Essentials: This weekend’s live music picksAugust 19, 2010

By Kimberly Chun, Andrew Gilbert and Mosi Reeves
Here are The Chronicle’s picks for nightclub happenings this weekend.

Hot Club of Cowtown
Tonight and Friday @ Amnesia: The imperturbably swinging fiddler and stylish singer Elana James has been keeping impressive company, touring with Bob Dylan and Willie Nelson, but she’s at her most engaging in the Hot Club of Cowtown, an Austin, Texas, string trio featuring guitarist-vocalist Whit Smith and bassist-vocalist Jake Erwin. Whether tearing through standards or playing buoyant originals, the Hot Club combines the ebullient rhythmic bounce of Django Reinhardt with the cool Texas twang of Bob Wills. 8:30 tonight and 9 p.m. Fri., $10, 21+. 853 Valencia St., S.F. (A.G.)