Jacken Elswyth – Six Static Scenes

Dusting off the earthy sounds of American old-timers Hobart Smith, Dock Boggs and Dink Roberts, as well as Irish singer Margaret Barry, London-based Jacken Elswyth lets their influence flood their consciousness and weave itself into 7 stirring tracks. Side-stepping any revivalism, Jacken allows each track the space to trail its own path, letting the spindling strings of their banjo knot their own patterns and colours. With occasional accompaniment by shruti box and melodeon, there's a trance like nature to each proceeding, situating Jacken's work firmly in the tradition of the "avant-folk" (see Henry Flynt's experiments in country music), but very much tempered to their own voice, as if the listener is being given an intimate private view to Jacken's memories: both past and present.


Jacken Elswyth / banjo


Recorded and mixed by Jacken Elswyth. Mastered by Oli Barrett. 

Cover design by Oli Barrett from a photo by Molly Budd.

Available as 320k MP3 or 24bit FLAC   


1. Scene 1, after Hobart Smith - 5:58

2. Scene 2, after Dock Boggs - 4:06

3. Scene 3, after Dink Roberts - 3:02

4. Scene 4a - 5:49

5. Scene 4b - 3:27

6. Scene 5 - 4:43

7. Scene 6, after Margaret Barry - 4:49

Jacken Elswyth

Jacken Elswyth is a London-based banjo player exploring traditional tunes, extrapolations thereon, and improvisational pieces for clawhammer banjo. Drawing on old-time Appalachian playing alongside American Primitive guitarists and English folk revivalists, Jacken adds drone accompaniments, extended playing techniques, and elements of free playing to push at the edges of these styles and traditions. She also runs Betwixt & Between Tapes, issuing limited-release tapes featuring her own playing alongside other folk, ambient, and improvising artists.