Steve Gunn & The Black Twig Pickers are key figures in the current resurgence of American traditional and folk music. Gunn’s songwriting and inventive guitar playing are driven by his restless mind, having released 9 solo and collaborative albums and appearing as a guest on nearly as many since his debut in 2007.
The Black Twig Pickers play a fervent form of traditional music from their Appalachian homeland. The group perform often forgotten traditional songs, especially from their Virginia stomping-ground, creating a living history of old time music. They also have an ongoing residency at the legendary Floyd Country Store.
‘Seasonal Hire’ is a collaborative album between Steve Gunn and The Black Twig Pickers that combines Gunn’s circular, meditative guitar playing with the Twigs’ energetic mastery of old time instrumentation.
‘Seasonal Hire’ collects four original tunes and one traditional piece, with Gunn and The Black Twig Pickers’ Mike Gangloff and Sally Anne Morgan all taking turns with lead vocal and songwriting. Like all of the Twigs’ albums it was recorded live, without overdubs or amplification. Gunn fell right in with this aesthetic and threw down guitar parts like he’d been sparring with banjos and fiddles for years.
The majority of the album was recorded at Joseph Dejarnette’s Studio 808a in rural Topeco, Virgina, where Gunn and Gangloff recorded ‘Melodies For A Savage Fix’, an improvisational masterpiece of pan-cultural meditations. Echoes of ‘Melodies…’ can be heard on ‘Seasonal Hire’’s titular b-side, an extended, beautiful ramble equally indebted to old time music and Indian ragas. Additional recording was done closer to Gunn’s native New York at the famed Black Dirt Studios, home for many groundbreaking records by artists such as Charlie Parr, Jack Rose, Bill Orcutt, Expo 70 and Tom Carter.
FORMAT INFORMATIONLP Info: LP version pressed on virgin vinyl and packaged with an artworked innersleeve and download coupon. Initial copies pressed on limited translucent yellow vinyl, remaining copies on black.
CD Info: CD version in 4 panel mini-LP style gatefold package.