“His guitar playing and songwriting have that eddying quality that imbues stillness witha sense of forward motion” – The Wire
“As a self-taught guitarist, composer and, latterly, a singer, his luscious deconstruction of Americana tinged blues, country and psychedelia switches between the accessible and the experimental” – Crack
“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”– Rolling Stone
“Shimmering, fingerpicked electric guitar, deadpan-cool vocals” – Washington Post
“Lush and thoughtful… expansive guitar wizardry” – Stereogum
Following the release of acclaimed single ‘New Moon’, Steve Gunn has shared a second song off of The Unseen In Between(out January 18 on Matador Records), titled ‘Stonehurst Cowboy’. The song is the emotional centerpiece of the album, a duet between Gunn’s raw acoustic guitar and spare basslines by Bob Dylan’s musical director Tony Garnier, who is featured throughout the album. The lyrics distill the lessons Gunn learned from his father and is a solemn but tender remembrance, a tribute to his father’s reputation as a tough, wise, and witty guy from far west Philadelphia.
Listen and watch the accompanying acoustic video below, shot in London and directed by Craig McNeil.
“Stonehurst Cowboy is a tribute to my late father, who passed away in 2016. Stonehurst is an area in Southwest Philadelphia where both my parents grew up,” says Gunn, adding, “Heavily affected by the Vietnam War, he became an adult at hyperspeed after high school when he was drafted — though he didn’t end up actually fighting in Vietnam. He was too young to know what the hell was going on when the war broke, and it wasn’t until he, his brothers, and friends came back to make any sense of it.”
For over a decade, Steve Gunn has been one of American music’s most pivotal figures — conjuring immersive and psychedelic sonic landscapes both live and on record, releasing revered solo albums ranking high on in-the-know end of year lists, alongside exploratory collaborations with artists as diverse as Mike Cooper, Kurt Vile, and Michael Chapman (whose most recent studio album he produced). Gunn is known for telling other people’s stories, but on his breakthrough fourth album, The Unseen In Between, he explores his own emotional landscapes with his most complex, fully realized songs to date. The lyrics evoke voyages, tempests (actual and emotional), and a rich cast of characters met along the way — the work of an artist finding a place of calm in the midst of a storm. Produced by frequent collaborator James Elkington and engineered by Daniel Schlett, the immaculately recorded Unseenforces a reassessment of Gunn’s standing in the pantheon of the era’s great songwriters.