This one comes in a bit bittersweet for me. Before the cavalcade of Covid hit us last year, Elkhorn’s Winter tour would have passed through Tubby’s in Kingston for an RSTB Presents show alongside Glenn Jones and Alexander Turnquist. This was pretty much the week after the now fabled 75 Dollar Bill set that’s been immortalized on LP, but alas it was not to happen. We erred on the side of caution and with good cause, but it meant that the show remains frozen in hope until such a time that live music resumes in good faith. But as I’ve been missing Elkhorn in the live sphere this tape from War Hen arrives just in time to run down some excellent performances from their earlier dates on that tour — stopping through the Montauk Salt Cave, Rhizome in DC, Record Exchange in Philly, and Black Swann and Oddfellows in Virginia.
Along the way they picked up some locals to help them out and each show fleshes out the Elkhorn sound with pop-ins from Mike Gangloff, Nate Scheible, Harmonica Dan & Ken Brenninger, Jordan Perry, and Eight Point Star. Each set jam is unique to the sets that wrought them and each feel the inimitable touch of Elkhorn’s magic on the stage. Jesse and Drew, while excellent in the studio, are improvisors at heart and the stage opens up the sound of Elkhorn to new tributaries of sound that branch from their psych-scorched catalog. One of the true lifesavers during this time period has been the abundant proliferation of live material that’s been officially up for sale and this is right up there with the best from the last twelve months.
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