Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Album Review: Elana James - Black Beauty

Hopefully if you're a fan of Austin based or Texas music you are familiar with the Western Swing and Jazz sound of Hot Club of Cowtown. If not you will.  Last month the band won Western Swing Group 2015 in the Ameripolitan Awards and their front lady, Elana James,  won Western Swing Female 2015.  You can hear these talents firsthand, through her latest solo album: Black Beauty.  And I mean talent. Check out her violin in Ayriliq (an Azerbaijani folk song by Ali Salimi) or Waltz of the Animals and her vocals in Hobo's Lullaby. The arrangement in that Waltz of the Animals outstanding; Who Loves You More and All I Need Is You gives us some sexy jazzy vocals; but my favorite song is High Upon the Mountains which incorporates western swing into a spirited song.  Or perhaps the soft sounds of Ripple. As you can see, there's plenty of good music in this release. There are many players on this album with the major being Dave Biller (guitar), Chris Maresh (bass), Mark Hallman (guitar, percussion), Ryan Gould (bass), and Cindy Cashdollar (steel guitar) among several others. Pair with Aubrey Vineyards from her hometown area of Overland Park - just outside of Kansas City. Cheers.

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