“Quietly and in nearly the last week of December, possibly my favorite release of the year just landed. Without the crazed mob of social media sheep, James Elkington drops (via No Quarter Records) a totally honest, creative, life affirming, super personal all instrumental guitar centric masterpiece of postmodern folk compositions
Imagine a sonic sauce of acoustic guitar seasoned with threads or traces of everything from American primitive ala John Fahey, the six string delights of Norman Blake, even a whiff of minimalist doings of Philip Glass/Steve Reich and as well the unlikely shared vibe at times of German composer Max Richter (they both often favor very short form pieces).
Elkington weaves all these elements into his very own heavenly unique and personal guitar soliloquy’s layering in multiple self-recorded acoustic guitars, mandolin, slide acoustic things, a tad of low key electric guitar, bass, and numerous sounds and effects I have no idea how he created. It all becomes an entrancing therapeutic journey that hits a spot for this listener. Sheer magic. Thank you James!” -gene
You may not know him by name, but James Elkington has surely worked with someone you listen to. Having toured, recorded, and collaborated with the likes of Richard Thompson, Jeff Tweedy (Wilco), and Steve Gunn, time has been something Elkington hasn’t always had a lot of.
On his third solo album, Me Neither, the British-born, Chicago-based freelance guitarist recorded the musical ideas and improvisations he awoke with each morning, straying from his singer/songwriter roots, and creating a version of library music all his own.
“I’d improvise and record the first thing that came into my head, quickly record something else on top of that, try to add some random elements, edit it and mix it, then stop before it had the chance to get stale.”
It’s this ad hoc technique that resulted in the double album’s sprawling, 29 early-morning instrumental guitar pieces, calling to mind the primitive tape-manipulated electronic music of the 50s and 60s…but in an avant-folk sort of way!
The songs themselves are short but sweet, not taking up any more run-time than they need, but creating a lush little world to swim around in for a while.
Snag your copy HERE!
Speaking of outsider folk music, fellow No Quarter Records artist, Jana Horn, released her “Rothko-esque” sophomore album, The Window Is The Dream, earlier this year.
Following her acclaimed debut, Optimism, the Texas-born, Charlottesville-based singer/songwriter, travelled to upstate New York with one Fall cd and a myriad of other musical inspirations (Silver Apples, This Heat, The Raincoats) following her.
Horn wound up creating a 10-song realm all her own, however, and one you should absolutely dive into and pick up HERE!