We’ve been overwhelmed by the mass and variety of critical acclaim for Steve Gunn‘s new album Way Out Weather. Many thanks to everyone involved with the production of the record, everyone who has bought a copy, and everyone who has shared their kind thoughts about the music.
Steve is getting ready to head to Europe with The War on Drugs–see below for dates, the beautiful tour poster and a taste of the full band (here including PoB artist Nathan Bowles, Jim Elkington, and Jason Meagher) at the recent hometown show at PhilaMOCA–which we reckon is as good a reason as any to trumpet some of the staggeringly positive press the record has garnered. Thanks to Jesse Sheppard for the fine live video.
STEVE GUNN EU TOUR FALL 2014
|10/27/14||Berlin, DE||Heimathafen||w/ The War On Drugs||BUY TICKETS|
|10/28/14||Amsterdam, NL||Paradiso||w/ The War On Drugs||BUY TICKETS|
|10/29/14||Ghent, BE||Democrazy||BUY TICKETS|
|10/31/14||Barcelona, ES||Primavera Club Festival|
|11/01/14||Luxembourg, LU||Rockhal||w/ The War On Drugs||BUY TICKETS|
|11/02/14||Brussels, BE||Ancienne Belgique||w/ The War On Drugs||BUY TICKETS|
|11/04/14||Liverpool, UK||O2 Academy||w/ The War On Drugs||BUY TICKETS|
|11/05/14||London, UK||Roundhouse||w/ The War On Drugs||BUY TICKETS|
|11/06/14||Bristol, UK||O2 Academy||w/ The War On Drugs||SOLD-OUT|
|11/07/14||Manchester, UK||The Ritz||w/ The War On Drugs||BUY TICKETS|
|11/08/14||Glasgow, UK||O2 ABC Glasgow||w/ The War On Drugs||BUY TICKETS|
|11/09/14||York, UK||The Fulford Arms||BUY TICKETS|
|11/10/14||Coventry, UK||Tin Angel|
|11/12/14||London, UK||Cafe Oto||w/ Mike Cooper||BUY TICKETS|
|11/13/14||St. Leonards, UK||Kave Gallery|
|11/14/14||Cotswolds, UK||Cotswolds Village Hall|
|11/15/14||Ramsgate, UK||Music Hall||BUY TICKETS|
|11/17/14||Zurich, CH||El Lokal||BUY TICKETS|
|11/18/14||Luauzanne, CH||Le Bourg|
|11/20/14||Paris, FR||Espace En Cours|
|11/21/14||Stuttgaart, DE||Ract Rakete|
|11/22/14||Antwerp, BE||Autumn Falls Festival @ Trix||BUY TICKETS|
|11/23/14||Utrecht, NL||Le Guess Who||BUY TICKETS|
SELECTED RECENT PRESS
5 stars. Way Out Weather motors slowly but powerfully, like some 70s muscle-car cruising lazy coast-roads, safe in the knowledge of its own killer torque. The album title may abbreviate as a guileless “WOW!”, its bright melodies flickering like autumn sunlight on evening waves, but Gunn’s rolling lyrics deal with darker aspects – the ill omens of climate change, society’s lonesome outcasts, occluded Dylan riddles of impending apocalypse – that infuse the meander and drift of these lazy beguiling songs with a manifest chill, the dark rain clouds up ahead on that perfect summer drive that says sweet times now, bad times coming. You couldn’t wish for a more fitting musical soundtrack to the rest of your 2014.
– Andrew Male, MOJO
8.0. Way Out Weather is the fully formed pinnacle of his career. With a full band and plenty of instrumentation behind him, the care he puts into every nook and cranny of a song is evident. It’s lush but without lacquer, detailed without being dense. These songs live in hollowed out holes of America’s past; it’s as easy to imagine him playing in front of a disused gas station off an Oklahoma highway as it is to hear his band booming out of a roadhouse on the Mississippi Delta. At times, there’s so many guitar tracks it it feels like in the middle of a pickup jam session with Jerry Garcia, Duane Allman, and John Fahey.
– Jeremy D. Larson, Pitchfork
The guitarist blends the traditional and the avant-garde, fusing the sounds of John Fahey, The Grateful Dead and Will Oldham into back-porch masterpieces. Gunn’s virtuosic guitar work is still the main attraction, but his backing band of session players gives the [album] a Rolling Stones-circa-Exile on Main Street vibe. Simultaneously earthy and epic.
– Otis Hart, NPR’s All Songs Considered
This is masterful, textured and gorgeous. The double-tracked melodic lead guitars billow in like warm sheets of rain. You can sense, as a listener, that every single player has the same overall shape in their mind, and you can feel them all pushing towards it.
– Jayson Greene, Pitchfork
Way Out Weather marks the completion of Gunn’s transformation from a master guitarist into a songwriter who can trust in his own voice and arrangements as much as his spectacular fretwork. He’s thrown open the windows and let the light in, as he embraces pristine, lush production that makes guitars sparkle and drums crack.
– Max Savage Levenson, NPR Music
Our heads are blown. How did this NY guitarist become a cosmic-psych visionary? Assured groover “Milly’s Garden” feels like it’s been around forever.
– MOJO Playlist, September 2014
4 stars. The melodies seemed soaked in a timeless well of American music: the album feels both new and familiar at the same time, every song a clever layering of Gunn’s guitars.
– Michael Hann, The Guardian
8/10. Steve Gunn is managing the transition [into a classic singer-songwriter] with uncanny elegance, fold[ing] his old jamming imperative into beautifully constructed songs. He sings plenty, with engaging huskiness, while leading his band down ever more inventive tangents… Eco-fear played out with a sun-damaged languor.
– John Mulvey, Uncut
Way Out Weather is big-hearted and expansive, its windows thrown open to the world, [its] lines and contours beautifully rendered. Perhaps the best thing he’s ever done… relentlessly inventive. Way Out Weather unquestionably accomplishes its goal: fully transforming Gunn from a guitar hero into a respected songwriter. That’s no easy feat.
– John S.W. MacDonald, The Quietus
Following 2013’s excellent Time Off, this is a fuller, richer-sounding album. Gunn is an incredible guitarist, [and this is] a sun-dappled, easy highway song, the gleam of guitar pressing against the tarriness of Gunn’s voice.
– Laura Barton, The Guardian
Mesmerizing. Gunn’s singing echoes his playing: It is relaxed and intimate, like a late-night conversation with a trusted confidant, and it gently draws you into the hypnotically beguiling songs… Maybe my favorite guitarist right now. Breathtaking.
– Steven Hyden, Grantland
The complexity of the songwriting on Way Out Weather is a clear indication that it’s the work of a seasoned professional going someplace deeper. There is a profound craftsmanship to what he does here. Gunn really pushes the boundaries of what an acoustic guitar can express… It sounds like the bastard lovechild of La Monte Young and Jerry Garcia or a slightly sinister Krautrock meets Laurel Canyon-flavored version of Terry Riley’s “A Rainbow in Curved Air.”
– Richard Metzger, Dangerous Minds
8.5/10. Way Out Weather mixes various musical styles – folk, classic rock, psychedelia, space rock, dub hues, West African grooves, open-tuned raga drones – to arrive at a genre-defying, expansive sound that’s simultaneously tight and totally, winningly loose, sparsely uncluttered yet richly textured in a way that rewards repeated spins. The outcomes are frequently sensational… A giant leap forward.
– Janne Oinonen, Line of Best Fit
It’s a record that still shows Gunn’s incredibly wide arsenal of skills on the guitar, both acoustic and electric, but he and his band trade dust in the light for glimmering shards that shape themselves into the beautiful mosaic this album is.
– Matthew Fiander, PopMatters
This is the most elaborately arranged thing Gunn has ever done, jammed full of understated yet excellent guitar. Perfectly placed licks that reference Richard Thompson, Jerry Donohue, Robert Fripp, Sneaky Pete Kleinow, and Ali Farka Toure make it a veritable encyclopedia of guitar sounds. It moves with a blend of head-down purpose and furtive apprehension—an apt soundtrack for a world where you need to keep one eye on the street and the other on the weather.
– Bill Meyer, The Wire
Channeling both John Fahey and Philip Glass, his riffs purl back on themselves to form odd, impossible shapes. The result forays into wildly diverse territory, as though folk and blues, jazz and raga, psychedelia and heavy rock were simply points on a map.
– Stephen Deusner, Wondering Sound
It’s impossible to just talk about Steve. He’s too good! I just want to listen to him. Hearing Steve, I was completely blown away, beyond. It made me want to be a part of it myself.
– Kurt Vile
My favorite new artist.
– J Mascis, Pitchfork
Appalachian mandalas. Cosmic folk songs that feel highly intricate and effortlessly propulsive, like Robbie Basho sitting in with the Doors.
– Chris Richards, The Washington Post
Gunn is blessed with a voice as rich and warm as Tim Buckley or a young Van Morrison.
– Nick Southgate, The Wire
After last year’s exceptional Time Off, the new guitar master continues to expand his vision.
– Uncut Playlist
Goes from ramshackle Southern-fried folk-rock to psychedelic intrumental jam and back again. It’s a gorgeous piece of work.
– Tom Breihan, Stereogum
An immensely intuitive sense of songcraft. … Weather paddles out to the horizon of what is possible without ever losing sight of the shore… spiritual and visceral, laid back and intense, challenging and mellow.
– Sean Maloney, Magnet
4.5/5. His marriage of folk music with Grateful Dead style psychedelic rock has reached a state of perfection. A gentle and generous helping of soul food.
– The Sun (UK)
Way Out Weather sees Gunn delving deeper into folk rock contemporization, now applying more intricate production and atmospheric arrangement, somewhat akin to early-’90s Crazy Horse playing a show in a city on the clouds.
– Mike Sugarman, Ad Hoc
With a larger ensemble in tow, Way Out Weather is more colorful than its predecessor, evoking the full band interplay of Fairport Convention or Van Morrison and band live at Montreux in 1974. The band sounds exuberant, like prime Dead.
– Jason Woodbury, Aquarium Drunkard
Gunn is a wonder to behold on his new album. By turns cosmic and circuitous, Way Out Weather ushers Gunn into classic singer-songwriter territory.
– James Reed, The Boston Globe
An ethereal yet crusty, backwoods-style gem. Gunn offers world-weary introspection and pedal-steel–bathed radiance, shuffling ditties and homegrown swamplands chug.
– Brad Cohan, Time Out New York
Perhaps the most cohesive track-by-track performance released this year. Its existence is in flux—the tracks interact in such a way as to create newness with each listen. His work is strangely familiar; an acid flashback less jarring than it is a friendly reminder that present reality isn’t the only realm of possibility.
– Will Schube, Passion of the Weiss
One of the foremost players of his generation, skilled yet never flashy. Much like fellow Philadelphians Kurt Vile and the War on Drugs, Mr. Gunn tucks nimble, folk-indebted guitar work into a rock-band setting.
– Andy Beta, Wall Street Journal
8.5. It’s likely you’re going to find something profound about his ninth studio album, Way Out Weather. Gunn’s newest expansion of his aural minefield is ripe with explosive pockets of brilliance. This record sounds alive, breathing, organic and full of potential and exploratory ambivalence.
– Ryan Prado, Paste
Though Gunn’s throaty baritone and stunning guitar work remain pillars of his earnest sound, a new sheen of blues-inspired grittiness abounds.
– Josh Terry, Consequence of Sound
Meditative and mellow, the songs float along on soft waves of intricate, hypnotic guitar lines and the Brooklyn singer/songwriter’s low, gently exhaled lyrics. Call it otherworldly country blues. His trance-like finger-picking, earthy vocals and brooding, abstract lyrics put you into a fugue state.
– Carla Gillis, Now Toronto
Way Out Weather is the type of transcendent rock explosion that makes you feel like you’re swirling through space and time, images of dandelion fields and amber waves of grain, and you know, America, all lazing by your eyes.
– Philadelphia Inquirer
Exhilarating. This is the new, ghostly classic rock.
– The Big Takeover
Way Out Weather is an expansive journey of sound and memories. Absolutely brilliant.
– Ben Young, The Revue
Steve Gunn’s definitive statement. Evocative slow-burning majesty.
– Richard Lewis, Bearded Magazine
The premiere artist in the John Fahey inspired, post-Jack Rose realm of fingerpicked, raga-meets-American folk. With Way Out Weather, he takes an even grander step forward both in terms of arrangement and improvisation, as well as the roster of musicians he has aboard.
– Dog Gone Blog