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Hot Club Of Cowtown

What Makes Bob Holler (Proper American)

Reviewed by Jim Caligiuri, Fri., March 18, 2011

SXSW Records

Hot Club Of Cowtown

What Makes Bob Holler (Proper American)

Isn't every Hot Club of Cowtown disc a tribute to Bob Wills? In a way, but What Makes Bob Holler also prompts the local trio to these 14 tunes from the King of Western swing's Tiffany Transcriptions era with extraordinary results. Captured live sans overdubs, Austin's HCOCT shows off its impeccable musicianship and a singular ability to set toes to tapping with just Elana James' hot fiddle, Whit Smith's slinky guitar, and the thumping stand-up bass of Jake Erwin. Some choices – "Big Ball in Cowtown," "Faded Love," "Stay a Little Longer" – are obvious. Then there's the deceptively simple "Keeper of My Heart" and the hillbilly call-and-response bop "The Devil Ain't Lazy." If you think you've heard the Hot Club of Cowtown before, think again. This set proves they're not only the best at what they do; they're the only one's that can do what they do. (Wed., 11pm, Speakeasy Kabaret)

****

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