Hot Club of Cowtown

IN response to my post about Heather Stewart, Geoff Leaman from Geelong made the following comment:
Sandy & I hope to hear & see Heather Stewart sometime – in the meantime we always look at many Jazz items on Youtube. We discovered some time ago an American group called Hot Club of Cowtown – a trio with one of the stars Violinist/Vocalist Elana James – she & Guitar & String Bass are ALL HOT!! I thought of them after seeing yr item on Heather & wonder if she knows of them?

Here’s a clip of the group performing in Marblehead, Maryland, USA.

The Hot Club of Cowtown is a jazz/western swing trio, comprising; Elana Fremerman (now known as Elana James) (vocals, violin), Whit Smith (vocals, guitar), and slap bass player Jake Erwin, who also sing in three-part harmony. Smith and James, originally met through an ad in the classified music section of The Village Voice in 1994. They played together in New York City before relocating to San Diego in 1997, where they spent a year playing for tips, and building up their repertoire. By 1998, they relocated to Austin, Texas and in 2000 added Jake Erwin on bass, finalizing the Hot Club’s lineup.

Since their first recording in 1998, the Hot Club of Cowtown has become a hard-swinging Western swing trio. The first American band to tour Azerbaijan, they have opened for such artists as Bob Dylan and Willie Nelson and continue to bring their brand of western swing to a wide range of festival audiences all over the world, but it has always been about staying true to their roots.

Remaining willfully out of the musical mainstream, Hot Club of Cowtown has created a cult following. The “Hot Club” in their name comes from Django Reinhardt and Stephane Grappelli’s Hot Club of France, and “Cowtown” from the western influence of Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys.

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