Hot Club of Cowtown at The Apex

© Valerie Fremin

Touring and performing together for nearly two decades, America’s premiere hot jazz and Western swing trio Hot Club of Cowtown (made up by Catch Elana James, Whit Smith and Jake Erwin) release “Midnight On The Trail”, their ninth studio album, on March 26th 2016, and to coincide with the release they hit the road in the UK for seventeen live dates, including The Apex in Bury St Edmunds on the 30th of March.

“Midnight On The Trail” is a vintage mix of 12 Western swing songs and cowboy ballads hand-collected to reflect the spirit and joy of the American West. Utterly danceable, romantic and rustic, these songs truly represent the Cowtown of the Imagination, a source of inspiration for the band since it first began.

The new album features a selection of Western swing songs and traditional cowboy ballads written by Bob Wills, Johnny Mercer, Cindy Walker, Gene Autry and more. Steeped in the romance of the American west, this hand-picked collection truly reflects the spirit and joy of the Cowtown of the Imagination, a source of inspiration for the band since it first began. Hot Club of Cowtown sizzle through Mercer’s I’m an Old Cowhand (From the Rio Grande) and the Bob Wills standard Take Me Back to Tulsa, and cast a spell under a starry western sky with ballads from Silver on the Sage to Gene Autry’s There’s an Empty Cot in the Bunkhouse Tonight. This romantic and rustic collection will make you want to roll up the rug (Oh, Mona, Cotton Eyed Joe, Next to the Soil), and slow dance to the old fashioned elegance of Cindy Walker’s Blue Bonnet Lane, Billy Hill’s Call of the Canyon, and yearn to meet a lost love again one day by  An Old Watermill by a Waterfall.

Along with the Hot Club’s dedicated cult following worldwide- they have toured for the US State Department as Musical Ambassadors to Azerbaijan, Armenia, 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 both personally and professionally. The Hot Club has opened several shows for Willie Nelson, toured with Nelson and Dylan during a summer-long stadium tour and opened seven nights of Roxy Music’s sold out “For Your Pleasure” UK stadium tour in early 2011. In the UK the Hot Club of Cowtown has been featured at the Glastonbury Festival and has also been a returning guest on Later with Jools Holland, the Cambridge Folk Festival, the Radcliffe and Maconie Show, and Bob Harris Country on BBC Radio 2.

 “Unfussy and unpretentious, their blend of down-home melodies and exuberant improvisation harks back to a lost era of so-called western swing. When they plunge into Orange Blossom Special your thoughts turn not so much to runaway trains as to a B-52 tearing up a runway.” – The Times

“One of the finest performances by a visiting American country act I’ve witnessed for a very long time… they pretty much lifted the roof [off of the Black Box in Belfast] a couple of months back…a pretty much perfect country trio at the very top of their game.”  – The Belfast Telegraph

“…Spirit, originality and skill that would surely have impressed Stephane Grappelli and Django Reinhardt back in the 1930s.” – The Guardian

The trio have also gained a few awards including the Ameripolitan Awards for Western Swing Group Of The Year (2015), Best Music Group by True West Magazine’s “Best of the West” Awards (2012) and Elana James won the Ameripolitan Award for Western Swing Female of The Year (2015).

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The show will be playing at The Apex in Bury St Edmunds on Wednesday 30th March

Show: 8pm / Tickets: £18 / Avaliable at the box office: 01284 758000 or online

For more information and the latest tour news, please visit



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