James Elkington – Wintres Woma (album review)

by Woody on July 6, 2017

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Photo by Tim Harris

A few weeks back my buddies and I took in the Will Johnson and John Moreland show at Thalia. During the Will Johnson set, I asked my buddy Adam who plays guitar why he couldn’t play like Will. His response shut down my smart-ass questions quickly and efficiently, “It’s too hard.” In listening to the debut by James ELkington, I imagine amateurs like Adam and pros left & right will be having the same reaction.

Elkington is an English native living in Chicago and has played with the likes of Jeff Tweedy, Joan Shelley and Steve Gunn. His music is primarily English folk with some hints of jazz and prog mixed in. His playing is in a word, effortless. When you dig into his album, you’re going down the wormhole. You get lost envisioning his hands moving up the fret producing sounds that don’t come normal to most guitarists.

As good as the opener, Make It Up is; the second track, Hollow In Your House was where my mouth first went agape at his playing. Maybe it was the gentle steel playing in the background. Maybe it was that he was playing at slower pace where I could feel each note on my spine. I guess we’ll never know. A couple of tracks later, Grief Is Not Coming is a nice change, offering something of a back-porch toe-tapper.

Elkington is a genius on the guitar. Carve out 40 minutes and get lost in this gem.

Follow me on Twitter at @WoodyHearYa or @HearYa

James Elkington can be found on Instagram

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