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Song You Need to Know: Steve Gunn, ‘New Moon’

A great folk-rock singer-guitarist goes on a mystic exploration.

steve gunn

Clay Benskin

Singer-guitarist Steve Gunn has been making refined, laidback folk-rock for over a decade, music that fits squarely alongside Stephen Malkmus and Kurt Vile in the “beardly guitar jams by guys who don’t actually have beards” section of your local record shop. He’s versed in Grateful Dead-style cosmic country, English traditionalism a la Jackson C. Frank and Richard Thompson and jazz-influenced improv (“Seagull For Chuck Berry,” from last year’s Bay Head, a collaboration with drummer John Truscinski, was like a Sonny Sharrock vision of “Havana Moon.”

Gunn has a new album The Unseen In Between coming out soon and he’s just released a new song from it, one of his prettiest to date. “New Moon” is a homespun mystic vision somewhere between the Van Morrison of Astral Weeks, the Nick Drake of Bryter Layter and the Donavan of “Season of the Witch,” with stand-up bass playing from Bob Dylan bandleader Tony Garnier and Gunn singing about wandering out of the city into a realm of off-key dreams and grinning ghosts where he just happens to bump into a love that hits like thunder. Lucky for him, and lucky for us too: it’s a magickal stroll that leads to real musical awesomeness.

In This Article: Song You Need to Know, Steve Gunn

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