Steve Gunn has been a busy man lately, having played both Philadelphia and Brooklyn release parties and the 4 Knots Festival, and a tour with Daughn Gibson and dates Merchandise on the horizon.
Thu-Jul-18 Detroit,MI Magic Stick Lounge
Fri-July-19 Chicago,IL Bottom Lounge (Pitchfork After Party)
Sun-Jul-21 Madison,WI High Noon Saloon
Mon-Jul-22 Minneapolis, MN Triple Rock
Tue-Jul-23 Fargo, ND The Aquarium
Thu-Jul-25 Vancouver Biltmore Cabaret
Fri-July-26 Seattle,WA Barboza (Capital Hill Block Party)
Sat-Jul-27 Olympia, WA Capital Theater (Backstage)
Sun-Jul-28 Portland, OR Doug Fir Lounge
Sat-Sep-28 Louisville,KY American Turners Club (Cropped Out Music Festival)
7/18-7/28 w/ Daughn Gibson
7/19 and 7/22 w/ Merchandise
See below for photos of the Brooklyn show at Union Pool–featuring Mike Bones on second guitar!–plus an overview of the ecstatic press for his excellent new record Time Off, which you can order here.
WXPN previewed the Philadelphia release party at Johnny Brenda’s here:
Time Off sees the Lansdowne native expertly weaving his experiences with raga, blues, folk, jazz and rock into a vibrant tapestry that reveals more and more of its intricacies over time. It’s a crock-pot of American tradition, world travels, characters, moments and ideas that seem both familiar and new; it’s an homage to what music has been, is and could be. His is a realm of genre confluence that innately desires experimentation, discovery and adventure while demanding an exact ability to work within rigid boundaries: chords, keys and tone. And Gunn’s efforts have always been precise, even in their most free-form, avant-garde moments.
– Julie Miller, WXPN
The rave reviews for Time Off have been coming in steadily. Below are some highlights thus far and some excerpted quotes. We’re grateful to everyone for their support and enthusiasm.
Alastair McKay filed the following 8/10 lead review and interview for Uncut’s August issue (the magazine also included “Lurker” on the covermount CD of their July issue.)
His tunes unfurl like bales of wire rolling down country roads. Generically, it’s improbable: progressive folk, with psychedelic swirls, delivered with so much confidence that it sounds like dispassion. At times it’s like an architectural drawing. But the repetitions soothe and tease, and then you start to hear the leaves.
– Alastair McKay, Uncut
Bill Meyer rated the album a near-perfect 9/10 for Magnet:
Haunted narratives interspersed with kaleidoscopic episodes of vertiginous acoustic fingerpicking. Those guitars etch bluesy energy lines and an aura around Gunn’s weary delivery, riding grooves that reconcile the casual shuffling of prime J.J. Cale with the graceful cadences of Brit-folk eclectics Fotheringay. There’s no flashiness here, but a slow-burning passion makes this record smoke.
– Bill Meyer, Magnet
While Bryan Reed wrote this fine feature on Steve also for Magnet:
Spin rated the record highly in its review:
Steve Gunn’s guitar playing is undoubtedly original, though his languorous fingerpicking style brings up John Fahey comparisons, for sure, not to mention Nick Drake. But Gunn is actually hooky, with the sweet, twinkling guitar figure from “Lurker” sustaining itself for nearly six unbroken minutes after the intro.
– Dan Weiss, Spin
Ad Hoc lauded Time Off as one of their favorite records of the first half of 2013:
Time Off is one of the key records of the current traditional rock revival, a lasting testament to Gunn’s tireless efforts and extraordinarily rapid growth as a performer and songwriter.
– Max Burke, Ad Hoc
Here’s a fine review from Consequence of Sound:
Even though Steve Gunn calls New York home, he sounds like a ramblin’ man. Whether on his own or in collaboration with a host of well-traveled keepers of the avant-garde, Gunn has used the last 15 years to detail the Mississippi Delta, the Appalachian Mountains, and the vast expanses of heartland in a uniquely (de)constructed American travelogue… Without compromising the shrugged off and slurred out quality that made his songs endearing in the first place, Gunn has casually moved toward crystalline songcraft. His latest LP, Time Off, is his most tuneful yet.
– Colin Joyce, Consequence of Sound
Gunn proffers the kind of simultaneously abstract and concrete melodies as contemporaries like Glenn Jones, James Blackshaw and Rose, but adds a rhythm section, lyrics and his own lightly toned vocal chords for a hypnotic atmosphere that’s almost mystical.
– Michael Toland, Blurt
eMusic got particularly poetic with their assessment:
Spare and hypnotic as a campfire sing-along, it suspends the listener in a pleasant in-between state where time doesn’t exist. Much of the album radiates a quiet power… giving us the feeling of being outside at night, communing with the sounds of the deep forest.
– Allison Kirkland, eMusic
In Your Speakers recognized the significance of this particular album in Steve’s discography:
A milestone for Gunn’s already expansive discography.
– Ben Schenkel, In Your Speakers
As did the Liminal, who proclaim:
Time Off is a refreshing reminder that trying a different angle, a new approach, or trying out a new voice (quite literally in Gunn’s case), is where the interesting music happens.
– Rich Hughes, The Liminal
Thanks to Randy Reynolds of Side One Track One for this compelling overview of contemporary guitar composers and virtuosos, which includes kind words about Steve, fellow PoB artist Chris Forsyth, and sometime Hiss Golden Messenger guitarist and PoB pal William Tyler, among other stellar company.
Finally, we got a real kick out of Secret Decoder’s post about their love for Time Off, which includes a video on the meditative effect it has on critters: