We Went There: Steve Gunn at the 7th Street Entry
I like Steve Gunn for numerous reasons, but I think my favorite extension of his work is the more meditative guitar work that he does, whether the more ambient work he did on his awesome FRKYWS comp with Mike Cooper or his back porch twang of an EP with the Black Twig Pickers earlier this year. Yet the band and aura that Gunn brought to the 7th St Entry on Thursday night was a bit more amped up, and focused on his Way Out Weather LP from 2014.
The Gunn band was a well-oiled four piece, with drums and bass (with a quick switch to banjo at one point) locking in the foundation so Gunn and fellow guitar slinger could fingerpick their way into guitar nirvana. Turning the Entry into a roadhouse of smoked blues, rollicking americana and bruised folk, Gunn sang on a good number of the songs while leaving plenty of room for guitar heroics. Playing mostly electric guitars, it was a higher octane version of Gunn than I expected, a tour through various corners of American music. I was thinking the historical tour might have been done from a rusty old Model T, but instead it was from a shiny red Cadillac. Not sure if this is a permanent deal for Gunn, but even as I was wishing for a slightly less bombastic version of the band, they certainly pulled off the sound. Even if his stage banter left a lot to be desired, the 70 minute set was decidedly well-rounded, allowing Gunn & comp to highlight Gunn’s songwriting chops and the bands muscular delivery.
Opening the show were Matthew De Gennaro (who I was sad to arrive too late to see) and the smokey, barren folk of Jennifer Castle. For anyone watching the current season of True Detective, she was a slightly less dark version of the battered folk music that plays when Vince Vaughn and Colin Farrell meet in a desolate bar. A brisk storyteller and solid songwriter, her music actually would have been a good, hushed intro for the more somber Gunn, but instead felt a bit like a ramp up towards the more stomping set that came later from Gunn.
See a full photo spread for the night HERE.