The Key Studio Sessions: Steve Gunn
When Steve Gunn and his band pulled up to WXPN on a sunny Saturday afternoon, he was at the tail end of a busy tour. Not only was the guitar virtuoso on the road opening for fellow Lansdowne native Kurt Vile, he also played in Kurt’s band The Violators – and their sets were averaging about two hours. (Read more about Gunn’s experience on the tour in Elliott Sharp’s Village Voice interview here.) Joined by bassist Justin Tripp and drummer John Truscinski, Gunn was in a unique spot when recording his Key Studio Session: extremely well practiced, but undeniably exhausted. We brought the lights down low, gave the players some space to relax and breathe for a moment, and let the magic happen. Gunn and the band launched into an expansive, exploratory set of songs from his new Time Off, being released on June 25th on Paradise of Bachelors Records. “Old Strange” stretched out for nearly ten minutes, “The Lurker” for almost eight. Along with the comparatively shorter “Water Wheel” (at five-and-a-half minutes, it’s Gunn’s “pop song”), we heard trilling acoustic guitar patterns bobing and weaving between the rambling drum-bass foundation. I use (probably overly so) descriptions like “vision quest” to talk about Gunn’s music, but that seriously is how it feels – like you’re on a journey with this man, the notes vibrating off of his six strings and the wearied but poignant words coming out of his mouth. Stream and download the session below, and catch Gunn on Saturday, June 22nd, when he headlines Johnny Brenda’s for the Time Off album release show, with openers Endless Boogie and Psalmships.