James Elkington will open the show. Stuarts is thrilled to welcome back Joan Shelley to Nelsonville for a set in our brand new space The Stage at 30 Public Square. The stunning, self-titled fourth album from the Kentucky singer, songwriter, and guitarist Joan Shelley began, surprisingly, with a fiddle. In the summer of 2014, Shelley fell for -Hog of the Forsaken,- a bowed rollick at the end of Michael Hurleys wayward folk circus, Long Journey, then nearly forty years old. Hurleys voice, it seemed to Shelley, clung to the fiddles melody, dipping where it dipped and climbing where it climbed. This was a small, significant revelation, prompting the guitarist to trade temporarily six strings for four and, as she puts it, -try to play like Michael.- That is, she wanted to sing what she played, to play what she sang. She tried it, for a spell, with the fiddle.
Drawing from British folk, avant-rock, and jazz traditions alike, Wintres Woma-- Old English for -the sound of winter--- is James Elkingtons debut solo record, but you have likely heard his masterful guitar playing and arranging, even if you did not 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 and Brokeback, to name just a few of his many enthusiastic admirers. His assured album, recorded at Wilcos Loft, is baroquely detailed and beautifully constructed, featuring both his baritone vocals and some of Chicagos finest, including Tomeka Reid.