The Hot Club Of Cowtown: Whit Smith (guitar); Elana Fremerman (violin); Billy Horton (upright bass).
Additional personnel: Johnny Gimble (fiddle).
Personnel: Whit Smith (vocals, guitar); Elana Fremerman (vocals, fiddle); Jeremy Wakefield (steel guitar); Johnny Gimble (fiddle); Mike Maddux (accordion); T. Jarrod Bonta (piano); Billy Horton (upright bass, background vocals).
A move to Austin, Texas from New York City brought Hot Club of Cowtown leader/guitarist Whit Smith's musical aims into sharp focus. Drawing heavily from the hot jazz (and name) of Django Reinhardt and Stephane Grappelli in the legendary quintet the Hot Club of France, they further mix in the western swing and cowboy songs of their adopted state. SWINGIN' STAMPEDE is their 1998 debut and it's a confident tour through some classic songbooks, from Bob Wills to George Gershwin.
This is a sturdy and supple little trio, with guitarist Whit Smith and fiddler Elana Fremerman handling the singing, while Billy Horton anchors the bottom with his upright bass and some backup vocals. They achieve the rare feat of playing this music with honest gusto without being bound by the nostalgia that can sometimes hobble such undertakings.