February 6, 2007
By Frank De Blase
Elana James: “Elana James” Snarf Records
I’ve always felt that women that sound this sweet are a trap. Elana James’ coquettish coo is soft and beautiful and deadly sexy. But by the time you realize you’re in love, you’re out again and broken hearted.
Perhaps known more for her fiddle playing with the late great Hot Club Of Cowtown, it’s James’ voice that sends me on this, her first solo release. The sweet and light-hearted vocal production and James’ phrasing reminds me a little of Mary Ford. Always casual and sexy, James sparkles in this platter full of to-be-expected Texas-style swing, minor waltzes, and a touch of hillbilly. Her fiddle town is slippery, rich, and warm. Hell, Dylan likes it so much, he gave her a gig in his band… and she in turn does a solid with a cover of his “One More Night.” Elana James is a classic American beauty who plays an American classic beautifully.