Rolling Stone (Australia)
Elana James (Three-and-a-half Stars)
Elana James/ Shock Records
There is no mystery about how Texas Elana James ended up playing fiddle for Bob Dylan’s touring band in 2004 – she is an incredibly talented violinist, blending everything from classic touches of Stephane Grapelli to hints of mod trad-master Mrk O’Connor in an energetic, engaging style that says a lot about both her own personality and the music she loves. James matches her bow work with a sweet, sassy purr of a voice, and turns both to the task of rendering a contemporary take on some very traditional western swing and jazz ideas. Whether they be self-penned songs – such as “Oh, Baby” – or her own arrangements of traditional tunes – like “Goodbye Liza Jane” – James is at her best when she is upbeat and the cheekiness that seems inherent to both her playing and singing is allowed to really shine through.