Steve Gunn: Way Out Weather (Paradise Of Bachelors) Review | Under the Radar - Music Magazine
Tuesday, December 10th, 2019  

Steve Gunn

Way Out Weather

Paradise Of Bachelors

Dec 19, 2014 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share


Steve Gunn continues his drift from the avant-garde world into popular music with another folk-tinged, guitar-worshiping set of tunes here, blending the long and varied history of hypnotic guitar into a perfectly pensive collection. John Fahey and crew's deconstructed blues, the burnt indulgence of vintage California psych and folk, the jazz-chord-inflected melancholy of Nick Drake, and plenty more are sprinkled into this warm and homespun batch of travel tunes.

Opener and title track "Way Out Weather" is pure longing channeled through fingerpicking, its accompanying slide and sporadic solo guitars as majestic as purple mountains, setting an expansive stage for Gunn's wanderlust. "Wildwood" charms with folk-rock Moby Grape mellowness, punctuated with rotary-speaker bursts of electric. "Fiction" has about 72 guitars on board, each of them as deeply affecting as its neighbor in the mix, a modest symphony of wistfulness and seventh chords.

Gunn's humble vocal delivery deserves mention as well, dropping right into the pocket with smoky and harmonic aplomb, never trying too hard, giving dark couplets like "Your faith is savage/And your mind is damaged" a quiet and resonating precision.

The whole mélange climaxes with closer "Tommy's Congo," drone-rock perfected over a warm drum machine loop, a lock-groove hypnotic blues passage burrowing forward, adrift in African guitar arpeggios and other labyrinthine accents. It's mesmerizing stuff, sending ripples of joy across your mental landscape. It seems the closer to earth Gunn brings his six-string pursuits, the further away they soar. (www.steve-gunn.com)

Author rating: 8/10

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Average reader rating: 7/10



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