Tiny Desk Concerts
3:11 am
Sat August 31, 2013

Steve Gunn: Tiny Desk Concert

Originally published on Mon December 23, 2013 4:13 pm

"Do you know of any good liquor stores in town? Or, better yet, record stores?" Steve Gunn asks me after playing a mesmerizing set at the NPR Music offices. He's a record collector with insatiable taste and a vinyl-packed apartment. His ears perk up when I tell him that Future Times co-owner Andrew Field-Pickering (a.k.a. Maxillion Dunbar) stocks the electronic jams at Joe's Record Paradise, and that Red Onion Records is never without a stellar jazz and folk section. Maybe bits and pieces of those sounds hit the guitarist's music, but his work mostly stems from a bushy, overgrown definition of what we often call "Americana," with a healthy understanding of the La Monte Young drone.

Grateful Dead and J.J. Cale certainly reside in the rubber-band bounce of "Old Strange," a song that keeps the groove mellow, but will suddenly pop with water-drop elasticity. "The Lurker" comes from a much longer solo guitar version that originally sounded like one of Roy Harper's acoustic epics, but with Gunn's trio, it becomes a back-porch barn-burner. Both songs appear on Gunn's latest album, Time Off — a perfect record for goofing off, taking it easy, or whatever lazy tendencies summer tends to inspire. Mostly, though, it just inspires you to take time and listen.

Set List

  • "Old Strange"
  • "The Lurker"

Credits

Producers: Denise DeBelius, Lars Gotrich; Editor: Parker Miles Blohm; Audio Engineer: Chad Miller; Videographers: Parker Miles Blohm, Becky Lettenberger, Maggie Starbard; photo by Erica Yoon/NPR

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.