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Holy folk! Steve Gunn aims to rock Greenpoint church

Righteous: Singer-songwriter Steve Gunn will perform at Greenpoint’s Park Church Co-op on Jan. 22.
Constance Mensch

It’s the gospel of rock!

A Bedford-Stuyvesant folk-rock musician who once played in Kurt Vile’s band the Violators will strum sweetly among the pews of a Greenpoint church next week. Guitarist and singer-songwriter Steve Gunn, who will play at the Park Church Co-Op on Jan. 22, says the sacred space has the perfect resonance for him to unleash his new tunes.

“Acoustically it’s kind of the best place to be when you’re playing acoustic guitar and singing — there’s a lot of wood,” said Steve Gunn.

The Park Church gig, which will also feature Sonic Youth’s Lee Ranaldo and singer-songwriter Meg Baird, is the final stop on Gunn’s national tour supporting his album “Eyes on the Lines.” The record, a collection of breezy tracks about traveling and moving onwards, is a departure from his earlier releases, transitioning to a more plugged-in, urban sound, he said.

“I wanted this new one to sounds a bit more like a city-ish album rather than a rural expansive sound,” said Gunn. “This was the most electric album I’ve done.”

Gunn has laid down strong roots in Brooklyn over the last 15 years, with stints in Bushwick, Prospect Heights, and Boerum Hill before settling in Bedford-Stuyvesant. But he says that the neighborhoods of Kings County furthest from Manhattan have recently captured his heart.

“Lately I’ve really been liking south Brooklyn and exploring the outer parts of the borough like Brighton Beach — those areas are pretty fascinating,” he said.

And he said he is equally intrigued by the Park Church Co-op after hearing about it from his friends. Formerly known as the Lutheran Church of the Messiah, the church has opened its doors to secular events over the last few years, including dance parties, exercise classes, bands, and disc jockeys.

Steve Gunn at Park Church Co-op [129 Russell St. between Nassau and Driggs avenues in Greenpoint, (718) 389–0854, www.parkchurchcoop.org]. Jan. 22 at 8 pm. $18 ($15 in advance).

Reach reporter Lauren Gill at lgill@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260–2511. Follow her on Twitter @laurenk_gill

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