Hot Club Of Cowtown

Wishful Thinking (Gold Strike)

Texas Platters

Hot Club Of Cowtown

Wishful Thinking (Gold Strike)

They broke up in 2005, but Wishful Thinking proves the Hot Club of Cowtown belongs together. Fiddler Elana James, guitarist Whit Smith, and stand-up bassist Jake Erwin haven't made a studio album together since 2002's Ghost Train, yet here the local trio reaches another level of musicality. Whether covering Bob Wills (clattering set opener "Can't Go on This Way") or playing gyspy jazz à la inspirations Django Reinhardt and Stéphane Grappelli with "Heart of Romain," the band surprises on Wishful Thinking with greater sensitivity and sophistication than anything the threesome has done before. Adding depth is the first-time inclusion of a drummer, Damien Llanes, who brings propulsion to "What You Meant to Me" and flashes his brushes tastefully throughout. The group chose covers artfully as well. Smith handles Hoagy Charmichael's "Georgia" ardently, while James sparkles on Tom Waits' "The Long Way Home" and breathes sexy through George and Ira Gershwin's "Someone to Watch Over Me." Few bands make their best work years after forming, even fewer after breaking up and reforming, but Wishful Thinking is the Cowtowners at their peak.

***.5

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 36 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More Hot Club of Cowtown
Texas Platters
Hot Club of Cowtown
Rendezvous in Rhythm (Record Review)

Jim Caligiuri, June 14, 2013

SXSW Records
Hot Club Of Cowtown
What Makes Bob Holler (Record Review)

Jim Caligiuri, March 18, 2011

More Music Reviews
Texas Platters
Sheverb
Chapter One (Record Review)

Doug Freeman, Dec. 14, 2018

Texas Platters
Kendall Beard
Here Comes Trouble (Record Review)

Doug Freeman, Dec. 14, 2018

More by Jim Caligiuri
Carrie Elkin’s Life-and-Death Folk
Carrie Elkin’s Life-and-Death Folk
Her father's death and daughter's birth upped the stakes of the singer's finest work

April 14, 2017

SXSW Music Live: Richard Barone Presents Greenwich Village in the Sixties
SXSW Music Live: Richard Barone Presents Greenwich Village in the Sixties
Soft Boys, Youngbloods, Moby Grape, Brian Jones’ grandson, etc.

March 18, 2017

KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Hot Club of Cowtown

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Updates for SXSW 2019

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle