The prospect of extensive jamming is likely to strike the fear in many a music fan’s heart. The current crop of improvisation-rooted US psych-folk-rock guitarists are successfully reversing this.
For all the accomplishments of, say, Ryley Walker and Chris Forsyth, Steve Gunn hovers head and shoulders above the current competition.
The follow-up to the Brooklyn-based guitarist’s songwriting debut after a string of instrumental work on 2013’s Time Off, last year’s Way Out Weather (Jumbo Records’ album of the year) is a startlingly sure-footed melting pot of globe- and era-trotting styles.
From the classic American rock raunch of Milly’s Garden to the harp-enriched odd-folk of Shadow Bros and the foreboding, West African-flavoured hypnosis Tommy’s Congo, the outcomes arrive at a spellbinding, expansive sound that’s simultaneously tight and winningly loose, sparsely uncluttered yet richly textured in a way that rewards repeated spins.
Steve Gunn plays at the Brudenell Social Club on Sunday May 24. For details visit http://www.brudenellsocialclub.co.uk/whats-on/steve-gunn/