Best Musician in Danger of Forgetting What Gig He's Playing

Jim Elkington

Critics' Picks

Singer and guitarist Jim Elkington has been an important figure in the Chicago music scene for years, but lately it seems like he's everywhere. He settled permanently here in 2000, moving from his native London, at which point he was leading sophisticated pop-rock band the Zincs, which dissolved a couple years ago. Since 2002 he's been working with Eleventh Dream Day's Janet Bean in the Horse's Ha, where he displays his British folk sensibilities most strongly. That group has progressed only in fits and starts, but it's his primary songwriting vehicle, unless you count his duo with Louisville guitarist Nathan Salsburg; he cowrote the instrumental tracks on last year's terrific Avos (Tompkins Square). He's also a guitarist in Jon Langford's Skull Orchard, the drummer in Douglas McCombs's Brokeback, the second guitarist in Eleventh Dream Day (he also subbed on drums when Bean broke her foot last year), and a touring guitarist with Kelly Hogan. He'll hit the road with former Stereolab singer Laetitia Sadier later this year in support of the forthcoming album Silencio, on which he appears.

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