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Elkhorn is a folk/psych-rock guitar duo featuring Jesse Sheppard on twelve-string acoustic and Drew Gardner on electric. This music interweaves the extended folk tradition with psychedelic improvisation.
Elkhorn’s sound is rooted in the earthy, traditional fingerpicking of Sheppard with Gardner’s restrained, passionate cascades of improvised melodic phrases flowing through. They move freely between several different traditions; from American Primitive to Psychedelic Rock, from Hindustani to Mauritanian, from Krautrock to Jazz; pulling from players as diverse as Robbie Basho, Sonny Sharrock, Ben Chasny, and David Gilmour. Elkhorn combines the past and future in a rich multilayered music that shifts fluidly from pre-rock to post-rock, from the 1860s to the 1960s and beyond.
Gardner and Sheppard grew up together in the deep woods and rotting industrial husks of central New Jersey and are long time musical collaborators. Their duo concept has come together over the last few years of intense woodshedding. As a Philadelphia-based filmmaker Sheppard has worked with artists such as Glenn Jones, Daniel Bachman, and Nathan Bowles. His performance documentary featuring Jack Rose, The Things That We Used To Do, came out on Strange Attractors Audio House in 2010. Gardner is a multi-instrumentalist who has led bands featuring avant-garde musicians such as John Tchicai and Sabir Mateen, and often conducts experimental collaborations on the fringes of the New York improv music scene.