• Sat Jan 14 2017
  • 8:00 pm

  • Main Hall
  • Steve Gunn, Lee Ranaldo With Meg Baird

Steve Gunn, Lee Ranaldo With Meg Baird

Collective Concerts presents Steve Gunn, on his return to The Great Hall’s Main Hall, with Lee Ranaldo and opener Meg Baird.

Steve Gunn is a New York-based folk-rocker, guitarist and songwriter. With a career spanning over 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.

Gunn’s latest album, 2016’s Eyes on the Lines, is an album about travel, and transition, journeys, improbable destinations and letting yourself get lost.

From his initial forays as a solo artist, to his acclaimed duo with drummer John Truscisnki, to 2014’s lavish full-band album Way Out Weather, Gunn has continually stepped up without slipping. Eyes on the Lines continues that progression, as does Gunn’s sense of the world as a grand adventure peopled with interesting characters and new corners to explore, personally and musically.

Only those directly in its path know for certain, but there’s a good chance that when Hurricane Sandy hit the Northeastern United States in October 2012, it felt like the end of the world. When the storm finally left New York City alone, many residents dealt with destroyed homes and tattered lives but they also received aid from empathetic strangers. Lee Ranaldo and his family were among the lucky Manhattanites. Yet, for a week, they had no electricity, running water or heat. He did, however, have an acoustic guitar and, as has been the case of late, some new songs began spilling out of it, reflecting a prolific period imbued with eerie uncertainty.

Ranaldo had finished work on his last album, Between the Times and the Tides (released March 2012), before Sonic Youth went on hiatus in the fall of 2011. The record followed an informal period of songwriting, borne of acoustic guitar fiddling and more direct lyrics from a poet known for emotive abstraction. His plans to record a low-key acoustic LP soon evolved and many friends (Steve Shelley, Alan Licht, Nels Cline, Jim O’Rourke, Bob Bert, John Medeski, wife/artist Leah Singer) dropped by to conjure a vaguely psychedelic pop-rock sound that served Ranaldo and Sonic Youth fans well.

The songs on this LP, Last Night on Earth, are darker, longer, and more intense than those of its predecessor, which was comparably upbeat. Ranaldo lives near Zucotti Park, which was also HQ for NYC’s Occupy Wall Street movement. He has visited Occupy encampments in Toronto, São Paulo, and wherever else he can, often bringing his kids with him so they can witness left wing, non-violent democracy in action. At the same time the songs on Last Night on Earth reveal a guarded optimism.

Meg Baird is back! Don’t Weigh Down the Light is her first album since 2011’s Seasons On Earth, and it arrives alive with mystery and color — buoyed by a voice that’s a warm, mesmerizing call across time.

Meg Baird’s last decade would be remarkable by any artist’s standards. She co-founded and recorded three albums with Espers — one of the most distinctive and hypnotic bands of the century’s first decade. She recorded two solo LPs for Drag City: Dear Companion and Seasons on Earth. She also collaborated with Will Oldham, Kurt Vile, Sharon Van Etten, and Steve Gunn and toured with the legendary Bert Jansch.

And while it’s been four years since her last release, the days since have been anything but restful. She played drums and recorded with Philadelphia cave punks Watery Love, and toured with Michael Chapman, Michael Hurley, Vile, Cass McCombs, Hiss Golden Messenger, and Lambchop.

Steve Gunn, Lee Ranaldo with Meg Baird
The Great Hall’s Main Hall
Saturday, January 14, 2017
Tickets $18.50 online, also available at Rotate This and Soundscapes
General admission, main floor and balcony, standing | 19+
Doors 8 pm