One of the stranger sayings in music journalism is that an artist is a musician’s musician. Quite what this is can be argued until the crows come home but maybe, just maybe, Steve Gunn belongs to this creed.
Possibly more known as guitarist in Kurt Vile's band, Steve Gunn has had a bit of an underground career as a solo artist. A supremely gifted guitarist, he spans blues, psych and folk to create heady soundscapes which stick in your head and take you on a journey. This is head music of a higher order and demands headphones to appreciate the true talent at work.
‘Water Wheel’ with its chiming riff is a good place to start, a monotonous riff which builds into drawled vocals and blues guitar interchanges. Imagine the more folkier songs of Led Zeppelin and add a dollop of drone. It is both stunning and psychedelic whilst keeping you grounded by the sheer musicianship of it all.
The songs on this album take their time to seep into your consciousness but the reward is one that will stay with you for a long time. Steve has a knack of making you forget you are listening to muso music and instead creates landscapes for you paint pictures on. Each song may sound the same but the beauty is in the detail as you are carried on a psychedelic blues ride that hasn't been heard since the heady days of Grateful Dead.
In a year where there have been some fantastic unsung albums, it is more than likely that Steve Gunn will get overlooked. This will be a massive shame but for those of us who have succumbed to his charms, we are going to be that much richer. Music like this demands reward for the listener and if you give in to it, you will receive. Astounding and mesmerising in equal dollops, take the journey to a psychedelic delta blues of Steve Gunn's world.