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Steve Gunn covered two Smiths songs (listen), playing benefit in Brooklyn w/ Steve Shelley, Loren Connors & more

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Like a lot of guitarists, Steve Gunn cites Johnny Marr as an influence. He shows his love for Marr’s first real band, The Smiths, by covering two early Smiths songs — “This Night Has Opened My Eyes” and “The Hand That Rocks the Cradle” — for Aquarium Drunkard’s Lagniappe Sessions. Gunn also told them a little about his teenage Smiths obsession:

A lot of teenage guitar players went straight into metal or prog, but the Smiths were the first guitar band that really spoke to me. Some people hated this band then and still do. Somehow that is pretty understandable. I love them. When I was a new guitar player, I borrowed a Smiths cassette from my older sister. Johnny Marr’s arrangements mystified me, transfixed me. I felt that they were something I’d never be able to decipher. It wasn’t until later that I started to look into his influences, and I came to understand his playing and arranging, especially in partnership with Morrissey. Plus, Johnny looked so damn cool playing that Rickenbacker. I took an extended break from the Smiths after my teenage years. I kind of grew out of my first phase of love for them and tried to stop feeling so sorry for myself. I lost the passion after the first solo Morrissey album came out. I was on to more formulaic music that in retrospect wasn’t any better—though much easier to play! I no longer had it in me to go and cry at the concerts (I never saw him), or fight for a sliver of Morrissey’s torn shirt. All of that being said, I will always have a deep admiration for this band. I always go back to them.

Gunn brings his own style to these songs while keeping some of Marr’s signature riffs, and does affect a slight Moz vocal delivery (it’s hard not to). You can listen to both of those over at Aquarium Drunkard.

Having recently wrapped up a tour with Lee Ranaldo and Meg Baird, Steve Gunn will be on tour in Europe starting in April, but folks in NYC can catch him this month at Brooklyn Music School on February 25 which is a benefit for Bruce Langhorne that also features performances from Dylan Aycock, Loren Connors, Alan Licht & Steve Shelley, and Laura Ortman. Tickets are on sale and here’s more info:

Originally an unassuming busker in Provincetown, MA, Bruce Langhorne grew to be a session guitarist for many artists under the folk revival umbrella, including the Clancy Brothers, Dylan, the Fariñas, Odetta, and Joan Baez. Gaining popularity during this time, Langhorne was hired to soundtrack Peter Fonda’s western, The Hired Hand. This led to a new direction in Langhorne’s career, as he became co-runner of Blue Dolphin Studio, and worked on soundtracks for films such as Idaho Transfer, Stay Hungry, Fighting Mad, Outlaw Blues, and Melvin and Howard. Langhorne expanded into playing more keyboard instruments as his soundtracking career grew, and came to play percussion more often as well. Langhorne has been a rather covert, yet hugely influential force on music ahead of his time. This tribute concert and CD release seek to celebrate the talent and artistry Langhorne has exuded. All proceeds from this concert will go directly to Bruce Langhorne.

All Steve Gunn dates are listed below.

Steve Gunn – 2017 Tour Dates
Mon. Apr. 3 – London, UK @ St. John Church
Tue. Apr. 4 – Bristol, UK @ Louisiana
Wed. Apr. 5 – Leeds, UK @ Holy Trinity
Thu. Apr. 6 – Birmingham, UK @ Glee Club
Fri. Apr. 7 – Bighton, UK @ Unitarian Church
Sat. Apr. 8 – Genk, BE @ Little Waves
Sun. Apr. 9 – Amsterdam, NL @ Zonnehuis
Mon. Apr. 10 – Utrecht, NL @ Doopsgezinde Kerk (church)
Tue. Apr. 11 – Brussels, BE @ Les Atelier Claus
Wed. Apr. 12 – Gent, BE @ Vooruit (Theater Zaal)
Thu. Apr. 13 – Paris, FR @ Le Carreau du Temple
Fri. Apr. 14 – Lausanne, CH @ Le Bourg
Sat. Apr. 15 – Düdingen, CH @ Bad Bonn
Mon. Apr. 17 – Padova, IT @ Anfiteatro del Venda
Tue. Apr. 18 – Rome, IT @ Blackmarket/Unplugged in Monti Series
Wed. Apr. 19 – Oslo, NO @ St. Edmunds Church
Thu. Apr. 20 – Randaberg, NO @ Tungenes Lighthouse
Sat. Apr. 22 – Helsinki, FI @ G Livelab
Sun. Apr. 23 – Copenhagen, DE @ Vega
Tue. April 25 – Barcelona, ES @ Sidecar
Wed. April 26 – Bilbao, ES @ Kafe Antzocika
Thu. April 27 – Madrid, ES @ Moby Dick
Fri. April 28 – Ourense, ES @ El Torgal
Sun. June 11 – Peterborough, NH @ The Thing in Spring Festival

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