Guitar aces are always photographed with their guitar cases aren't they? Check the sleeve of this latest record by immersive psychedelic player and vocalist Steve Gunn. Touching his guitar case as if headin' off to the next two bit town that will appreciate his playin'. But Gunn is a lot more than just a folky guitar guy, and here he produces what is promised to be his most complex and emotional album yet, turning his thoughts inward to reflect on his own internal thought patterns.
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Though he started off as a guitar picker extraordinaire, Steve Gunn is now more of a singer songwriter guy. His voice isn't amazing but it is satisfactory and his guitar playing is often exemplary. From the get go The Unseen In Between seems to merge his two worlds better than his Eyes on the Line which always seemed to be turning into the Robert Cray Band.
The most surprising and newsworthy thing about that album is that it's second track 'Vagabond' seems to have been recorded and released without anyone noticing that it sounds almost exactly like the Smiths 'Some Girls Are Bigger Than Others'. It really is quite incredible. All the chords are, if not identical then very similar and it's structure is almost the same. The vocals are of course quite different and there's some extraoneous bluesy guitar licks at the end but otherwise it's the same song. It's good though because 'Some Girls Are Bigger Than Others' is good.
Elsewhere opener New Moon is a lovely thing indeed, a slowly unfurling thing setting the mood of quiet, lazily strummed indifference that pervades the whole album. 'Chance' sounds rather peculiarly like some Stephen Steinbrink stuff and Gunn makes sure he doesn't forget to fingerpick some more old timey stuff amidst the more standard Americana on offer. There's moments on the album that suggest he's not exactly sure where to go with all this but Gunn reminds me rather of a younger edition of Michael Chapman - a wonderful guitarist who is convinced that he is better off doing gentle guitar pop and is often proved right.
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