Steve Gunn – Way Out Weather [album review]

by Woody on October 10, 2014

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Photo by Constance Mensh

Steve Gunn hadn’t registered on my radar until I discovered Hiss Golden Messenger via the Paradise of Bachelors label. From there I picked up some other great artists such as Promised Land Sound and Steve Gunn. Time Off was Gunn’s 2012 effort. And while late to the party, it soon found its way into the steady rotation. Way Out Weather picks up where that left off, blending hypnotic guitar riffs with subtle flourishes and his easy-going vocals. The flourishes can be a quick blast of feedback or some gentle steel. Whatever it may be, there is space; always space. Gunn’s ability to spread these songs out, as most are over 5 minutes, is truly magical.

There’s no denying that Gunn is a phenomenal guitar player. You’d have to be giving yourself a swirlie to miss that. What takes a few listens to pick up on is that he is fabulous songwriter and arranger. Tracks like Wildwood, Milly’s Farm and Drifter all have moments that make you sit up and take notice.

But the track that is my favorite is the closer – Tommy’s Congo. It is blend of Tinariwen, War On Drugs and Tame Impala. The first minute & forty seconds is a master-class on building tension and anticipation with a guitar riff. I can feel Gunn’s riff go up and down my spine. The solo, about 3:30 in is just so damn tasty. The way he brings back that opening riff and then layers them on top of each other. Man, that is fucking brilliance.

Much like his former label-mate, Michael Taylor of Hiss Golden Messenger, Gunn has been putting out quality music for years but recently seems to picking up more notice. It is great to see artists like them getting their just due. Kudos to the Paradise Of Bachelors label for all their hard work.

Follow me on Twitter at @WoodyHearYa

Steve Gunn is here

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