Amanda Petrusich has written an articulate and especially perceptive review of Steve Gunn’s Time Off for Pitchfork, which is definitely worth reading. Uncurl a little, y’all! You can purchase the record here.
7.9 A collection of six loose, spiraling guitar songs that give more than they ask: These are generous compositions, gently presented. Gunn’s a descendent of the Dead, but also of J.J. Cale and La Monte Young and Bert Jansch and Frank Hutchinson, and his guitar playing has a mesmeric quality, a tender circling that feels almost like being swaddled. There’s an unrefined, organic quality to Gunn’s work… a reinterpretation of “Americana” that allows for plenty of ingenuity (and requires no costuming). While Gunn’s produced some more explicitly cerebral work, Time Off’s biggest asset is its ease. It’s also a record that happens to make tremendous sense right now, on the precipice of summer, when we’re all anxious to uncurl a little.
– Amanda Petrusich, Pitchfork
Tiny Mixtapes has also posted this fine review, which picks out some interesting relationships to 1960s folk-rock.
4.5/5. The vibe often seems akin to Bull’s Demolition Derby or the ensemble pieces on Fahey’s The Yellow Princess (albeit less surreal), reimagined with a thin reflection of Skip Spence at the helm. But it’s unfair to say that Gunn is mining the past; rather, he comes out of a tradition that is easily traced to the 1960s, when folksy fantasias received the support of limber rock rhythm sections. What’s particularly exciting about this disc is the possibility that lies in Gunn’s interleaving of timeless songs and allover “time” — few of his influences and even fewer of his peers have searched in this direction… One of the most gorgeously effective “side one, track ones” in recent memory (or the other phrase critics may be loath to use, “summer jam”).
-Clifford Allen, Tiny Mix Tapes
Finally, here’s a typically singular and specific review of Time Off from Was Ist Das?.
The first thing that strikes you about this album is how Mr. Gunn’s guitar sounds like rays of sunshine. Time Off is a gently heat haze of acoustic joy and pleases easily.
– Was Ist Das?
Those within reach of Nashville should definitely consider attending the official PoB release party for Chance’s In Search at The Stone Fox tomorrow afternoon, Saturday, July 13. This is your chance to meet Chance and some of the Dead End crew in person and hear the visionary artist spin his tales of working with Johnny Cash and writing and recording this epic record. The Facebook event is here, and until Tuesday, July 16th (the release date), you can stream the full album for free at Spin. (Purchase the record here.)
Chance’s In Search Release Party
Saturday, July 13, 3-6pm
The Stone Fox
712 51st Ave N.
Nashville, TN 37209
Here’s what the Nashville Scene has to say about the album, courtesy of Jordan Lawrence‘s fine feature and interview with Chance:
A countrydelic odyssey bridging raunchy funk and idyllic pop, outlaw balladry and Technicolor acid tests. It could have been a classic… Think Cash in a narcotic rage.
– Jordan Lawrence, The Nashville Scene
And Tyler Wilcox has written this spot-on review for Aquarium Drunkard:
One of the most wondrously strange records to ever emerge out of Music City, USA. God only knows what the Man In Black thought of this mutant hybrid of outlaw country, gonzo psychedelia, coked out funk and soulful slo-jams. We could spend days trying to slot it into a convenient category, but let’s just agree to call it totally fucking unclassifiable, a universe of its own. In the liners (which are worth the price of admission alone) Chance himself reveals the album’s secret ingredients: “Mud, blood and beer!” You’re gonna love it.
– Tyler Wilcox, Aquarium Drunkard