For more than two decades the trio of musicians lead by Elana James, performing as Hot Club of Cowtown, have brought their distinctly American form of western swing and gypsy jazz to audiences around the country and across the globe. On Saturday, July 28, Hot Club of Cowtown returns to the Opera House stage in Boothbay Harbor for one of the most anticipated performances of the summer season.
Since its beginnings in the late 1990s, the Hot Club of Cowtown’s star has continued to rise as its reputation for jaw-dropping virtuosity and unforgettable live shows has become the band’s global brand. Lauded for its “down-home melodies and exuberant improvisation” by The Times, London, the Hot Club has always woven a combination of seemingly disparate styles together to its own magical effect, setting up camp “at that crossroads where country meets jazz and chases the blues away” (The Independent), remaining “conscious always that above all else, the music is for dancing and an old-fashioned good time” (New York Times).
The band’s musical alchemy has been described as “another breathless journey in the Texas tardis” (The Times, London), while American Songwriter observed that “the excellent three players of this band could be doing anything but have chosen to honor the greats of jazz and swing with their sound.” The Belfast Telegraph calls the Hot Club of Cowtown “a pretty much perfect country trio at the very top of their game,” and the New York Times, in a live review the trio as armed with “an arsenal full of technique and joy.”
Along with the Hot Club’s dedicated cult following worldwide — they have toured for the U.S. State Department as musical ambassadors to Azerbaijan, Armenia, Algeria, the Republic of Georgia and the Sultanate of Oman — certain titans of the industry have also taken notice. Bob Dylan, with whom the band toured and with whom James has toured and recorded, is a continuing inspiration. The Hot Club has toured extensively worldwide as well as with favorite artists including Bob Dylan, Willie Nelson, Gatemouth Brown, the Avett Brothers, Dan Hicks, Bryan Ferry, Roxy Music, the Squirrel Nut Zippers, and many others. Career highlights have included the Glastonbury Festival, appearances on Later With Jools Holland, the Cambridge Folk Festival, the Glastonbury Festival and BBC Radio 2’s Radcliffe and Maconie and Bob Harris Country shows, Mountain Stage, A Prairie Home Companion, the Fuji Rock Festival and Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York City.
Advance discounted tickets are $25 and available directly from the box office at 86 Townsend Avenue, Boothbay Harbor, or by calling 633-5159. Regularly priced tickets are $30 and available online at boothbayoperahouse.com and at the door. The historic upstairs bar opens at 6:30 p.m., doors open at 7 for the 7:30 concert.