The fusion of jazz and country music may seem new, but what is now called western swing first took root more than 60 years ago. It was then that Bob Wills and his band, The Texas Playboys, fused cowboy twang with the big band sensibilities of the era, becoming one of the most popular groups in 1940s America. At the same time in Paris, young Gypsy guitarist Django Reinhardt and jazz violin pioneer Stephane Grappelli formed The Hot Club of France, a string quintet that made some of the most influential jazz recordings in Europe. It is from the latter group that a certain Austin, Texas, trio derive their name. The Hot Club of Cowtown have looked to the Wills/Reinhardt/Grappelli axis for inspiration, creating music appropriate for both a cocktail party in Brussels and an Oklahoma roadhouse.

Music revivalists like Cowtown are usually met with a mixture of grins and groans. There are those who believe that in order to remain fresh, old music must continue to be played and reconsidered by new generations. Purists, however, see them as gimmicks at best and as corrupted versions of the real deal at worst.

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