James Elkington – “Late Jim’s Lament”

The English-born, Chicago-based guitarist James Elkington already had a hell of a resume over the years, having played with everyone from Jeff Tweedy to Richard Thompson to Steve Gunn to Tortoise. But then, he released his own debut album Wintres Woma in 2017, establishing a new lane for himself as a singer-songwriter (still with mesmerizing guitar parts, though). Last month, he announced his sophomore outing, Ever-Roving Eye. So far, we’ve heard “Nowhere Time” and the album’s title track. And today, Elkington is back with another new one.

The latest preview of Ever-Roving Eye is called “Late Jim’s Lament.” Its title has a double meaning, alluding to never being on time but also dying before getting to everything a person is setting out to do. “No matter how I drive I know I can’t out-drive the hearse, ’cause it’s too late in my mind and getting later all the time,” Elkington sings. Like his other work, “Late Jim’s Lament” manages to conjure up folk traditions, psychedelic guitar sojourns, and Chicago’s idiosyncratic rock classicists all at once.

“Late Jim’s Lament” also comes with a video directed by Timothy Musho. It uses a lot of stop motion and features odd graphics embellishments, like the drawing-esque part where full fish swim out of Elkington’s mouth. A press release noted that it was inspired by surrealism and “the stop motion classics of Jan Svankmajer and Terry Gilliam.” Check it out below.

Elkington has also announced a run of dates supporting Wilco in addition to his previously-announced tour plans:

03/24 – Portland, OR @ Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall *
03/26 – Santa Rosa, CA @ Luther Burbank *
03/27 – Oakland, CA @ Fox Theater *
03/28 – Oakland, CA @ Fox Theater *
03/29 – San Jose, CA @ San Jose Civic *
04/01 – Los Angeles, CA @ Orpheum Theater *
04/16 – Chicago, IL @ The Hideout (RECORD RELEASE SHOW) %
05/21 – Glasgow, UK @ Mono ^
05/22 – Newcastle, UK @ Gosforth Civic Theatre ^
05/23 – Manchester, UK @ The King’s Arms ^
05/24 – Leeds, UK @ Brudenell Social Club ^
05/25 – Bristol, UK @ The Wardrobe Theatre ^
05/27 – London, UK @ Kings Place ^
05/28 – Brighton, UK @ Hope & Ruin ^

^ = w/ Joan Shelley
* = w/ Wilco
% = w/ Bill Mackay

Ever-Roving Eye is out 4/3 on Paradise Of Bachelors. Pre-order it here.