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The Hot Club of Cowtown

The Hot Club of Cowtown

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. They also sing in three-part harmony. Smith (from Cape Cod, Massachusetts) and James (Prairie Village, Kansas) 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, Oklahoma) on bass, finalizing the Hot Club’s lineup.