What Makes Bob Holler 3 1/2 STARS
Hot Club of Cowtown
Probably around the 10,000th tribute album to Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys, this young, tight trio’s version nicely balances good, less-covered songs (“She’s Killing Me,” “The Devil Ain’t Lazy”) with the usual suspects (“Stay a Little Longer,” a lovely all-instrumental “Faded Love” and the inevitable – especially for this band – “Big Ball in Cowtown”). Hot Club has sounded a little precious on previous recordings, but this full-out blast of classic Western swing seems to have loosened it up just enough to make ’em play like they’re at a real party. And Elana James’ voice never rang clearer, more precise and casually authoritative.