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Album Review

Smoky Parisian bistros and steamy eight-to-the-bar rhythms, with an occasional two-step toward Texas roadhouse swing, continue to inspire Austin's archival threesome on Ghost Train. The band covers a few old tunes, but the best performances crop up on their own songs and particularly the ones fashioned with Art Deco affectation. These dominate the first part of the album, most persuasively on "Sleep," deftly written and performed in fairly authentic gypsy style, and "Home," which features a disarming, unaffected vocal by Elana Fremerman over a sly and slippery melody line. Hot Club of Cowtown's relatively routine performance of "You Took Advantage of Me" leads to wilder Western territory; here, aside from Fremerman's searing fiddle throughout "Cherokee Shuffle," their reversion to rawboned cowboy rusticity leaves an anti-climactic aftertaste. Paradoxically, these Texans feel more at home when their minds and their music are thousands of miles away. ~ Robert L. Doerschuk, Rovi

Biography

Genre: Country

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Western swing revivalists Hot Club of Cowtown formed in San Diego, CA in 1996; originally a duo pairing singer/violinist Elana Fremerman and singer/guitarist Whit Smith, a subsequent move to Austin, TX made room for the addition of bassist Billy Horton. Signing to Hightone, the trio issued its debut album, Swingin' Stampede!, in the fall of 1998; the follow-up, Tall Tales, appeared a year later. New bassist Matt Weiner joined Smith and Fremerman for 2000's Dev'lish Mary. Ghost Train came two years...
Full Bio
Ghost Train, The Hot Club of Cowtown
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  • $9.99
  • Genres: Country, Music, Rock
  • Released: Sep 17, 2002

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