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Steve Gunn

SEATTLE, WA - JULY 26: Steve Gunn performs live at the Capitol Hill Block Party on July 26, 2013 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Suzi Pratt/Getty Images)

On the title track to Steve Gunn’s superb new LP, cascading guitar and soaring lap steel roll out gently, like the tide he describes: “Waves are crashing calm and free/Slowly moves the melody.” Backed by a seven-piece band, he layers his songs with instrumentation that reveals more each time, from the freeform instrumental jam of “Milly’s Garden” to the extended syncopated rhythm of “Tommy’s Congo.” Gunn – known to fans for his masterful guitar work, and more recently for a brief stint as Kurt Vile’s touring guitarist – feels like he’s refined his approach from last year’s word-of-mouth breakthrough Time Off. He’s often thought of more as an instrumental virtuoso than a singer-songwriter, but here he excels at both. 


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