Hot Club of Cowtown swings into the Kate

The Hot Club  is, from left, Jake Erwin, Elana James and Whit Smith.
The Hot Club is, from left, Jake Erwin, Elana James and Whit Smith.

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.


Hot Club of Cowtown,
8 p.m. Friday, Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center, 300 Main St., Old Saybrook; $30, $35; (860) 510-0473,


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