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Elana James | Elana James

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Hot Club of Cowtown Norah Jones Stéphane Grappelli

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Folk: Folk-Jazz Jazz: Swing/Big Band Moods: Mood: Upbeat
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Elana James

by Elana James

Hot jazzy fiddle music for the 21st Century. This is the debut CD by the violinist/vocalist from the globe-trotting swing trio Hot Club of Cowtown.
Genre: Folk: Folk-Jazz
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Twenty-Four Hours a Day
3:18 $0.99
2. One More Night
2:35 $0.99
3. Oh, Baby
3:39 $0.99
4. Goodbye Liza Jane
2:50 $0.99
5. All the World and I
3:26 $0.99
6. Run Away with Me
3:08 $0.99
7. Eva's Waltz
3:11 $0.99
8. Down the Line
2:55 $0.99
9. I Got it Bad (And That Ain't Good)
3:32 $0.99
10. Silver Bells
3:40 $0.99
11. The Little Green Valley
2:17 $0.99
12. Memories of You
2:46 $0.99
13. I Don't Mind
3:07 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes

"How rare it is to find such a talented and blessed person.
A beautiful voice , a fantastic musician, with the heart
and soul of an angel."

--Willie Nelson

“Her fiddle...evokes memories of the wizardry of Stephane Grappelli
and the magic of Johnny Gimble....Special, original, and a true
treasure. Listen."

--Fred FosterProducer, Founder, Monument Records

"Elana is one of the sexiest, most talented musicians. Her style
hints of another era...taking you places you thought were
unreachable by today's standards. And yet, here she is..."

-Raul Malo, The Mavericks

"[Elana's] throaty violin solos arrived in terse,
epigrammatic phrases with a sprint, every so often, into
chromatic harmony. She also sang in a breathy, un-self-conscious
voice that made every double-entendre seductive."

--Jon Pareles, New York Times

A driving force behind the globe-trotting hot jazz/Western swing trio HOT CLUB OF COWTOWN, Kansas-born violinist and singer ELANA JAMES is an internationally acclaimed performer who has been featured at countless major concerts and music festivals worldwide. After teaming up with Bob Dylan in 2005 as part of his touring band--the first female instrumentalist to do so in thirty years--Elana was honored to be the opening act for Bob Dylan's 2006 summer US tour and has resumed touring and recording with her own band, The Hot Club of Cowtown ("The Best of the Hot Club of Cowtown" the group's latest CD, is to be released August 19, 2008 by Shout!Factory).

Elana has been a regular guest on NPR's A Prairie Home Companion and has been a featured performer on numerous television and radio shows including WSM's Grand Ole Opry, NPR's All Things Considered, World Cafe, Mountain Stage, E-Town Live, and many others. In the UK she has appeared on Later With Jools Hollland, BBC Radio One and Radio Two and at numerous festivals including Glastonbury and the Cambridge Folk Festival. One of the youngest members ever to be inducted into the Texas Western Swing Hall of Fame, Elana makes her home in Austin, Texas.

Favorite artists: Bob Wills, Blossom Dearie, Hugh & Karl Farr, Hot Club of France, Joe Venuti & Eddie Lang, Stuff Smith, Johnny Gimble, Mildred Bailey.



to write a review


great cd,wonderful voice and songs

Dave Pavey

Cracking good stuff!
If you like Country, Western Swing or Jazz buy this CD! High quality music as ever from a talented performer.

Ted LeBlanc

Clean, clear, and Crisp. Sounds like you are having fun, probably even better "l
Musical smorgasbord.Takes me back to old songs in my youth.Messages from the heart, keeping the flow simple.Has to appeal to even Bluegrass, Jazz,Purists.Nice to hear Music without a political bent,simply it is about you and me.

Brian Hodgson

Excellent-exudes joy and vitality-great to lift the gloom from a winter's day
Excellent-a cd to kick out the winter blues and bring a smile to your face.Fine playing,good choice of material and beautiful sultry singing from Elana.Saw her in Belfast last year-hope she returns soon.

roy cuttts

A pleasant surprise and following on from seeing Elena with Hot Club of Cowtown some years ago at The Montgomery Theatre Sheffield England,this is a great CD,Elenas voice is superb as always whether singing upbeat or ballads,the musicians backing her are to complemented too on their splendid performance.Any chance of a trip back to Sheffield England?

Mike O'Neil

Marvelous fiddling and warbling--multileveled talent from a real person.
Besides the high level of talent shown by Elana James on this CD, is the indisputable fact that she is at home with a range of different musical venues. Not just at home, but awfully, awfully good--Bringing something special to Bob Dylan material to jazz, to more serious, contemplative stuff as well. Kudos!


Highly recommended!
After seeing Elana perform live, I bought two copies of this CD (one for us, one for my parents as a Christmas gift). We all love it. Great musicianship, vocals, and mix of standards and originals songs that sound like they could be standards.

Joe Ross

Elana’s music radiates with plenty of seductive charm, confidence & composure
Playing Time – 40:24 -- Elana Fremerman is originally from Kansas. In search of her muse, she’s now living in Austin and is known as Elana James. Beaming with irresistible, savory music, Elana’s debut comfortably presents original songs alongside classic jazz and western swing standards. All have straightforward stories and simple declarations. The ten-year member of the Hot Club of Cowtown was invited to join Bob Dylan’s group shortly after the former disbanded. She covers Dylan’s hit that was originally released in the 60s, “One More Night,” and she’s clearly ready for the light to shine on her. Building off her previous body of recorded work, Elana’s music radiates with plenty of seductive charm, confidence and composure. It’s nice to see the skillful musician making the big leap to being a full-fledged soloist in the spotlight. It’s obviously a kind of liberating experience for her. Six of the CD’s cuts are her own self-penned original songs demonstrating her proficiency as both musician and lyricist. Her challenge is to make the set sound both new and old alike, and Elana has that special knack that will surely bring much continued success. One of the youngest inductees into the Texas Western Swing Hall of Fame, Elana is happening….probably because she sings and plays with so much fervor and infatuation. She’s got it bad, and luckily for us that’s good!

Whether bowing her “Eva’s Waltz” or vocalizing Eubie Blake’s big 1940s hit “Memories of You,” she connects the dots from past to present. She’s blessed with a Midas touch on her violin that moves effortlessly from note to note throughout the album. Actually, she prefers to be known as a “fiddilist.” With a standard like “Silver Bells,” she and Johnny Gimble do some expressive twin fiddling in harmony before embarking on some brief but fiery improvisations. Recording with James on his 80th birthday, Gimble also plays his electric mandolin on “Goodbye Liza Jane.” Besides Gimble, other instrumental support on the album comes from Beau Sample (bass), Dave Biller (guitar), Luke Hill (guitar), Joe Kerr (piano), Bruce Brackman (clarinet), and Mark Hallman (brushes). Sample also contributes some harmony vocals.

James’ voice is lovely, limpid and even somewhat exotic on her leisurely rendition of Duke Ellington’s “I Got It Bad (And That Ain’t Good)” and “I Don’t Mind.” The latter is a very pleasant song that we just don’t often hear covered as frequently as Duke’s bigger hits. While some may perceive her lyrics as a tad novice (“Run Away With Me”) when laid out alongside words from the likes of famous lyricists, I feel that Elana holds her own with some splendid musical vignettes….”oh baby, take me by the hand, help me understand.” She writes with more traditional sensibility than with some contrived or modernistic approach that attempts to push boundaries of the genre she’s playing. “Twenty-Four Hours A Day” opens the project with a jumpin’ groove, and her own harmonies on “All The World And I” are more winsome, old-time and folky. The latter song was inspired from a biography about A. P. Carter as she sings “when all the flowers grow up, it’s you they want to be.” What a feather in her cap that her own plain but thoughtful messages can stand up side-by-side to those of Bob Dylan (One More Night), Billy Strayhorn (I Don’t Mind), Andy Razaf (Memories of You), Paul Webster (I Got It Bad), and Carson Robison (The Little Green Valley). You may recall that the last song was a hit for Marty Robbins, and Elana does seems to have an affinity for elements of nature as she observes “I hear a mockingbird down in the little green valley / he's singing out a song of welcome just for me.” Elana is very comfy singing about babbling brooks and shady nooks, or searching (in “I Got It Bad”) for sweet, gentle love as she feels “like a lonesome weeping willow lost in the wood.”

Elana James’ debut album is enchanting and mesmerizing. It shows that she’s both accomplished and witty -- a proficient swinging and jazzy raconteur if you will. Be sure to catch her own trio (with Sample and Hill) when they come to town. This album reinforces her belief that the key to success is just a matter of getting out there and doing it. (Joe Ross, Roseburg, OR.)


essential listening - buy now - better yet buy three or 5
Some of us who went to see Elana's stunning shows around the UK last year had a preview of this material with a mini CD available at the time. The full length version multiplies the delight many times over. Not a major leap away from her HCOC material but none the worse for that. Sweet songs, astonishing playing, it's all good. Can't wait for Elana to revisit Britain for more shows.

Jeff S.

Great album for any western swing fan
I almost never buy CDs anymore, but after listening to the samples, I didn't hesitate to lay down the cash. I listen to a lot of old western swing, and I was pleasantly surprised when I ran across an authentic sound that was also modern. Many modern western swing bands don't impress me. Her great voice is icing on the cake.
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