Steve Gunn delivers a true-to-form take on Neil Young’s “Motion Pictures (For Carrie)” ahead of his summer tour

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Steve Gunn | photo courtesy of the artists

Just in time for the start of his North American tour, singer-songwriter and acclaimed guitarist Steve Gunn has a fresh single available for streaming as an Amazon exclusive. A followup to this year’s The Unseen in Between as well as the non-album singles “Be Still Moon” and “Shrunken Heads,” Gunn’s newest song is actually a cover. In a Facebook post, Gunn announced that recorded his own version of Neil Young’s “Motion Pictures (For Carrie),” calling it one of his favorite songs by the singer-songwriter legend. The release was timely considering tomorrow marks the 45th release of Young’s album On the Beach.

A bit of an odd choice for a cover, “Motion Pictures (For Carrie)” is a great song, but one Neil Young himself rarely performs. The track was a standout on On The Beach but marks the demise of Young’s marriage with actress Carrie Snodgress. Nonetheless, it is a track that resonates with Steve Gunn. His cover is much like the original, he makes no attempt to alter the vocals, change the key, or bring in new instrumental arrangements. That might seem like it would make for a not very exciting interpretation, but Gunn did justice to the song by not messing with a classic.

What stands out is the passion in Gunn’s voice. He clearly feels the lyrics, which speaks to the universality of the song. While written with a specific person in mind, “Motion Pictures (For Carrie)” is relatable enough for any artist to resonate with them. As Dunn opens with, “Motion pictures on my TV screen, A home away from home, livin’ in between. / But I hear some people have got their dream. I’ve got mine,” it brings to mind the nomadic lifestyle many musicians find themselves falling into. If you are an Amazon Prime member, be sure to take a listen.

Steve Gunn makes a stop in Philly on August 2nd to perform at Johnny Brendas. The Nace-Truscinski Duo are opening for him, tickets and more information can be found at the XPN Concert Calendar.

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