This two-piece with guitarist Steve Gunn (formerly of Kurt Vile’s backing band, the Violators) and drummer John Truscinski has a way of meandering through a song and transporting you to some place in your past, while firing off all kinds of emotional and sensory memory. For me, it evokes the first time I heard the Sun City Girls, a mysterious American band that put out some triumphantly weird songs by taking deep dives into Arabian, Asian and African music. Sun City Girls' Torch of the Mystics is still a top-10-of-all-time record for me.
Gunn’s website name checks some iconic underground guitar guys as influences, including Robbie Basho and Sandy Bull, and a kind of traditional North African music called Gnawa, which, when I read it, sounded a little over the top. But the more I thought about it, the more I liked that that places him in company with some obscure shredders who helped expand lots of minds beyond traditional folk music. Gunn has the ability to create a musical base and add small touches that, on Bay Head, give these instrumental tunes an instant vocabulary.