The Hot Club of Cowtown is an energetic and lively western swing and hot jazz trio that formed in 1997 in the “Live Music Capital of the World,” Austin, Texas. It was in 1996 when Elana James (vocals/violin) listed a classified ad in the music section of New York’s The Village Voice, seeking to join a band, that the fate of the trio begun to unfold. Whit Smith (vocals/guitar) answered the ad and the pair begun to play music together in New York City. The duo, realizing their potential, moved to Austin to pursue their hot jazz western swing music career where they solidified the group by adding Jake Erwin (vocals/bassist).
The origin of the band’s name came from the heavy influences of hot jazz, introducing themselves as the “Hot Club,” and its twist of lively western swing that they gave it the destination of “Cowtown,” hinting at their soulful origins and country vibe. Their first album, The Swingin’ Stampede, debuting in 1998, was mostly made up of covers which sparked the beginning of their recognition, but it was their album Ghost Train, released in 2002, that truly legitimized the band’s potential in original songwriting. In 2003, with their latest album released, Continental Stomp, Hot Club of Cowtown became widely known for their joyful and energetic live performances – described as “an arsenal of technique and joy” (New York Times) – making them a must see experience. The trio continued to tour and produce music until they decided to split in 2005 though rallying together to play occasional gigs. In 2008, they finally realized that their passion to perform could no longer be stifled, so they packed up their bags and began touring and recording again. In 2011, the band released a highly anticipated tribute to the father of western swing, Bob Wills, by covering his album What Makes Bob Holler, which was then followed by their most recent album, Rendezvous in Rhythm, in 2013. The Hot Club of Cowtown’s ability to consistently produce multitudes of quality music has provided them opportunities to tour all over the United States as well as the world. Their talent has also recently won them the “Western Swing Group of the Year 2015” award by the Ameripolitan Music Awards.
It’s a joy and an honor to host this rowdy trio for a night of knee-slapping and good ol’ country fun. So come on out to the Grand Stafford on Monday, December 7th at 8 PM for an unforgettable experience! You can get your tickets here.