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There aren't too many disappointments when it comes to the retro-Western Swing outfit Hot Club of Cowtown. One of them, though, is that they're not actually from Fort Worth - which, ah, is known as Cowtown.
Bob Wills, though, rocked Fort Worth, and Hot Club of Cowtown named themselves in homage - or at least partly in homage. The "Hot Club" part comes from the trio's equal affection for Stephan Grappelli and Django Reinhardt's gypsy-jazz outfit, Hot Club of France.
Okay, we have that straightened out.
Hot Club of Cowtown - originally formed in New York and now centered in Austin - is comprised of vocalist/violinist Elana James, guitarist/vocalist Whit Smith and double bassist/vocalist Jake Erwin. And while aforementioned influences are imprinted in their music's DNA, over the course of several albums, they've also established a tremendous and instantly identifiable sound - as per their latest CD, "Rendezvous in Rhythm."
In concert, HCOC offers dizzying three-part harmonies, fluid musicianship, and a great sense of fun and energy. See them Friday in the Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center.
- RICK KOSTER
Hot Club of Cowtown,
8 p.m. Friday, Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center, 300 Main St., Old Saybrook; $30, $35; (860) 510-0473, thekate.org.