Steve Gunn – “Water Wheel”

Steve Gunn, who is one of the Violators in Kurt Vile And The Violators, is obviously a good guitarist. But there’s being a “good guitarist” and then there’s that rare special quality where people, at a loss for words, start name-dropping the practically supernatural John Fahey in order to describe you. That is one of the qualities that Steve Gunn’s music has, particularly for his bandmate Kurt Vile, who has been pretty vocal with his admiration for Gunn.

“Hearing Steve, I immediately received that same deep appreciation [for Fahey] and was completely blown away beyond. Just from growing up with “roots music” (so to speak) and just kind of immediately seeing something that was real and totally pure, no gimmicks,” said Vile.

It’s that purity that Vile mentions that sticks with you through a track like “Water Wheel,” the opener on Time Off Gunn’s first album under his own name, as well as his first with a full band. With just a few simple elements Gunn binds everything with his lyrical guitar work and soft voice and creates something vast. It’s simple to see where Vile’s enthusiasm came from, and I think Fahey would have been proud. Listen below.

Time Off is out 6/18 via Paradise of Bachelors