This wonderful collaboration came about a couple of years ago on Record Store Day and the North Carolina boutique label, Three Lobed Recordings, decided to repress it back in March. Miraculously, I’m only just now finding out about this and it also hasn’t sold out yet… Hopefully, with this post, it’ll help move some copies. As I listen to this for the first time, I can’t help but think of Pink Floyd. Golden Gunn feels like Pink Floyd taking a trip through the Appalachian mountain range. There’s this progressive tone to the album, with dashes of psychedelia and folk. Gunn & Hiss Golden Messenger, with Golden Gunn, really sound like they were made for each other, and, with this repress coming two years later, it might not be unrealistic to expect more from their partnership. Only time will tell I suppose. Listen to¬†Golden Gunn via the Bandcamp player below and see what you think of it. Cheers!
If you are looking for the LP of this title, please follow this link - shop.heavenandearthmagic.com/album/golden-gunn
--Golden Gunn: On Dickie Silk and the Hard Road Home--
Have you heard? Dickie‚Äôs back in town. You remember when you could predictably find his sweet old rig parked cockeyed outside Bloopers night after humid night, and Dickie at the end of the bar, shaking a bum leg and punching the jukebox (or your shoulder), between pulls on a cheap bottle and an Old Gold, between long hauls up and down the Eastern Seaboard? Those white-line feverish weeks are done and gone, and Mr. Dickie‚Äôs not looking right. He‚Äôs listing to the left, full tilt and wide open. These days he will not buy you a sweaty Michelob or a shrimp plate at quittin‚Äô time. He will not shoot pool with you. In fact, you don‚Äôt want to hand him a cue for fear he might use it someways to hurt the guy looks at him sideways.
No one knows where‚Äôs he been for the past nine years, and it‚Äôs not entirely clear that Dickie Silk remembers himself. He‚Äôs quiet on that subject, and on most others too. Some say Okeechobee, some say outside Albuquerque. Others say Belize City, or Cat Island, somewhere beach weirdos and smugglers hide out in the ugly, sinister sunlight. Dickie has an unsettling way now of staring hard at your worried forehead through his BluBlockers and gazing through you as through a pitiful, ragged ghost, squinting down the rutted highway, past the rank cypress swamps, into the mean, gunmetal center of what he lost, what he knows.
Dickie has composed over 900 ringtones, some of which his buddy Chester has sold through an AOL chat room. He doesn‚Äôt write songs any more; now they write songs about him. He‚Äôs been to the death house.
Dear listener, who, you may ask, is Dickie Silk? The guru and mascot of Golden Gunn, who inhabits these lapidary and occasionally lascivious grooves, Dickie Silk is an inimitable specter, a full-hearted but road-damaged truck-drivin‚Äô man, a sad latter-day Stagger Lee, who dwells along the long distances these nine songs travel. This is a highway record, inspired by a chance meeting at a Slip-In station on a country byway off I-85 in Emporia, Virginia, near the North Carolina border. As such, it exists in the bleary-eyed distances between places, between players, and it is all the more compelling for its lostness and lacunae.
In September 2012, songwriter and singer M.C. Taylor of Durham, North Carolina; multi-instrumentalist and recordist Scott Hirsch of Brooklyn, New York (who together helm the critically acclaimed Hiss Golden Messenger); and accomplished New York-based guitarist and songwriter Steve Gunn (recognized for his virtuosic solo practice as well as his work with the Gunn-Truscinski Duo and GHQ), were motorvating from Raleigh to Monkton, Maryland, hustling to get to Hammy‚Äôs wedding on time, when they encountered Dickie vociferously buying a pineapple soda from the Slip-In attendant. He needed an extra thirty cents; he needed a ride. The transmission on his yellow Pontiac, which looked strangely familiar to Steve, was gutted. ‚ÄúShe sure was a sweet ol‚Äô bitch, but I‚Äôm all thumbs now,‚ÄĚ Dickie lamented. He rode shotgun in their Lincoln Continental and told the boys his story, including an anecdote about driving a Zamboni for a Canadian high school hockey league in the early ‚Äė90‚Äôs. He asked them to let him out in Cockeysville for a crabcake.
Originally engaged as a fanciful and casual collaboration between Hiss Golden Messenger and Steve Gunn, under the newfound artistic direction of Mr. Silk, Golden Gunn instead gradually developed into something more singular, evocative, and visionary. Trading loose concepts and recordings back and forth across state and Mason-Dixon lines, Taylor, Hirsch, and Gunn conjured these tunes in response to the rhythm tracks Dickie programmed on his antique drum machine. When they could reach him, Dickie weighed in with elliptical comments and encouragement‚ÄĒthings like ‚ÄúI reckon that jam could be slightly sneakier‚ÄĚ or ‚ÄúI recommend the conch fritters‚ÄĚ‚ÄĒbut his flip phone was always breaking, and by the time they were ready for mixdown, he was reportedly in Malaysia, in some kind of deep, arduous pickle.
Formally speaking, the largely instrumental album includes some new selections and confections from the Hiss Golden Messenger camp, as well as working through some Gunn sketches and compositions. (‚ÄúA Couple of Blackbirds‚ÄĚ is a faithful cover of an exemplary Silk ringtone, the only straight homage to which he consented.) But here the constituent materials are utterly transformed through the amber BluBlockers of Dickie Silk, honed into an altogether stranger collaborative session vibe, copping feels from Silk favorites like J.J. Cale, Waylon Jennings, Boz Scaggs, and the Average White Band. Featuring additional contributions from HGM tillerman Terry Lonergan on drums, Abigail Martin on flute, and Nora Rogers on mountain dulcimer, the resulting rig maps the scary wrong side of the country-funk tracks, exploring the odd, compass-busting entanglement of plodding old drum machines and sinuous, simmering guitars and synths.
Dickie‚Äôs been gone, but now he‚Äôs back in town. You better listen, and watch. It‚Äôs dark out on the road tonight, and hot as hell.
Chapel Hill, North Carolina
released 20 April 2013
- Maybe Buy
- Not My Style
- Too Expensive