James Elkington - Ever-Roving Eye
“It’s time for you to move, better get somewhere to go” - James Elkington, “Nowhere Time”
We were first introduced to the Paradise of Bachelors label last fall when we worked with them to bring you Terry Allen’s Juarez record. Wanting to know more about their label, the owner Brendan pointed us to a Spotify playlist filled with music that the label had put out. Kathleen and I both started listening individually to the playlist pretty regularly and eventually discovered that we had both been especially enjoying all of the songs by some guy named James Elkington. It didn’t take long for us to stray from the playlist and start going straight for the Elkington. When something starts to get that much play at home it usually starts to get tossed around as a potential Good Thing record. We kept talking about how we heard so many of our favorite sounds in this record - Davy Graham, Jim O’Rourke, a little Nick Drake - but from someone we thought was new to the scene. As we learned more about him, our interest in his music made so much more sense. Turns out he’s been around some time and spent years in the Chicago music scene playing with the likes of Tortoise and Jeff Tweedy and fronting another new favorite band of ours - The Zincs with the one and only Jon Mcentire on drums. What? We knew this guy was awesome! Learning all of this really sealed the deal for us. Ever-Roving Eye is good, real good. There’s a reason we seem to put it on together at home, on our own, at our bakery or at our roastery on an almost daily basis. His finger picking throughout the Ever-Roving Eye is enough to make you want to quit practicing but his solos on “Nowhere Time” and “Late Jim’s Lament” will make you want to smash all of your guitars into a million pieces that would be impossible to ever glue back together.
Kerche - Guji, Ethiopia
Rounding out our natural offerings from Ethiopia this year is another dynamite coffee from the highlands of Guji. When we selected our offerings all the way back in January, the team at Snap Specialty Coffee had a table full of coffee right when we walked in to the lab. Of those coffees, we tasted three naturals back-to-back and chose all of them. This particular natural coffee is processed at the Teshome Gemechu wet mill, which is supported by farmers in the surrounding areas whose coffee is cultivated under cloud forest canopy, or in small, personal gardens. Kerche tastes like a tropical fruit bomb that's backed up by white tea qualities and delicate melon acidity. Naturals seem to keep getting better and better each year, and we're excited to see what the next harvest brings from our favorite origin.