Tiny Desk

Steve Gunn

Download Audio

19 min 20 sec

"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

[+] read more[-] less

More From Tiny Desk

Gabrielle Smith performs as Eskimeaux at a Tiny Desk Concert on July 14, 2015. Emily Bogle/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Emily Bogle/NPR

Tiny Desk

Eskimeaux

There's lighthearted, almost childlike beauty in the way Gabrielle Smith puts words to song.

Tiny Desk Concert with Caroline Rose. Lydia Thompson/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Lydia Thompson/NPR

Tiny Desk

Caroline Rose

Rose plays music as if she's just met her new best friend: It's fresh, fun and enthusiastic.

Tiny Desk Concert with Son Lux Lani Milton/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Lani Milton/NPR

Tiny Desk

Son Lux

The trio blows up its sound by adding off-duty, civilian horn players from the U.S. Marine Band.

Tiny Desk Concert with Kacey Musgraves Lydia Thompson /NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Lydia Thompson /NPR

Tiny Desk

Kacey Musgraves

The country singer plays four songs from Pageant Material, plus the set-closing "Follow Your Arrow."

Tiny Desk Concert with Restorations Morgan McCloy/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Morgan McCloy/NPR

Tiny Desk

Restorations

The Philly rock band's big-hearted songs are stripped down to a few guitars and a MiniKorg.

Tiny Desk concert with Torres Lydia Thompson/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Lydia Thompson/NPR

Tiny Desk

Torres

Mackenzie Scott's music channels Patti Smith and PJ Harvey while hinting at further growth.

Tiny Desk Concert with SOAK. Lydia Thompson/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Lydia Thompson/NPR

Tiny Desk

SOAK

Irish singer-songwriter Bridie Monds-Watson makes the most of a single voice and an acoustic guitar.

Tiny Desk Concert with Shamir Lani Milton/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Lani Milton/NPR

Tiny Desk

Shamir

The singer's disco-infused funk and soul gets stripped down to a lone voice with a guitar.

Tiny Desk Concert with Paul Weller. Lani Milton/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Lani Milton/NPR

Tiny Desk

Paul Weller

See the beloved Britpop veteran perform songs from his new album, Saturns Pattern.

Back To Top