Elana McMurtry at The Dakota Tavern

Elana McMurtry and The Palomino at The Dakota

If you missed the awesome Neko Case shows a few days ago when she played Trinity St-Paul's Centre, fear not.

There's another beautiful voice in town that belongs to Elana McMurtry. It's kind of hard to pinpoint her sound. Her MySpace page says she sounds like "A wild raw road-trip between John Steinbeck and David Lynch."

I caught her blend of soulful, bluesy song last Tuesday at The Dakota Tavern. While she's not as established as Case, she's got a wealth of talent. And she's local to boot!

Elana McMurtry at The Dakota Tavern

The "country jazz cabaret" style of music kind of reminded me of Tom Waits, sung by Mary Margaret O'Hara. Still, McMurtry's got the phrasing and gentle delivery all her own.

Elana McMurtry at The Dakota Tavern

The Palomino is her band, featuring James Robertson on guitar, Brian Kobayakawa on double bass and Sly Juhas on drums and percussion.

Elana McMurtry and The Palomino play two sets tonight at The Dakota Tavern, 249 Ossington Ave., at Dundas starting at 9 p.m. PWYL (Pay What You Like).

Photos by Roger Cullman.


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