William Tyler, Steve Gunn | Constellation | Folk & Country | Chicago Reader

William Tyler, Steve Gunn Early Warnings (Music) Soundboard Recommended Image

When: Sat., Nov. 23, 9:30 p.m. 2013

New York guitarist Steve Gunn has spent much of 2013 establishing his versatility and imagination by releasing records with a diverse cast of collaborators—a body of work that has definitively disabused me of the notion that he’s simply a terrific fingerstyle player. Earlier this year he teamed up with Mike Taylor of Hiss Golden Messenger for the one-off Record Store Day collaboration Golden Gunn at the behest of Three Lobed label owner Cory Rayburn; its psychedelic mashup of blues-rock, folk-rock, country-rock, and woozy Laurel Canyon pop is surprisingly polished and immaculately detailed. Gunn remained in rock mode for Time Off (Paradise of Bachelors), a trio outing with frequent partner John Truscinksi on drums and Justin Tripp on bass; its relatively dirty, rustic sound recalls the aesthetic of former Chicagoan Tim Rutili. On Cat Mask at Huggie Temple (MIE), where he’s joined by Truscinksi and phenomenal Irish guitarist Cian Nugent in a trio called Desert Heat, two long jams alternate between bluesy and meandering, their chiming, harmonically rich figures hurtling over rolling, tom-heavy drum parts. Finally, Gunn duets with Mike Gangloff of Pelt on the inspired new Melodies for a Savage Fix (due next week on Important), which uses overdubbing to assemble warmly hypnotic, quasi-Indian drone pieces from fingerstyle and bowed guitar, bass, gongs, tanpura, and shruti box, among other instruments. Ragas are a key ingredient of the “American primitive” guitar sound fashioned by John Fahey beginning in the late 50s—a clear influence on both these musicians—but together Gunn and Gangloff have created something more restrained and sparse, subordinating technical virtuosity to atmosphere and melody. Tonight Gunn performs solo, and I’m eager to hear what aspects of these recent recordings turn up in his set. —Peter Margasak William Tyler headlines.

Price: $10

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