Review: Steve Gunn at the Bishop

Singer-songwriter Steve Gunn took the stage at The Bishop last week for the fourth tour stop in support of his new album, Way Out Weather which dropped last Tuesday. Formerly a backing guitarist for Kurt Vile’s backing band, the Violators, Gunn now plays his own distinct brand of folk-laced songwriting.

Referring to Gunn as simply as “singer-songwriter” is indeed an understatement and oversight. While years have shown the phrase singer-songwriter applied to fistfuls of acoustic guitar wielders identical in craft, Gunn sets himself apart by channeling in psychedelic and folk-rock influences at prime moments.

Gunn accomplishes this unique blend using a custom Kelly hollow bodied electric guitar, the classic Fender Twin amplifier, and a Cry Baby wah pedal along with two delay pedals. His electrified guitar picking laid the sheets for beautiful washes of lap-steel, banjo, and, well, more guitar. His songs went exactly where he led them, from a roaring chorus of wah-wah guitar down to Gunn’s warm tenor vocal and back again.

In addition to this musical exhibition, Gunn provided stories about the Wu-Tang Clan and interacted with a heckler in the most positive manner I’d ever seen. These are two of many reasons you should check out his new album Way Out Weather today.