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Hot Club of Cowtown



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Hot Club of Cowtown is a complex band filled with surprises. Evidence: The two singers trade off lead vocals, but the band also plays a lot of instrumentals. They've been successful as a traditional guitar, violin and stand-up bass combo, but recently added a drummer to mix things up on their latest CD, "Wishful Thinking." The band, which reformed after a hiatus, is complicated not only musically, but also logistically. Founding members Elana James and Whit Smith live in different states: James in Texas and Smith in Oklahoma.  ...
"It's been a lot of hard work over the last year and a half, clawing back out to the place where we'd been before, and there's been an enormous amount of work with that." Thus speaks Elana James, better known as Elana Fremerman, the fiddle-playing co-founder of the hot jazz aggregation Hot Club of Cowtown, which abruptly disbanded in 2005. Since then, she has toured behind Bob Dylan and Willie Nelson, created a solo debut album for her own Snarf Records label and re-christened herself Elana James.  ...
"We eat every meal together, we drive until two in the morning, and we spend a lot of time just staring into convenience food aisles," observes Hot Club Of Cowtown fiddle-player Elana Fremerman. "People never believe it when they see you on the Grand Ole Opry and your skirt is twinkling with gold sequins, but the reality is that you're spending a lot of time at the Exxon TigerMart." Sound like they're complaining? Not hardly. The Austin-based Hot Club Of Cowtown, have traveled a lot of hard  ...
One listen to the Hot Club of Cowtown's recorded legacy and you just know there's a 78 collector in the trio. In this case, it happens to be guitarist Whit Smith, an avowed thrift store junkie who scours the racks for obscure tunes from a bygone era of American musical culture. The difference between Smith and the garden variety collector is that one of Smith's great unknown B-side finds could easily wind up in the repertoire of the Hot Club of Cowtown, one of the hottest new retro outfits to  ...
"The young guy behind the counter had a shaved head, a rivet through his bottom lip, and baggy surfer shorts on. He flipped through the cards I'd chosen, fingers flittering over the till, then stopped at an old sepia photograph of a cowboy in boots and hat, flying off a bucking bronc. Surprise and disgust creased across his face. That old nostalgic crap! he said. Pardon? All this horse and Stetson stuff. It's garbage! Nobody dresses like that in Texas anymore.  ...

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