James Elkington

Photo Credit: Timothy Musho

James Elkington is set to follow up 2017’s Wintres Woma with Ever-Roving Eye. If you have never had the pleasure of seeing Elkington play live, you’re cheating yourself. He’s one of the best guitarists you’ll see live. Sounds pour out of his guitar and it barely looks like he’s trying. Ever-Roving Eye will see the light of day on 4/3 via the fine folks at Paradise of Bachelors. Here’s some info on the first track.

The album’s lead single/video, “Nowhere Time,” is a call to take up arms against procrastination, and features some of Elkington’s most daring guitar-wrangling. “A more cosmic acquaintance of mine once told me that when your life is going in the direction you want it to, it’s the universe’s way of telling you that you are in the place you’re meant to be,” Elkington says. “Does that sound likely? Not at all, but the song asks the question anyway…” The track’s accompanying video, directed by Tim Harris, features himself, Tweedy on drums, and Macri on upright bass.

Follow me on Twitter at @WoodyHearYa or @HearYa

James Elkington can be found on Instagram

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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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James Elkington is generally regarded as one of the acoustic guitarists around these days. Up until now, vocals never entered into the equations. Well, that’s about to change with his solo debut out via the fine folks via Paradise of Bachelors. Much like Steve Gunn, I expect James ELkington is about to become a more common name after this album his the street. Here’s a little more on the album.

The resulting album at times conjures Kevin Ayers delivering a Dylan Thompson poem over a Bert Jansch song, all the while speaking in Elkington’s singular voice. The title, Wintres Woma, resonates in the icy limpidity of the arrangements, the snowy tumble of guitars and strings, and with Elkington’s gnawing consideration of how much cultural upbringing can bring to bear on one’s own creativity. Many of the album’s lyrics contend with the continuing strangeness of living in a different country. “For the most part it’s very liberating, but England is old, and there is a weird energy that comes from that country, an energy that doesn’t seem to feel the same in America. It took me moving away from home to feel it at all. I was so used to it that I didn’t know I was feeling it until I didn’t feel it anymore.”

Follow me on Twitter at @WoodyHearYa or @HearYa

James Elkington can be found on Instagram

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