James Elkington returns with his latest album for the Paradise Of Bachelors label this time going it alone (his 2015 collaboration with Nathan Salsburg 'Ambsace' was superb), his gentle fingerpicking folk textures are reminiscent of Nick Drake and Tim Buckley but have a certain virtuoso mathy quality, now a full time member of Chicago americana legends Brokeback alongside Doug McCombs James is starting to make a lasting impact on the american alt-folk scene.
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The fact that our Ian wants the promo handed back to him for further listening suggests it's either good ...or shoegaze. Thankfully it's the former as it's the debut album from Englishman in Chicago James Elkington. You may know him for the album he made with Nathan Salsburg or for being a member of Brokeback or for collaborating with the likes of Jeff Tweedy, Richard Thompson, Steve Gunn and Michael Chapman.
It is superb. It sounds to me more like the actual follow up to Ryley Walker's 'Primrose Green' that Walker's not awful but harder to connect with Golden Sings That Have Been Sung wasn't. It consists of beautiful fingerpicking that suggests he has more than the average number of fingers matched with a wonderful folky feel bringing to mind the autumnal hues of Nick Drake, Richard Thompson and Bert Jansch. Elkington's voice and delivery have something of the Jim O'Rourke about it - traditional enough to be placed within the folk canon but with something of the contemporary in place. His chords have the rolling country folk feel of Michael Chapman's guitar instrumentals but Elkington matches his vocals more successfully than Chapman ever did though his voice perhaps lacks the character and confidence to truly convince as a singer songwriter.
It's a minor quibble as this is delicious throughout. There are Fahey-esque instrumentals, wandering autumnal watery folk, beautiful orchestration and of course terrific guitar playing . It's a winner alright.
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