Music » Critics' Picks

Katrina Elam

Thursday, December 2; Family Arena in St. Charles


As a beautiful blond young-country charmer with a knack for soaring choruses, Katrina Elam shares superficial similarities with the soulless Faith Hill, last seen in an overapt role as a Stepford wife. But Elam's pop-damaged peers can't match her passionate delivery and pristine phrasing. Her debut disc showcases not only her rich, expressive voice but also her surprisingly subtle songwriting. Elam's nuanced takes on relationship issues are a welcome change from the genre's usual frying-pan-to-head slapstick sass, and her slow songs, delicately decorated with piano and strings, never become bloated ballads. Elam isn't too pensive to party; she serenades the yee-haw crowd with the fiddle-fueled "I Want a Cowboy," and she gallops through most tracks at a perky-pony pace that should keep her set list lively.

Riverfront Times works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of St. Louis and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep St. Louis' true free press free.