Review: Hot Club Of Cowtown - The Best of Hot Club Of Cowtown

Listening to the 20-track anthology titled "The Best of Hot Club Of Cowtown" is like attending a western swing and jazz master class. This album more than proves why Hot Club Of Cowtown is a critical darling and a fan favorite. Yes, these talented musicians know how sing, play and entertain better than just about any artist working today.

Hot Club Of Cowtown began as a duo when Elena James and Whit Smith discovered they had a mutual love of artists like Bob Wills, Joe Venuti, Stuff Smith, Eddie Lang, George Barnes and Django Reinhardt among others. So they moved from San Diego, California to Austin, Texas and added a base player to complete the group.

One of the best tracks on the anthology is titled "I Can't Believe You're In Love With Me." The vocals have a casual elegance reminiscent of the popular music of the 1940s. The instrumentation perfectly compliments the carefully nuanced vocals. The upbeat "Forget-Me Nots" is another standout cut. The passionate enthusiasm and fast tempo make this an delightful musical treat.

The album's three live tracks are all perfectly performed. The album begins with a live version of the traditional song, "Ida Red." It mightily succeeds. Another live track "Deed I Do" is expertly crafted by the band and is a very satisfying display of raw musical talent. The terrific live "Orange Blossom Special" provides a fitting end for the explosion of musical talent displayed on this winning anthology.

Hot Club Of Cowtown's 20-song anthology, "The Best Of Hot Club Of Cowtown" is a marvelous reminder of our precious musical heritage provided by these new prophets of western swing and jazz.