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Steve Gunn Plays Between The Ties On An Abandoned Railroad

Steve Gunn plays a Field Recording in Queens, N.Y. (NPR)closemore
Steve Gunn plays a Field Recording in Queens, N.Y. (NPR)

Eyes On The Lines is a striking title for Steve Gunn's latest record. A trucker phrase, it captures the chooglin', highway hypnosis of the songwriter's sound. But to the untrained ear, it might suggest purposefulness or direction. This is not Gunn's artistic project. As he sings in "Night Wander," "He likes to wander / Lose direction and go back home." Even if you know where home is, there's no clean route you follow to get there. The well-defined path is a myth.

In Forest Park, Queens, N.Y., an old relic suits Gunn's sound. The Long Island Railroad's Rockaway Beach Branch used to run through the park. It's been abandoned for over a half-century, and trees have grown between the ties, skewing the rails and jarring the lines. Late this past summer, Gunn stood on the tracks of this worn American symbol and sang three songs off his latest album — songs about meandering, home and the crooked paths that take us wherever we're meant to be.

SET LIST:

  • "Full Moon Tide"
  • "Night Wander"
  • "Ark"
CREDITS:

Producers: Mito Habe-Evans, Benjamin Naddaff-Hafrey; Audio Engineer: Josh Rogosin; Director: Mito Habe-Evans; Editor: Nicole Conflenti; Colorist: Nicole Conflenti; Videographers: Nicole Conflenti, Mito Habe-Evans, Nickolai Hammar; Series Producer: Mito Habe-Evans; Executive Producer: Anya Grundmann; Special Thanks: Mark and Rachel Dibner of the Argus Fund

Copyright NPR 2016.

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