Drawing inspiration from a decade on the road, guitarist-singer-songwriter Steve Gunn’s debut for Matador Records chugs along like a handsome old train, ending up in a spot perhaps best described as an Americana Television (Television, as in the seminal 1970s New York City band, not the medium). It’s fresh rock-folk, with guitars gloriously at the forefront.
Like his critically acclaimed 2014 release Way Out Weather, this collection finds Gunn on electric guitar (primarily) with a full band (as opposed to his solo acoustic albums of John Fahey-esque American primitive guitar). He’s moved away a bit from the slightly psychedelic, atmospheric vibe he frequently conjured on Weather. This is a crisper, dryer sound that’s complex but accessible, and melodically sublime.
Gunn continues to impress with his guitar playing, which is kind of a given with this dude, and continues showing growth in the songwriting, arranging, and vocal departments.
This article originally appeared in VG‘s August ’16 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.