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N.B.: To celebrate the release of Wintres Woma, James Elkington & Nathan Salsburg’s Ambsace (PoB-021) is now on sale for $15 LP/$10 CD/$23 LP+CD/$5 MP3.


“The combination of Elkington’s sonorous baritone and virtuosic fretboard forays makes a strong case for him as the spiritual heir to the late U.K. folk legend Bert Jansch. But for all of Wintres Woma‘s links to a scene that was approaching its peak when Elkington was a zygote, the dominant artistic voice here is an unflinchingly singular one. The lyrics, in particular, travel a path that seems entirely their own, with imagery unusual enough to force your synapses into new configurations, and a bittersweetness palpable enough to take you by the tear ducts and squeeze. With Elkington’s intimate, plum wine vocals and tactile guitar work at the core throughout, each track feels like a stylishly scrawled diary entry we’ve somehow wrangled the permission to read. His combination of timeless folk flavorings and an artful modernity blend into a wistful but never forlorn kind melancholy. It’s the kind that steps far enough back from the shifting of the seasons of life to know that the whole thing is just a dream to be played out, a dance to follow through, on the way to becoming one with the true sound of winter.”

– Jim Allen, NPR Music

“Starkly gorgeous. Wintres Woma is less a debut than a timestamp of a road warrior’s present state of being. It sings with his collaborations, his influences, and his ingenuity.”

– Will Schube, Noisey


Songwriter and guitarist James Elkington is set to release his debut solo record, Wintres Woma, next Friday, June 30th. Leading into its release, the album is now available to stream via NPR Music’s “First Listen”, where Jim Allen has penned a beautiful and spot-on essay. Additionally, the “guitar king” (The FADER) is excited to present the Timothy J. Harris directed music video for “Sister of Mine.” Elkington spoke to Noisey about the track, and togas:

“I hardly ever write songs from other people’s points of view, but I’d been reading about the Roman Emperor, Caligula (possibly in anticipation of our current administration) and started thinking about how the great megalomaniac monsters of history hardly ever think of themselves as monsters. They nearly always seem to be able to justify their actions to themselves, so I wrote his horrible history as a kind of mundane letter that he might have written to his sister (who was also his best friend and confident).

“I thought about wearing a toga to tie it in with the song,” he tells us, “but it was just too windy.”

Drawing from British folk, avant-rock, and jazz traditions alike, Wintres Woma—Old English for “the sound of winter”— is James Elkington’s debut solo record, but you’ve likely heard his masterful guitar playing and arranging, even if you didn’t realize it. Elkington (an Englishman living in Chicago) is an inveterate collaborator who brings his lyrical compositional and improvisational sensibilities to any group. He has toured, recorded, and/or collaborated with Jeff Tweedy, Richard Thompson, Steve Gunn, Michael Chapman, Joan Shelley, Nathan Salsburg, Brokeback and most recently Tortoise, to name just a few of his admirers. Recorded at Wilco’s Loft, it’s baroquely detailed and beautifully constructed, featuring both Elkington’s baritone vocals and some of Chicago’s finest musicians.


Listen to “Sister of Mine” 


Listen to “Wading The Vapors” 


Watch “Make It Up” Video


Listen to “Make It Up” 


James Elkington Tour Dates:

Thu. June 29 – Chicago, IL @ Constellation

Thu. July 27 – Santa Ana, CA @ Constellation Room w/ Steve Gunn, Heron Oblivion

Sat. July 29 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Getty – Saturdays Off the 405 w/ Steve Gunn

Sun. July 30 – San Diego, CA @ The Space Bar w/ Steve Gunn, Heron Oblivion

Tue. Aug, 1 – Sonoma, CA @ Gundlach Bundschu Winery w/ Steve Gunn

Fri. Aug. 4 – Seattle, WA @ Tractor Tavern w/ Steve Gunn


James Elkington online:

Official Website