the dame's last stop: cowtown

In order to appreciate the current game plan of Hot Club of Cowtown, you have to review some previous box scores.

First, there was the dispersal. After seven years, five albums and who-knows-how-many performances, the Austin, Tx. trio, designed as a nexus between the ‘30s and ‘40s Western swing adventures of Bob Wills and the pre-World War II “hot jazz” pioneered in Europe by guitarist Django Reinhardt and violinist Stephane Grappelli in the Quintette du Hot Club de France, disbanded.

But when Cowtown fiddler Elana James later hit the road to support a self-titled debut album, she thought of no finer guitar foil for her band that longtime Cowtown mate Whit Smith. When James’ bassist then relocated to Chicago, she signed up stringman Jake Erwin, who just happened to be the bass player on Hot Club’s final two albums.

Then the realization hit. The very band James had on the road was the very Cowtown lineup that busted up in the first place.

“We had been playing together, the three of us, under my name for nearly a year,” James said. “After awhile, it was like, ‘We should call ourselves what we really are.”

Thus began what she terms “the re-launching” of Hot Club of Cowtown, which James and Smith first formed in 1997.

“It’s a rare thing for the three of us to have musically developed when and where and how we did,” Smith said. “Somewhere in all of that there was just a connection. We were coming from more of the same place than just the fact we have a lot of the same records.”

While relentless touring in the wake of 2002’s Ghost Train album yielded a high spirited concert recording (2003’s Continental Stomp), it also saw friction in the band ranks. But the resulting split came without any lasting animosity.

“We got to the bottom of everybody’s character and saw that we still liked each other,” James said.

The reconvened Hot Club of Cowtown returns to Lexington tonight to serve as the final band to play The Dame. The trio will stay over to perform for the WoodSongs Old-Time Radio Hour on Monday.

Then on August 19, the Shout Factory label will release a 20-song anthology assembled from the band’s five Hightone albums. Aptly titled The Best of the Hot Club of Cowtown, the album is a mix of originals (Smith’s Emily, James’ Secret of Mine), standards (Stardust), swing favorites (the Wills staple Ida Red) and global string summits (Fuli Tschai). There is also a Ghost Town cover of the ‘70s-era Aerosmith obscurity Chip Away the Stone that wraps three part harmonies around Smith’s guitar/vocal lead.

“I always think you should be allowed play the music you like,” Smith said. “We’re very lucky in that we get to do that. Some people get so tired of the material they’re forced to play. I mean, could you imagine writing Margaritaville and then having to play it every night?”

A new studio album for 2009 is also in the works. While it will feature predominantly original music, the Cowtown crew has already recorded another intriguing cover: Tom Waits’ Orphans nugget Long Way Home.

“The thing that’s cool is we don’t really sound like anybody,” James said. “We don’t sound like Stephane Grappelli. We don’t sound like Bob Wills. We’ve been inspired by that stuff, but we’re not aping it at all. This is a band with a sound of its own

“Whether we’re playing an Aerosmith song or a ballad by the Hot Club of France, to have consistent character throughout the music is something I’m very proud of.”

(above, The Hot Club of Cowtown: bassist/vocalist Jake Erwin, fiddler/vocalist Elana James, guitarist/vocalist Whit Smith)

The Hot Club of Cowtown performs at 8 tonight with The Swells for the last night of downtown business at The Dame, 156 West Main. $7. (859) 226-9005.

Hot Club also plays at 7 p.m. Monday with Takeharu Kunimoto and the Last Frontier for the WoodSongs Old-Time Radio Hour at the Kentucky Theatre, 214 E. Main St. $10. (859) 252-8888.

These were among incidents received by the Montgomery County Police Department

The Washington Post April 21, 2011 These were among incidents received by the Montgomery County Police Department. For information, call 240-773-5030.

Crime Solvers of Montgomery County, a nonprofit community organization, pays up to $1,000 for information leading to an arrest and indictment in connection with these and any other felony crimes. Call the 24-hour hot line at 800-673-2777. Callers may remain anonymous.

Virginia Ave., 200 block, 10 p.m. April 2. During an argument at a residence, a man threatened a female acquaintance at knifepoint. The woman was able to escape unharmed.

Hungerford Dr., 200 block, 6:40 p.m. April 1. Five males on a pedestrian bridge at a Metro station attacked two pedestrians and demanded cash, then fled with a cellphone stolen from one of the victims. Four males ages, 14, 15, 15, and 16, and a Silver Spring male, 17, were arrested.

Rockville Pike, 700 block, 3:45 p.m. April 3. Two males robbed a male talking on a cellphone of cash at knifepoint, then fled in a black Jeep.

Beauvoir Blvd., 17500 block, 8:45 a.m. to 2:45 p.m. April 5. Property and cash were stolen from a residence. There was no sign of forced entry.

Crossfield Ct., 51000 block, 11:30 p.m. April 4 to 1:30 p.m. April 5. A Global Positioning System device was stolen from a vehicle entered by force.

Dewey Rd., 11500 block, 7 to 11 p.m. April 2. Property was stolen from a residence. There was no sign of forced entry.

Dewey Rd., 12000 block, 3:25 a.m. April 3. An attempt was made to enter a residence by force. Nothing was reported missing.

Dufief Mill Rd., 14900 block, 3:20 a.m. April 4. An attempt was made to enter a community club and pool by breaking glass in a door. Nothing was reported missing.

England Terr., 200 block, 4:10 p.m. March 30 to 7:05 a.m. March 31. An attempt was made to enter a residence by force. Nothing was reported missing.

Holland Rd., 5900 block, 4:28 to 4:34 a.m. March 30. A residence was entered by force. Nothing was reported missing.

Horners Lane N., 500 block, 10:08 p.m. March 31. Property was stolen from a market entered by force. An employee confronted and detained an intruder. A 17-year-old male was arrested.

Lewis Ave., 1400 block, 8:24 p.m. April 2. A man confronted near a shed in the back yard of a residence fled empty-handed. A 25-year- old man was arrested nearby.

Montgomery Ave. W., 100 block, 4 p.m. April 1 to 11:45 a.m. April 2. An attempt was made to enter a museum gift shop by breaking glass in a front door. Nothing was reported missing.

Muncaster Mill Rd., 7200 block, 4 p.m. March 29 to noon March 30. A vacant building was entered by force. Nothing was reported missing.

Potomac Oaks Dr., 8 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. March 31. A residence was entered by force. Nothing was reported missing.

Ridgeway Ave., 5700 block, 4:10 a.m. March 30. A residence was entered by force. Nothing was reported missing.

Rockville Pike, 12200 block, 3 to 3:30 p.m. April 4. A wallet was stolen from a shopper’s purse in a store.

Schuylkill Rd., 11300 block, 6 a.m. March 31 to 12:30 p.m. April 1. A residence was entered by force. Nothing was reported missing.

Schuylkill Rd., 11400 block, 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. March 30. A residence was entered by force. Nothing was reported missing.

Settlers Landing Ct., 1 to 100 block, 12:43 p.m. March 30. A residence was entered by forcing the front door. Nothing was reported missing.

Treble Ct., 10100 block, 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. March 31. Property and cash were stolen from a residence entered by force.

Village Square Terr., 12500 block, 10 a.m. April 4 to 11:30 a.m. April 5. A GPS device and a set of car tools were among property stolen from a vehicle entered by force.

Watts Branch Pkwy., 600 block, March 30. Property and cash were stolen from a residence entered by force.

Watts Branch Pkwy., 600 block, March 30. A break-in occurred at a residence. Nothing was reported missing. There was no sign of forced entry.

Watts Branch Pkwy., 600 block, March 30. An attempt was made to enter a residence by force. Nothing was reported missing.

Loblolly Terr., 14000 block, 12:01 a.m. to 5:41 p.m. April 1. A gold-colored 2002 Mercedes was stolen from a garage at a residence.

Democracy Blvd., 6400 block, 11:10 a.m. March 30. A man exposed himself in the children’s area of a library.

Connecticut Ave., 10500 block, 12:15 p.m. April 1. A man giving an acquaintance a ride stopped at a grocery store, then attacked the passenger and demanded his wallet and cellphone. Passersby helped the victim escape the car unharmed.

Farragut Ave., 3700 block, 1 p.m. March 31. Two men threatened to shoot bank employees, then robbed a teller area of cash and fled on foot. No weapon was seen. No injuries were reported.

Lyttonsville Rd., 2400 block, 11:30 p.m. April 4. Two men robbed a man of a wallet and his pants.

Bradley Blvd., 4700 block, April 3 to 4. GPS units were stolen from two of three vehicles entered by breaking windows.

Bywood Lane, 4400 block, 12:45 to 3 p.m. March 31. An attempt was made to enter a residence by force. Nothing was reported missing.

Clifford Ave., 8800 block, 1:30 to 3:45 p.m. March 31. An attempt was made to enter a residence by force. Nothing was reported missing.

Dunlop St., 3600 block, April 1 to 2. Power tools were stolen from a home under construction entered by removing plywood.

Edson Lane, 5900 block, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. March 31. An attempt was made to enter a residence by force. Nothing was reported missing.

Glenbrook Rd., 6700 block, 3 to 6:30 p.m. March 28. An attempt was made to enter a residence. Nothing was reported missing.

Helmsdale Rd., 7500 block, 12:30 p.m. March 31. Two males banged on the front door of an occupied residence, then forced it open. When confronted, the intruders fled empty-handed to a vehicle. website escape the car

Rosedale Ave., 4600 block, April 1 to 2. Tools were stolen from a residence under construction entered by breaking glass in a back door.

Searl Terr., 5900 block, March 29 to 30. Cash and property were stolen from a residence entered by force.

Westbard Ave., 5300 block, March 29 to 30. Property and cash were stolen from a gas station entered by force.

Wisconsin Ave., 5400 block, April 2 to 5. Property was stolen from one of two businesses entered by force.

Wisconsin Ave., 5700 block, 5 to 10:30 p.m. April 2. An attempt was made to enter an office by forcing a door. Nothing was reported missing.

Colesville Rd. and Second Ave., 8:38 p.m. April 3. A group of males attacked a 17-year-old male with a baseball bat. The victim was treated for severe head and leg injuries. Police believe that it was a gang-related incident.

Kennett and 13th streets, 8000 block, 6:40 p.m. March 29. A man was shot in the arm by a pellet gun. The victim, who was working in the area at the time of the incident, said that he heard several shots hit a nearby building. At 7:20 p.m. April 4, a man was shot in the arm with a pellet gun while he stood near a motel room. Police said that in both incidents a weapon was fired from a nearby high- rise apartment building.

Carson Dr., 14700 block, 3:25 p.m. March 30. Three males threatened a female and robbed her of an iPod.

Columbia Pike, 11400 block, 9:06 a.m. April 4. A gunman robbed an armored-car driver as he left a bank, then fled in a blue Chevrolet Cavalier.

Georgia Ave., 8700 block, 3:45 p.m. March 29. Five males attacked two male teenagers and fled with a camcorder. No serious injuries were reported.

Georgia Ave. and Blair Mill Rd., 2:30 p.m. March 31. Three males attacked a man, pushed him against a wall and robbed him of cash. Police saw the assailants running from the scene. Three District males, ages 15, 16 and 22, were arrested.

Allerton Lane, 12100 block, 1 a.m. April 3 to 8:50 a.m. April 4. A residence was entered by breaking a front window. Nothing was reported missing.

Barron St., 8600 block, 9:10 p.m. April 1. Property was stolen from a residence. There was no sign of forced entry.

Castle Blvd., 13800 block, 6:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. March 31. Cash and property were stolen from a residence. There was no sign of forced entry.

Hampshire West Ct., 1500 block, 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. March 30. Property was stolen from a residence. There was no sign of forced entry.

Luzerne Ave., 2000 block, 6 to 9 p.m. March 30. Property was stolen from a residence. There was no sign of forced entry.

Malibu Dr., 800 block, 6:30 to 7 p.m. March 30. Property was stolen from a residence. There was no sign of forced entry.

Thayer Ave., 800 block, 1:30 to 6 p.m. March 29. Property was stolen from a residence. There was no sign of forced entry.

Wheaton Woods Park area, 4:30 a.m. April 2. A man broke a window and entered a residence, then chased a woman from the house into the back yard, where he sexually assaulted her. The victim was able to break free and escape to a neighbor’s house.

Georgia and University Avenues, 5:38 p.m. April 4. Two women followed a woman getting off a bus, then attacked her and robbed her of a wallet and cellphone. No serious injuries were reported.

New Hampshire Ave., 13300 block, 1:40 p.m. April 4. A man threatened a gas station employee at knifepoint, then fled with cash from the cash register. A Burtonsville man, 22, was arrested.

Glenmont Cir., 2300 block, March 29 to April 1. A break-in occurred at a residence. Nothing was reported missing.

New Hampshire Ave., 10100 block, 1:42 to 7:15 a.m. April 4. A restaurant was entered by force. Nothing was reported missing.

Olney Sandy Spring Rd., 500 block, 9 p.m. April 4 to 5:30 a.m. April 5. Cash was stolen from a gas station entered by force.

Snowbird Terr., 2700 block, 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. March 30. Cash and property were stolen from a residence entered by force.

Valleywood Dr., 12100 block, 7 to 10:50 p.m. April 1. Property was stolen from a residence. There was no sign of forced entry.

Clopper Rd., 13500 block, 3:08 a.m. April 1. Two men who implied that they were armed with a handgun robbed a convenience store of property.

Churubusco Lane, 19300 block, 8:40 a.m. to 5:45 p.m. March 28. Property was stolen from a residence entered by force.

Forest Brook Ct., 100 block, April 2 to 3. Property was stolen from a residence. There was no sign of forced entry.

Nickleby Dr., 24700 block, 6:45 a.m. to 3:21 p.m. April 1. Property was stolen from a residence entered by force.

Sugarland Rd., 15500 block, 4 to 6:30 p.m. April 1. Property was stolen from a residence. There was no sign of forced entry.

Tilford Ct., 13400 block, 3:40 a.m. April 1. A vehicle break-in occurred. A 24-year-old man was arrested.

Wanegarden Dr., 13800 block, 7:30 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. March 30. Property was stolen from a residence entered by force.

Waterside Cir., 13300 block, 3:18 p.m. April 4. Property was stolen from a residence entered by force. A 26-year-old Rockville man and a 22-year-old Silver Spring man were arrested.

Tilford Way,19200 block, 4:10 a.m. April 3. A red Saturn was stolen from a residence that had been entered by force. Property was also stolen from the residence.

Frederick Ave. N.,400 block, 9 p.m. April 1. A man was attacked outside a fast-food restaurant. No serious injuries were reported.

Bannister Lane, 9000 block, 9:25 p.m. April 1. A man tried to force his way into a residence, then fled empty-handed.

Frederick Ave. N., 200 block, April 2 to 3. Property was stolen from a barber shop. There was no sign of forced entry.

Gold Kettle Dr., 200 block, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. March 29. Property was stolen from a residence. There was no sign of forced entry.

Lumaryn Pl., 20000 block, 12:15 p.m. March 30. Property was stolen from a residence entered by force. Two males were seen fleeing with the property.

Mineral Springs Ct., 100 block, 3:45 a.m. March 30. Property was stolen from a residence entered by force.

Quince Orchard Rd., 600 block, 9:45 p.m. April 1. A man wearing a mask tried to break into an entertainment business by forcing a back door with a crowbar. He fled empty-handed when confronted.

Boysenberry Way, March 31 to April 1. Two Suzuki motorcycles were stolen.

These were among incidents reported by the Rockville Police Department. For information, call 240-314-8922.

Virginia Dr., 200 block, 10:27 p.m. April 2. A 38-year-old man was charged with second-degree assault and possession of a dangerous weapon (a kitchen knife) with intent to injure.

Rockville Pike, 200 block, 6:40 p.m. April 1. Four males ages 14, 15, 15 and 16, and a 17-year-old Silver Spring male were arrested. Charges included second-degree assault, attempted robbery and conspiracy to commit robbery. go to web site escape the car

Baltimore Rd., 200 block, 3:30 to 3:31 p.m. April 6. A 13-year- old female was charged with possession of a deadly weapon (kitchen knife) on school property.

Grandin Ave., 100 block, 2:30 p.m. April 2. An iPod was stolen from a residence.

Halpine Rd., 100 block, 6 p.m. April 3 to 6 p.m. April 4. A GPS device, sunglasses, a flashlight and a pocketknife were among property stolen from a vehicle in a parking garage.

Hungerford Dr., 600 block, 7:53 p.m. March 31. A Bladensburg man and a Pennsylvania man, both 31, were charged with credit-card theft.

Hungerford Dr., 600 block, 9:08 to 9:15 p.m. April 1. A wallet was stolen from a counter at grocery store.

Lewis Ave., 1400 block, 10:24 p.m. April 2. A 25-year-old man was charged with fourth-degree burglary.

Lynn Manor Dr., 200 block, 5 p.m. April 7 to 12:11 p.m. April 8. Two TVs, a laptop computer, jewelry and a GPS device were stolen from a residence.

Mannakee St., 1 to 100 block, 1 to 10:30 p.m. April 1. A camera was stolen from a locked cabinet in a college classroom.

Mill Rd., 1900 block, 8:19 p.m. April 2. A 23-year-old District woman was arrested. Charges included three counts of second- degree assault, assaulting a police officer, resisting arrest, disorderly conduct and theft.

Montgomery Ave. W., 100 block, 4 p.m. April 1 to 11:45 a.m. April 2. An attempt was made to enter a gift shop by breaking glass in a door. Nothing was reported missing.

Rockville Pike, 700 block, 11:01 a.m. April 1. Cash was stolen from a donation jar at a restaurant.

Rockville Pike, 1000 block, 4 to 7:15 p.m. April 9. A bicycle was stolen from a sporting goods store.

Rockville Pike, 1700 block, 6:30 p.m. April 7 to 7 a.m. April 8. A laptop computer was stolen from a vehicle in a parking garage.

Rockville Pike, 1700 block, 6 p.m. April 9 to 11 a.m. April 10. Military uniforms, a DVD player, a stereo system, jewelry, two iPods and a backpack were among property stolen from three vehicles in a parking garage.

Rollins Ave., 100 block, 10:15 p.m. April 6 to 6 a.m. April 7. Cash was stolen from a locked safe at a business.

Vandegrift Ave., 5800 block, 12:01 March 21 to 11:34 a.m. April 6. A residence was entered by breaking glass in a back door. Nothing was reported missing.

These were among incidents reported by the Takoma Park Police Department. For information, call 301-891-7102.

Belford Pl., 400 block, 5:30 p.m. April 10 to 3:15 p.m. April 11. License plates were stolen from a vehicle parked on the street.

Eastern Ave., 6500 block, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. April 11. Property was stolen from a residence entered by prying open a storm door.

Elm Ave., 300 block, 10:30 a.m. April 8 to 8:30 a.m. April 9. Property was stolen from an unlocked vehicle.

Maple Ave., 7500 block, noon to 4:10 p.m. April 8. Property was stolen from outside a residence.

New Hampshire Ave., 7400 block, 7:05 a.m. April 12. Property was stolen from a hotel room.

New Hampshire Ave., 7500 block, 9:36 a.m. April 11. Two people who said that they were contractors stole property from a business.

Park Ave., 200 block, 8:30 p.m. April 8 to 11 a.m. April 9. A license plate was stolen from a vehicle.

Takoma Ave., 7300 block, 8 p.m. April 7 to 8 a.m. April 8. Property was stolen from a vehicle entered by breaking a window.

Tulip and Cedar Avenues, 8 p.m. April 7 to 8 a.m. April 8. Property was stolen from a vehicle entered by breaking a window.

Willow Ave., 7300 block, 8 p.m. April 7 to 8 a.m. April 8. Property was stolen from a vehicle entered by breaking a window.

Westmoreland Ave., 6600 block, 7 p.m. April 7 to 6:30 a.m. April 8. Property was stolen from an unlocked vehicle.

Westmoreland Ave., 6900 block, 4:30 p.m. April 9 to 10:30 p.m. April 10. Mail was stolen from a mailbox at a residence.

Lockney Ave., 8100 block, 1 to 11 a.m. April 10. A white 1997 Dodge Caravan was stolen.

Maple Ave., 7600 block, April 8 at 11:30 p.m. April 8 to 4:52 p.m. April 9. A green 1999 Infiniti I30 was stolen from a parking lot.

New Hampshire Ave., 6400 block, 5 p.m. April 13 to 5:40 a.m. April 14. Two Dodge Caravans were stolen from a business parking lot. One was later recovered; its ignition had been damaged.

New Hampshire Ave., 7300 block, 5 p.m. April 11 to 10 a.m. April 12. A white 1998 Acura Integra was stolen from a parking lot at a business.



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