Since 1998, the Western swing-gypsy jazz trio Hot Club of Cowtown has traveled the world bringing their own brand of magical musical chemistry to audiences far and wide. Along with Elana James, guitarist Whit Smith and bassist Jake Erwin are equal partners in this original marriage of gypsy-jazz-inspired by the music of Django Reinhardt — which accounts for the “Hot Club” portion of their name — with the hoedowns, traditional tunes, and Western swing-inspired music of Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys, represented in the “Cowtown” of their name. They have created a legacy of the preservation of musical traditions that have often been overlooked by the mainstream and alternative music worlds. Even Americana and roots enthusiasts have only scratched the surface of the multitude of musicians, past and present, who continue to inspire the Hot Club of Cowtown.
Their 2020 release, The Finest Hour, is a live and unedited collection of songs that were performed in front of a live audience on October 19 & 20, 2019 at the Dakota Jazz Club in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The fifteen songs included in this album were all on the American music charts in 1945, as WWII ended with an Allied victory. The Finest Hour was recorded to honor and celebrate the 75th anniversary of the end of WWII.