The Hot Club of Cowtown is a hot 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 (Cape Cod, MA) and James (Prairie Village, KS), originally met through an ad in the classified music section of The Village Voice in 1994, and 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 (originally from Tulsa, OK) on bass, finalizing the Hot Clubâs lineup. Since their first recording in 1998, Austin-based Hot Club of Cowtown have 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.
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