Ah, the life of the troubadour. The have guitar case will travel, pocket full of change and fist full of nothing wanderers who make their scant living on the road – or in the subway station.
There’s nothing much romantic in the real life about slogging your guts out on the toilet circuit, but Steve Gunn has paid his dues, rising gently from Kurt Vile collaborator into fully fledged solo artist in his own right.
The Unseen In Between is a release which should swing his beautifully crafted vignettes closer to the ears of the music buying public; Stonehurst Cowboy is a dignified and affectionate tribute to his father, who died during the album’s making. Tellingly, his songs are intelligent without being overly intellectual, Lightning Field for example about a New Mexico art installation as well as the human paradox of unfulfilled expectation.
There are of course seemingly a million lone rangers out there, congesting our coffee shops and very, very occasioanally striking it lucky for an album or two. Unseen In Between isn’t Steve Gunn’s shot at that sort of fame, but on Vagabond he takes a a step in that direction, consciously or not evoking the power of a peak era Smiths on a tale of a raggedy man who can’t stay still.
You can read a full review here.