Topic - Elana James

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  • "Often people at our shows, old-timers from West Texas, will come up and tell us that what they really like is those old time Gypsy songs. This was the antidote to our western swing CD. Our band is better known as a western swing act, and even though western swing included all kinds of jazzy bluesy idioms from back in the day, the western and country part of it are so prominent that it tends to overshadow the purely jazzy European side of the style."

    Musical Gypsies: Well-traveled Hot Club of Cowtown swings into Jammin' Java

    Americana music has experienced a major revival in recent years, with groups like Mumford & Sons and the Avett Brothers topping the charts with their music based in traditional American genres. Hot Club of Cowtown, the Austin-based trio of Elana James, Whit Smith and Jake Erwin, are no bandwagoners, having played their hybrid of western swing and hot jazz firmly rooted in the American tradition since the 1990s. Yet, as the rest of the music world turns its eyes to Americana, the group has decided to explore their other biggest influence, the Gypsy jazz of 1930s Paris, on their current U.S. tour and upcoming album.

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