worth it:

The irony in the Pitchfork review of course is that even though the music has a sense of ease, Gunn’s performances are anything but easy.

Time Off is available from Paradise of Bachelors, a North Carolina label with four great releases this year including Hiss Golden Messenger’s Haw, Chance’s In Search Of  and Promised Land Sounds’ self titled debut.

Check out their label sampler below:


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