Steve Gunn

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This dude made one of my favorite records in 2012 (the Gunn-Truscinki LP Ocean Parkway) and one of my favorite records so far in 2013 (Time Off). He totally deserves his own thread!
here are a few things to check out

tylerw, Wednesday, 5 June 2013 19:37 (seven years ago) link

nice new interview here:
I like this: "imagine the Dead’s “Bird Song” performed by guys who know all the Sun City Girls records by heart"

tylerw, Wednesday, 5 June 2013 19:43 (seven years ago) link

steve gunn rules!
that interview is a really good read.

i guess i'd just rather listen to canned heat? (ian), Friday, 7 June 2013 17:12 (seven years ago) link

Will try to contribute more to this thread once I have heard the new record!

Ian, you may be the best person to answer this question: what GHQ stuff is worth tracking down, and what direction in the whole drone/improv/noise/guitar players doing guitarry shit do they fall under? The core was Pete Nolan and Marcia Basset and Steve, right? Which is an intriguing crew, but I have never heard or seen any records.

grandavis, Friday, 7 June 2013 17:22 (seven years ago) link

this is the only GHQ i have, but I'd like to get more -- it's pretty killer.

tylerw, Friday, 7 June 2013 17:33 (seven years ago) link

Aww thanks man, will try to get to that later today. It's been raining for like 24 hours straight, looks like good afternoon listening for a moody grey day for sure.

grandavis, Friday, 7 June 2013 17:35 (seven years ago) link

be careful on that three lobed bandcamp site, i end up spending $$$ whenever I'm there!

tylerw, Friday, 7 June 2013 17:35 (seven years ago) link

Yeah, that label is cool as hell. I am married though, and these days my money does not flow very freely. Gotta build up a list of wants, and then I buy shit direct from people playing in town when I can, but I am due for some new records for sure.

grandavis, Friday, 7 June 2013 17:37 (seven years ago) link

i actually really liked the GHQ record on Not Not Fun... "California Night Burning Dreams." It's pretty cheap on Discogs.. man, looking there, there are a lot of CDrs! GHQ stuff never did it for me the way Gunn's solo stuff does tbh, definitely in more of a droning/jamming/improv mood.

i guess i'd just rather listen to canned heat? (ian), Friday, 7 June 2013 17:54 (seven years ago) link

there is a tape on our shelf in the hallways labled "GHQ REHEARSAL" and i wonder what it sounds like.

i guess i'd just rather listen to canned heat? (ian), Friday, 7 June 2013 17:54 (seven years ago) link

Hah, give it a listen! Thanks for the recs.

grandavis, Friday, 7 June 2013 17:56 (seven years ago) link

this one actually seeems interesting too --

because it's has trucsinski on drums and no pete nolan. i wonder if it has the sandy bull-ish flavor of those gunn/truscinski records or is its own animal..

i guess i'd just rather listen to canned heat? (ian), Friday, 7 June 2013 17:58 (seven years ago) link

nice recent radio session here:
tho i think they have the song titles mixed up?
whatever, this band sounds killer -- hope they make it to my neck of the woods sometime!

tylerw, Wednesday, 12 June 2013 19:51 (seven years ago) link

two months pass...

this is pretty sweet --
basically gunn-truscinski duo + cian nugent.

tylerw, Wednesday, 14 August 2013 21:31 (seven years ago) link

Yeah, checked that out and dug it a bunch. Gotta listen again with some fresh ears, but boy am I a sucker for guitar interplay (when it is of a high caliber).

grandavis, Thursday, 15 August 2013 14:17 (seven years ago) link

Yeah man, some cool trading of foreground/background roles on this.

grandavis, Thursday, 15 August 2013 15:43 (seven years ago) link

you see this too? very good

tylerw, Thursday, 15 August 2013 15:52 (seven years ago) link

Yeah, saw that a bit ago. Good stuff. Really hope Gunn and C. Forsyth make it my way on some upcoming tours, especially with their groups. I like both solo but wanna hear their bands live.

grandavis, Thursday, 15 August 2013 15:57 (seven years ago) link

ten months pass...

new one coming out in october ---
A heady and elliptical travelogue, Way Out Weather demonstrates a radical widescreen evolution, featuring a larger band and lighting out for lusher, more expansive and impressionistic territories than the critically acclaimed Time Off (2013). This is the virtuosic guitarist and songwriter’s career-defining statement to date, a self-assured masterpiece that completes Gunn’s satisfying transformation into a mature songwriter, singer, and bandleader of subtlety and authority. The record features longtime musical brothers Jason Meagher, Justin Tripp, and John Truscinski, in addition to newcomers Nathan Bowles (Black Twig Pickers, Pelt); James Elkington (Freakwater, Jeff Tweedy); Mary Lattimore (Thurston Moore, Kurt Vile); and Jimy SeiTang (Psychic Ills, Rhyton.)

tylerw, Wednesday, 2 July 2014 19:54 (six years ago) link

still on paradise of bachelors?

ian, Wednesday, 2 July 2014 20:23 (six years ago) link

yes indeed. heard a new one on a live recording called "tommy's congo" that I've listened to like 100 times.

tylerw, Wednesday, 2 July 2014 20:26 (six years ago) link


ian, Wednesday, 2 July 2014 20:45 (six years ago) link

Very much looking forward to this!!

Evan, Thursday, 3 July 2014 03:43 (six years ago) link

three months pass...

kurt vile and war on drugs fans of the past few years really need to get on this

j., Sunday, 12 October 2014 16:23 (six years ago) link

the ending of tommy's congo is kind of odd, like it actually stops, when it seemed like it had to go on for 20 minutes or fade out or something

after a few repetitions it doesn't sound so 'african' any more

j., Monday, 13 October 2014 13:20 (six years ago) link

yeah this is great

gbx, Monday, 13 October 2014 13:28 (six years ago) link

Man, go see this band live if you get a chance. On tour right now and all of the songs opened up amazingly well live. The record is great, no doubt, but they pull all of it off and then some in a live context. The guitar interplay (Jim Elkington, who plays on the record, is touring as the second guitarist/lap steel player) is awesome.

grandavis, Monday, 13 October 2014 14:04 (six years ago) link

As I touched on in the other thread- you could pretty much bring anyone along to this show and they'd probably be pretty enamored.

Evan, Monday, 13 October 2014 17:17 (six years ago) link

Man, I tried to get a whole bunch of folks to the show here with that in mind. It was actually a pretty great turnout for this town (and the venue in particular), but the band should appeal to all kinds of folks that weren't there. Gotta say that it is nice to see them at this level though, I was front and center with zero distractions, i.e., everyone there was super into the show and quiet while the band played, no dead weight audience-wise at all.

grandavis, Monday, 13 October 2014 17:43 (six years ago) link

Man, I would love to see this band. Last time I saw Jim Elkington was when he was fronting the Zincs and opening for the Sea and Cake and he was totally ace.

Too bad they're coming anywhere near me.

austinato (Austin), Monday, 13 October 2014 19:46 (six years ago) link

*they're NOT

austinato (Austin), Monday, 13 October 2014 19:47 (six years ago) link

live show here:

tylerw, Tuesday, 14 October 2014 16:44 (six years ago) link

I didn't expect that!!!!!!!!!! YESSSS

Evan, Tuesday, 14 October 2014 16:46 (six years ago) link

Sweet! Psyched to check this out (i.e. I just started streaming it .....) Nice sound at the outset, digging in.

grandavis, Tuesday, 14 October 2014 17:13 (six years ago) link

Oh man this show is good. "Way Out Weather" is flooring me right now ....

grandavis, Tuesday, 14 October 2014 17:56 (six years ago) link

yeah, this show/recording smokes

tylerw, Tuesday, 14 October 2014 17:57 (six years ago) link

Similar to your experience (set list etc) though?


Evan, Tuesday, 14 October 2014 17:58 (six years ago) link

Yeah, the three set lists from this tour I have seen have all been about the same. Performance I saw was exactly the same sequence-wise, but "Tommy's Congo" and "Way Out Weahter" were flipped and we didn't get to see "The Lurker". Performances similar, but of course they are riding the energy and improvising differently. This NYC show definitely smokes as Tyler puts it, but so did the show I saw. Just a damn good band.

grandavis, Tuesday, 14 October 2014 18:10 (six years ago) link

one year passes...

new tune/video!

tylerw, Wednesday, 30 March 2016 14:40 (four years ago) link

It's ok, kinda sounds like a slightly more measured version of the recent jammy solo Malkmus stuff. Maybe that's Matador's fault?

Evan, Wednesday, 30 March 2016 15:56 (four years ago) link

yeah definitely the poppiest thing he's done so far ... think i dig it though.

tylerw, Wednesday, 30 March 2016 15:58 (four years ago) link

i really wanna like this dude but i just cant get down with the vocals

Heez, Wednesday, 30 March 2016 16:07 (four years ago) link

what's wrong with them? too breathy/throaty? i feel like it suits the low-key vibe of the music well

global tetrahedron, Wednesday, 30 March 2016 16:26 (four years ago) link

^ agreed. if he sounded like Benjamin Booker or something, i'd understand.

Mad Piratical (The Cursed Return of the Dastardly Thermo Thinwall), Wednesday, 30 March 2016 16:38 (four years ago) link

just not very expressive or something

Heez, Wednesday, 30 March 2016 19:33 (four years ago) link

or maybe i just don't dig the melodies

Heez, Wednesday, 30 March 2016 19:37 (four years ago) link

If Time Off doesn't do it for you then yeah maybe it's just not your thing.

Evan, Wednesday, 30 March 2016 19:44 (four years ago) link

this is alright but he's definitely moving in a direction away from the things i've generally liked about him

this feels more indie than grateful dead meets fahey

rockpalast '82 (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Wednesday, 30 March 2016 19:59 (four years ago) link

know what you mean, but i'll reserve judgment til i hear the whole thing.
other news: three lobed has put the two OOP gunn-truscinski records together into a nice double LP set

tylerw, Wednesday, 30 March 2016 20:03 (four years ago) link

Now that's more like it.

Evan, Wednesday, 30 March 2016 20:21 (four years ago) link

i can't really hear much UK folk in him at all tbh, mostly Fahey/American Primitive filtered through the Grateful Dead but outside of like UK outliers like Mike Cooper or Michael Chapman who rolled more American anyway I don't hear heavy Jansch or Davey Jones or Renbourne in his playing at all

rockpalast '82 (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Monday, 13 June 2016 21:39 (four years ago) link

i can kinda hear some of the more architectural guitar structures that jansch/renbourn favored in gunn's playing, but that's kinda it as far as the britfolk stuff goes. not overt in the way that ryley walker has been anyway.
and i get the 'boring' comment -- i definitely like most everything he's done so far, but i can see it maybe wearing a bit thin if he keeps rolling in the same direction. but who knows!

tylerw, Monday, 13 June 2016 21:46 (four years ago) link

tbh i think michael chapman is also a great guitarist and good songwriter whose stuff kind of flirts with 'boring' too, so it's appropriate that he protegee (?) is similar

wizzz! (amateurist), Monday, 13 June 2016 21:51 (four years ago) link

I don't get British folk rock vibes from Steve Gunn at all. To me, he's much more along the lines of 70's roots rock like Neil Young and the more structured/poppier Grateful Dead.

Austin, Monday, 13 June 2016 22:39 (four years ago) link

tbh i get as much feelies as folk from him

(are the feelies folk-rock?)

wizzz! (amateurist), Monday, 13 June 2016 22:58 (four years ago) link

(are the feelies folk-rock?)

I definitely think they have an inclination towards that end of spectrum. Especially when you consider their connection to the Trypes/Speed the Plough.

Austin, Monday, 13 June 2016 23:06 (four years ago) link

I get a strong acoustic Led Zep circa III vibe from "Way Out Weather". Haven't listened to the new one yet.

o. nate, Tuesday, 14 June 2016 02:02 (four years ago) link

agree with whoever said upthread that there's some 'murray street' era sonic youth in this new one

ciderpress, Tuesday, 14 June 2016 02:46 (four years ago) link

man i had that thought too, same purposeful clean noodling vibe

call all destroyer, Tuesday, 14 June 2016 02:48 (four years ago) link

Yeah I could dig that

A lot of my favorite music verges on boring

rockpalast '82 (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Tuesday, 14 June 2016 11:20 (four years ago) link

My very essence verges on boredom.

I'll check it out despite not being super into that first track that was released.

Evan, Tuesday, 14 June 2016 13:35 (four years ago) link

oh hey it looks like he's playing sorta nearby in a couple weeks

jason waterfalls (gbx), Tuesday, 14 June 2016 14:01 (four years ago) link

I hear all of those things. My main issue is the songs themselves are not very interesting.

socka flocka-jones (man alive), Tuesday, 14 June 2016 14:01 (four years ago) link

Overall or on the most recent record?

Evan, Tuesday, 14 June 2016 14:05 (four years ago) link

I liked the second song shared from the record much more than the first, but haven't heard the whole thing yet. I think I found the same thing generally with the last couple of records, in re my favorite songs were ones I only heard once I got to listen to the whole album. The stuff all sounded good live to me though.

grandavis, Tuesday, 14 June 2016 14:23 (four years ago) link

The last song on Way Out Weather, "Tommy's Congo" = "It's alright ma (I'm only bleeding).

Duke, Wednesday, 15 June 2016 20:59 (four years ago) link

i dunno i think 'mellow' is something way different than 'boring' and i think this record is the former...

the whole thing is great

global tetrahedron, Wednesday, 15 June 2016 22:57 (four years ago) link

"Tommy's Congo" is otherworldly and so far a bit bummed the new album didn't veer more in that direction.

Western® with Bacon Flavor, Thursday, 16 June 2016 00:59 (four years ago) link

there's a little bit of that dusty otherworldly blues vibe in his cover of "Visions of Johanna" on the recent MOJO 'BoB revisited' tribute. mellow, definitely not boring

reggie (qualmsley), Thursday, 16 June 2016 14:22 (four years ago) link

Opening for Dino Jr. thus fall! Unite the stoner generations

Steve Gunn Mann-Dude (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Friday, 17 June 2016 15:09 (four years ago) link

two years pass...

"tommy's congo" = song of the decade

reggie (qualmsley), Thursday, 9 August 2018 20:01 (two years ago) link

Tommy's Congo is great. The vocal line reminds me of Dylan's "It's Alright Ma", which may be a good thing

Duke, Thursday, 9 August 2018 20:45 (two years ago) link

Ah. I see I made the same observation two years ago up thread.....

Duke, Thursday, 9 August 2018 20:46 (two years ago) link

yeah that's my favorite thing I've heard from him so far, I need to check out the earlier stuff. lotta good recommendations upthread, thanks y'all.

sleeve, Thursday, 9 August 2018 20:50 (two years ago) link

recent gunn-truscinski live tapes are pretty next level:

tylerw, Thursday, 9 August 2018 20:56 (two years ago) link

Would love a whole album that sounds like that song.

sctttnnnt (pgwp), Thursday, 9 August 2018 21:38 (two years ago) link

six months pass...

the new album "the unseen in between" sounds quite nice. it has a relaxed sunny vibe. besides his tuneful guitar play i quite like his singing too.

Ich bin kein Berliner (alex in mainhattan), Sunday, 17 February 2019 12:00 (one year ago) link

this one washed over me without leaving a mark. 'way out weather' is his peak IMO

global tetrahedron, Sunday, 17 February 2019 19:35 (one year ago) link

He’s starting to give me Sam Prekop vibes - laid back and very pleasant and I enjoy it all, but starts to feel indistinguishable after a few albums.

sctttnnnt (pgwp), Sunday, 17 February 2019 20:53 (one year ago) link

I like the new one but it's not his best. He's very tame on record. A bit wilder live, but only a bit..

Duke, Sunday, 17 February 2019 20:58 (one year ago) link

seven months pass...

📷: @SteveGunnMusic

— Bodega Cats (@Bodegacats_) October 15, 2019

j.o.h.n. in evanston (john. a resident of chicago.), Tuesday, 15 October 2019 13:59 (one year ago) link

I haven't listened to his "new" album since my last post ^^ in February. That's how dull it is.

Duke, Tuesday, 15 October 2019 20:02 (one year ago) link

Listen to it again. Its very good

The World According To.... (Michael B), Tuesday, 15 October 2019 20:41 (one year ago) link

I wish he could find a really awesome band to be the lead guitarist for

Blues Guitar Solo Heatmap (Free Download) (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Wednesday, 16 October 2019 02:40 (one year ago) link

a hired gunn, as it were

j., Wednesday, 16 October 2019 02:43 (one year ago) link

I wish he could find a really awesome band to be the lead guitarist for

― Blues Guitar Solo Heatmap (Free Download) (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Tuesday, October 15, 2019 10:40 PM (yesterday) bookmarkflaglink

otm but I feel this way about most of these guitar journeyman types

Paul Ponzi, Wednesday, 16 October 2019 11:44 (one year ago) link

He would definitely be fun to see let loose in a band. Gunn / Truscinski duo not really a "band" of course, but a very cool forum for straight up Gunn as guitarist action. Desert Heat was cool with Cian Nugent too, hopefully he keeps riding both sides of that equation and does keep putting out more guitar-centric stuff in between the indie-leaning trajectory of the song based stuff. I agree that for me "Way Out Weather" was my favorite batch of songs and approaches to the songs. Still listen to that record all the time. The newer ones just didn't stick as much in regards to repeat plays.

grandavis, Wednesday, 16 October 2019 15:15 (one year ago) link

This is probably my most-played Steve Gunn thing these days, just hits a lot of my sweet spots (and I think is a little under the radar for a lot of folks):

grandavis, Wednesday, 16 October 2019 15:17 (one year ago) link

twig pickers are so great

Blues Guitar Solo Heatmap (Free Download) (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Wednesday, 16 October 2019 15:34 (one year ago) link

They are! That last track on "Seasonal Hire" is basically like a slightly more straightforward acoustic Pelt w/ additional instrumentation and Steve playing instead of Jack. I love it.

grandavis, Wednesday, 16 October 2019 16:03 (one year ago) link

Maybe I didn't give it a proper chance but "Acoustic Unseen" is working a lot better for me than the original album

Number None, Friday, 25 October 2019 15:23 (one year ago) link

eleven months pass...

The new Gunn-Truscinski record is phenomenal.

soaring skrrrtpeggios (jon /via/ chi 2.0), Wednesday, 14 October 2020 18:32 (two weeks ago) link

really liked it, love the very stretched-out pieces and that it gets pretty noisy at times. wasn't steve in magik markers or am i making that up?

global tetrahedron, Wednesday, 14 October 2020 19:53 (two weeks ago) link

I didn't know he was, but it sounds like he might have been with them, at least temporarily in 2006. I found a reference in a Tiny Mix Tapes round-up of the band's 2006:

Of course, this means The Magik Markers just improved upon its old heady tricks. I don't know if she kisses her mother with them sailor lips, but Elisa sure spits some inspired post-Beat, stream-of-consciousness poetry when the moon is up and the bar lights are dimmed. Shards of feedback, drone, and fractured chords sprout from Elisa's doctored guitar. Breaking the third wall, Elisa often uses the audience to her advantage, letting them surround her and strum her guitar to heighten the sense of bedlam. Nolan keeps the band grounded, doing the rhythm-devil thing on his pimped kit. At times, Nolan threw dynamite into the fire with tape loops and pre-recorded hiss. Newly added axe-slinger Steve Gunn also threw down some meaty, dissonant guitar riffage for the Markers' summer tour.

soaring skrrrtpeggios (jon /via/ chi 2.0), Wednesday, 14 October 2020 20:15 (two weeks ago) link

ha, i don't think i knew that. he's not on any MM records is he?

New G-T Duo is so good. If you ordered the physical LP you'll get to read a short thing I wrote on the obi-strip. wow!

tylerw, Wednesday, 14 October 2020 20:23 (two weeks ago) link

I saw that! Pretty cool. Will always take your word if you say it's good. Though if you said it sucked I'd be REALLY curious to check out that obi.

Evan, Wednesday, 14 October 2020 21:17 (two weeks ago) link

Sadly I only got the CD version, so no obi for me. Is your write up posted anywhere else?

soaring skrrrtpeggios (jon /via/ chi 2.0), Wednesday, 14 October 2020 21:26 (two weeks ago) link

Love this new album. Do the earlier ones sound this way too? I swear I gave one a try a while back and wasn't super into it. But now I can't remember.

sctttnnnt (pgwp), Thursday, 15 October 2020 17:58 (two weeks ago) link

xp don't think the essay is posted anywhere at the moment? don't worry, you're not missing too much ...

and yeah, this isn't a huge departure for them — a few tracks here are a little creamier than previous things, but nothing too radically different.

tylerw, Thursday, 15 October 2020 18:10 (two weeks ago) link

Gunn was on two different Magic Markers releases from 2007 according to discogs- which I’m now keen on hearing.

Western® with Bacon Flavor, Thursday, 15 October 2020 19:04 (two weeks ago) link

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