Two Nights with Steve Gunn: Night #2

James Elkington & Nathan Salsburg, Mind Over Mirrors

Sat, October 24, 2015

Doors: 8:00 pm / Show: 8:00 pm

Union Pool

Brooklyn, NY

$12.00 – $14.00

Tickets Available at the Door

This event is 21 and over

Steve Gunn – (Set time: 10:30 PM)
Steve Gunn is a New York-based guitarist and songwriter. With a career spanning nearly fifteen years, Steve has produced volumes of critically acclaimed solo, duo, and ensemble recordings. His albums with GHQ and longtime collaborating drummer John Truscinski represent milestones of contemporary guitar-driven, forward music. A voracious schedule of international performances has cultivated a fervent fanbase for Gunn’s music throughout the world.
Mining the catalogs of Basho, Bull, Chapman, and Sharrock, among other titans of stringed-things and record-session royalty, Steve has steadily processed these inspirations into a singular, virtuosic stream. Friendships and collaborations with Jack Rose, Tom Carter, Meg Baird, and Michael Chapman colored the disciplined evolution of the discursive, deconstructed blues sound, at once transcendent and methodical, that is now Gunn’s signature. Close listening reveals the influence of Delta and Piedmont country blues, ecstatic free jazz, and psych, as well as Gnawa and Carnatic music, on the continually unfolding compositions.
Gunn’s 2009 solo masterpiece, Boerum Palace, demonstrated a fully realized power for songcraft. Steve started to sing more and developed a commanding vocal style equal to his guitar practice. His acclaimed instrumental duo recordings with Truscinski, Sand City (2010) and Ocean Parkway (2012), cemented his place among the top of his peers, both present and past. These documents display Gunn’s compositional penchant for charting musical travelogues that ramble through city and wilderness alike. Dispatches home are not merely descriptive but corporeal; the evocative, rhythmic power of his writing and phrasing carries the listener along bodily. Steve builds songs as exploratory vessels, opens them up for mechanical tinkering, and lives in them through ceaseless improvisatory permutations.
Paradise of Bachelors is thrilled to release Time Off (2013), his first album as leader of a trio including longtime friends John Truscinski on drums and Justin Tripp on bass, and a record on which Steve’s compelling singing features more prominently than ever before. The album features his oblique character sketches and story-songs about friends, acquaintances, and denizens of his Brooklyn neighborhood, using the trio band format to launch his compositions into new, luminous strata. This is Gunn at the top of his game, writing his most memorable tunes and lyrics, utterly unique but steeped in traditions both vernacular and avant-garde.
James Elkington & Nathan Salsburg – (Set time: 9:30 PM)
Amsace, the second album of astonishing duets by guitarists James Elkington (who has toured and/or recorded with Jeff Tweedy, Richard Thompson, and Steve Gunn, among others) and Nathan Salsburg (an accomplished soloist deemed by NPR “one of those names we’ll all associate with American folk guitar”) is a sublime suite of nimble, filigreed compositions by two singular stylists. Belying its title—“ambsace” is the lowest throw of dice; snake eyes—the record thrives on a gentle empathy and generosity of spirit, sitting sneakily protean original compositions alongside gorgeous arrangements of songs by Duke Ellington and The Smiths at the same big hand-hewn table. It is set for release September 18th via Paradise Of Bachelors
Mind Over Mirrors – (Set time: 8:30 PM)
Mind Over Mirrors, the Chicago-based solitary reeling of

Jaime Fennelly with guest vocalist, Haley Fohr of

Circuit des Yeux, deploys modest acoustic constituent

materials—an Indian pedal harmonium and the human

voice—to produce roiling, meditative music that both

simulates the swells and troughs of synthesized

electronics and conjures the ceaseless rhythms of tidal

surges. Mind Over Mirrors has been praised by

Pitchfork’s The Out Door as one of the most innovative

duos in exploratory music and has recently shared stages

with Steve Gunn, Daniel Bachman, and more.

While we can point out referential sonic compass points

particularly harmonically viscous recordings of Sacred

Harp singers; Edward Artemiev’s soundtracks to

Tarkovsky films—in its prayerful patience, its

simultaneously formal and folk aspects, and its

unabashed (if intermittently anxious) beauty, it doesn’t

sound much like anything else being made today. There

is an easy, and unusual, confluence of praise and play at

work in Jaime’s music that catalyzes heady reverie.

The aptly titled The Voice Calling, the newest recording

from Mind Over Mirrors, maintains those sonic

touchstones and that gentle power, but finds Fennelly’s lexicon expanding in striking ways with the welcome but

unexpected addition of Haley Fohr. With her incantatory vocals, fellow Chicagoan Fohr, well regarded for her

arresting recordings as Circuit des Yeux, supplements the gorgeous, woozy speechlessness of what has always

been the sine qua non of Mind Over Mirrors, the project’s foundational timbre and defining feature—Jaime’s

Indian pedal harmonium, augmented by oscillators, tape delays, Leslie speakers and synthesizing processors.

Channeling Catherine Ribeiro and latter-day Scott Walker’s declamatory, dramatic deliveries, Fohr contributes a

new textual dimension with her occasional, elliptical lyrics, edging the music further into corporeality and away

from abstraction. The two songs with discernible words, as opposed to vocalizations, “Whose Turn Is Next” and

“Calling Your Name” offer a litany of seductively oblique images: “back bread/empty faces/the air, the wind,” a

laughing sea, “footprints buried at high noon,” rain bandages, “a final fern,” “the weight of a thousand wings.”

Working together, Fennelly and Fohr have created another

masterful and singular Mind Over Mirrors album, as

challenging and enveloping as ever, but suddenly

achieving a more immediate emotional and psychological

register. Mind Over Mirrors’ music has always been

humane, but now it is also resolutely human—seeking,

Venue Information:
Union Pool
484 Union Ave
Brooklyn, NY, 11211