Over the years Amsterdam lutenist Jozef Van Wissem
and New York guitarist Steve Gunn
have played in all sorts of settings, but tonight they’re both performing solo—proving that their impressive range and creative curiosity don’t depend on anyone else. Van Wissem, who now lives in New York, will release a solo record in April called Nihil Obstat
(Important), whose cycling melodies and brittle ostinatos carry his Baroque-era instrument far from its natural context—the crystalline, slowly unfolding music almost sounds like someone playing a 60s minimalist composition on a hammer dulcimer. His deft fingers weave together what can sound like several simultaneous lines to create the album’s melodies, harmonies, and rhythms—sometimes you’d swear he has more than two hands
. Gunn has brought an easy fluency to personal takes on blues and fingerstyle folk, playing acoustic and electric guitar either solo or in a wide-ranging duo with drummer John Truscinski. On the forthcoming Time Off
(Paradise of Bachelors) he leads his first trio, with Truscinski and bassist Justin Tripp, and sings on almost every track. The album melds the various styles he’s mastered into a spellbinding whole, with hypnotic arpeggios, gentle circular grooves, incantatory singer-songwriter narratives, and a kick of rock energy. I imagine Gunn will preview some of these tracks here, and I’m curious to hear them shorn of the rhythm section. —Peter Margasak Jozef Van Wissem headlines; Steve Gunn and Mind Over Mirrors open.