CD: The Hot Club of Cowtown’s “What Makes Bob Holler”

March 28th, 2011, 4:42 pm by Greg

What Makes Bob Holler
(Proper American, 2011):

Western swing has been an essential ingredient in the repertoire of the Hot Club of Cowtown since the trio uncorked their debut album, “Swingin’ Stampede” on HighTone Records, back in 1998. In fact, you could say that the band is pretty much based on the hybrid style of Django Reinhardt-meets-Bob Wills.

But the core duo of fiddler-vocalist Elana James and guitarist-vocalist Whit Smith always seemed to bring a more contemporary spin on their fusion of Gypsy jazz and western swing. Their previous album – 2009’s “Wishful Thinking,” their reunion after a hiatus – was a decidedly eclectic disc with a more eccentric selection of tunes – including Tom Waits’ “The Long Way Home.” But it also led off with Wills’ “Can’t Go on This Way.”

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