Steve Gunn

Steve Gunn covers The Smiths: Lagniappe Sessions

Feb 13, 2017

Steve Gunn’s “Smiths Versions” Lagniappe Session 

Today, Aquarium Drunkard streamed two gorgeously understated Steve Gunn covers of The Smiths for their acclaimed Lagniappe Sessions. On his renditions of "This Night Has Opened My Eyes" and "The Hand That Rocks the Cradle", Gunn emulates Morrissey’s ivory smooth vocal longing and his trademark trill. The crisp staccato guitar notes on the original of “The Night Has Opened My Eyes” must have attracted Gunn to it in the first place. He translates these into gentler spanish folk acoustic picks and it’s the pacifying sound that emanates and echoes from playing under a stone terrace. A simple drum machine track captures the original rhythm in “The Hand That Rocks the Cradle” and floats the lull of Gunn’s lyrical portrayal. Head over to Aquarium Drunkard to stream these covers and for some great background on Gunn's personal connection to The Smiths. Here's some of it:

 “A lot of teenage guitar players went straight into metal or prog, but the Smiths were the first guitar band that really spoke to me. Some people hated this band then and still do. Somehow that is pretty understandable. I love them. When I was a new guitar player, I borrowed a Smiths cassette from my older sister. Johnny Marr’s arrangements mystified me, transfixed me. I felt that they were something I’d never be able to decipher. It wasn’t until later that I started to look into his influences, and I came to understand his playing and arranging, especially in partnership with Morrissey. Plus, Johnny looked so damn cool playing that Rickenbacker. I took an extended break from the Smiths after my teenage years. I kind of grew out of my first phase of love for them and tried to stop feeling so sorry for myself.  I lost the passion after the first solo Morrissey album came out. I was on to more formulaic music that in retrospect wasn’t any better—though much easier to play!  I no longer had it in me to go and cry at the concerts (I never saw him), or fight for a sliver of Morrissey’s torn shirt. All of that being said, I will always have a deep admiration for this band. I always go back to them.” – Steve Gunn