Shout! Factory To Release “The Best of the Hot Club of Cowtown”

20 Track Anthology In Stores August 19

Los Angeles, CA – Shout! Factory will release a new 20-track compilation on August 19 celebrating The Hot Club of Cowtown. The Best of The Hot Club of Cowtown is the first title to be released by Shout! Factory through its acquisition of HighTone Records, a leading independent label specializing in American roots music, specifically country, rockabilly, blues, gospel, and western swing.

This collection of band-picked highlights from the Hot Club’s years on HighTone Records makes a compact primer in what made so many fans fall for them in the first place: their fiery playing, nuanced vocals, and contagious enthusiasm.

Originally a duo, Elana James (vocals/violin) and Whit Smith (vocals/guitar), The Hot Club of Cowtown formed in New York in 1996 after discovering they had similar appreciation of the hot swing and jazz of the 1920s to the ‘40s. It was a special time when songs were plain-spoken yet literate, and when the blues was a complex, refined language of the soul. So Whit and Elana built their new musical union on the bedrock of swinging string artists such as Bob Wills, Django Reinhardt, Joe Venuti, Eddie Lang, Stuff Smith, George Barnes and others.

Taking their name as a nod to the Quintette of the Hot Club of France, they spent their early days busking in San Diego’s Balboa Park and playing small clubs at night. After relocating to Austin, TX, in 1997, they picked up an agent and a bass player and began crisscrossing North America.

The band made their debut on HighTone with Swingin Stampede! in 1998, followed by Tall Tales a year later. After working with different bass players, the Hot Club’s lineup finally solidified with the arrival of Jake Erwin on 2002’s Ghost Train, which was produced by Gurf Morlix and focused on more original tracks than standards. HighTone released Continental Stomp in 2003, which was recorded live at the Continental Club in Austin.

The Hot Club of Cowtown have appeared on numerous television and radio shows, including A Prairie Home Companion, Mountain Stage, and The Grand Ole Opry, and have opened tours for Bob Dylan and Willie Nelson. After a two year hiatus, they have resumed world-wide touring with the release of their Shout! Factory retrospective, with a new cd in the works for 2009.

Shout! Factory is a diversified entertainment company devoted to producing, uncovering and revitalizing the very best of pop culture – The Stuff You Grew Up On But Never Outgrew. Founders Richard Foos, Bob Emmer and Garson Foos have spent their careers sharing their music, television and film faves with discerning consumers the world over. Shout! Factory’s DVD offerings serve up classic, contemporary and cult TV series, riveting sports programs, live music, animation and documentaries in lavish packages crammed with extras. The company’s audio catalogue boasts Grammy®-nominated boxed sets, new releases from storied artists and lovingly assembled album reissues. These riches are the result of a creative acquisitions mandate that has established the company as a hotbed of cultural preservation and commercial reinvention. For more on Shout! Factory, visit

Hot Club of Cowtown tour dates:
August 22 – Kansas City, MO – TBA
August 23 & 24 – Garden City, KS – Tumbleweed Festival

September 4 – London, UK – Dingwalls (UK Tour Begins)
September 26 & 27 – Wolfville, Nova Scotia – Deep Roots Music Festival
November 21 & 22 – Glen Ellyn, IL – McAninch Arts Center

January 29 – 31, 2009 – Elko, NV – National Cowboy Poetry Gathering

The Best Of The Hot Club Of Cowtown

Distributed by RED

Release Date: August 19, 2008

Selection No: 826663-10984

Suggested List Price: $15.98

The Hot Club of Cowtown are:

Elana James: Violin and Vocals

Whit Smith: Guitar and Vocals

Jake Erwin: Upright Bass and Background Vocals on Ghost Train and Continental Stomp

Billy Horton: Bass and Background Vocals on Tall Tales and Swingin’ Stampede

Matt Weiner: Bass and Background Vocals on Dev’lish Mary

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Author: James McQuiston

Ph.D. in Political Science, Kent State University. I have been the editor at NeuFutur / since I was 15. Looking for new staff members all the time; email me if you are interested. Thanks!

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