Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Song(s) of the Day # 1,262 James Elkington

James Elkington's splendid debut album, Wintres Woma, just out, maps out that golden sound of British guitar driven Folk Music of the late sixties and seventies with true and rare devotion. Bert Jansch, Richard Thompson and Nick Drake are all here, and Elkington does their immense legacy proud. Chicago based, (though he's English), and a hired hand for many years working with the likes of Jeff Tweedy and Steve Gunn and doffing his cap to the aforementioned artists as well as admitting a particular and detectable debt to Johnny Marr he's now doing his own thing and I certainly love what he does.

The record fits very firmly within the parameters I've listed above. Elkington is not flashy either in the way he writes, sings or plays. He respects and understands the tradition he's working in and pays its essential simplicity its due. The record is more than anything perhaps a nod to Drake's timeless first two albums Five Leaves Left and Bryter Later when he still had some buoyancy and outward projection to his music before succumbing to the introspection that gave birth to Pink Moon.

This seems sure to be a grower, I'm listening through to it now for only the second time and making a promise to myself already to return to it soon, Wintres Woma is a demonstration of the truth of the maxim, 'If it ain't broke, don't fix it...' a difficult thing to live up to in some ways because the other side of that particular coin and one that more and more musicians seem to fall into can be slavish imitation of a template that is fundamentally impossible to improve upon. Elkington avoids all pitfalls effortlessly through sheer skill, thought and empathy. A lovely album!

No comments:

Post a Comment