Elkhorn’s Roots of Distances Mix

On September 16th, Elkhorn will be setting loose their next LP, Distances, on Feeding Tube Records. It’s a primal force of nature that tangles thunderous riffs with whirlwind melodies and torrential solos. Jesse Sheppard and Drew Gardner teamed up with two different drummers, Nate Scheible and Ian McColm, for this joint, and the added percussion melds perfectly with the guitar duo’s psychedelically-minded improv stylings. Within each track, the four musicians set off into the wilderness, exploring their sonic possibilities with a boundless sense of adventure like an electric-era Miles Davis or the early Grateful Dead.

Seeing that Elkhorn’s sound has expanded so much, I asked Sheppard and Gardner to put together a mix of songs that either helped to inspire or at least fit within the same vibe of this new record. They sent back a killer assortment of totally live jams that stretch the gamut from free jazz to acid rock and even Hindustani and Carnatic music. When you listen through this mix back-to-back with the tracks from the new record, like “Train,” you can absolutely hear how the band absorbed these different jamming approaches, textures and modes into their sound, while giving them all an uniquely Elkhorn-ian twist. Check it out below:

1. Jimi Hendrix – Getting My Heart Back Together Again (Gothenburg, Sweden 9.1.70)
2. Steve Gunn featuring Cian Nugent – The Lurker (Philadelphia, PA 9.13.13) video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mMO0cUGJD0Y
3. Grateful Dead – Dark Star (Columbus, OH 10.31.71) – Dick’s Picks Volume Two
4. The Paul Butterfield Blues Band – East West (Hollywood 1969)
5. Miles Davis – It’s About That Time (Washington DC 12.19.70) –The Cellar Door Sessions
6. Robbie Basho -Pavan India (Bonn, Germany 11.24.80) – Bon ist Supreme
7. Ustad Ali Akbar Khan and Ustad Abdul Halim Jaffer Khan – Festival of Hindustani and Carnatic Music (Bhopal, India 1.4.73)
8. Planet Earth Rock and Roll Orchestra – Mountain #4 (Wally Heider’s Studio, San Francisco, CA 1.3.71)

Huge thanks to Jesse and Drew for taking the time to put together this excellent mix. Click here to preorder Distances today and be sure to catch them on tour this fall:

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Published by Record Crates United

Keith Hadad, the creator and manager of RCU, has been a contributing writer to Elmore Magazine and Thewaster.com and maintains a regular column, “Keith Hadad’s Choice,” in Blicker magazine. His writing has also appeared in the Smithsonian Folkways' Guest Blog and the Optical Sounds Fanzine. Also, please check out the blog's super-active Instagram account, @recordcratesunited for daily blurb-styled music reviews.

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