Popular Hot Club of Cowtown back for more at the MAC

Western swing group Hot Club of Cowtown returns to College of DuPage's McAninch Arts Center March 28 and 29.
Western swing group Hot Club of Cowtown returns to College of DuPage's McAninch Arts Center March 28 and 29.

Three years ago, the Western swing group Hot Club of Cowtown performed two sold-out shows at the College of DuPage’s McAninch Arts Center.

The Austin-based trio returns to the MAC this weekend, March 28-29, and will perform in the new Playhouse Theatre, which has been transformed into an intimate cabaret setting with café tables and wine.

“The band has a unique chemistry,” said singer-guitarist Whit Smith. “Greater than the sum of its parts. As individuals when we do our own things, we may have a great experience. But when the three of us come together, it is its own entity. It’s a really unique band in the sense that we get to play what we love.”

That being said, 17 years later everyone’s musical tastes have changed, but the members still love what they’re doing and hope their fans evolve along with them.

Hot Club of Cowtown’s latest album, “Rendezvous in Rhythm,” was released in May 2013. While band members plan to play several cuts from that 14-song collection of acoustic swing and jazz standards, they are a little unorthodox in that they won’t play every track from that album.

“We don’t usually use set lists,” Smith said. “We call songs that may have been on an earlier record or the last record or the next record. You have certain songs that you’ve been playing for a number of years that you always enjoy playing and people seem to ask for a lot.”

They might also add some new things they’re working on, be it a new song or a new arrangement; and a “flavor of the month” that they’re enjoying.

“We choose from all the records and then follow the audience reaction,” he said. “We can usually tailor the concert to fit the energy. If the audience is reacting well to fiddle tunes or Western songs, we can go in that direction. If the audience is calling out more swing songs or jazz songs, we’ll go in that direction. There are probably 100 songs in a given year that we’re working off.”

What audiences can always expect is a show full of energy, he said.

“We’re very sincere. It’s a real positive vibe; we’re not smug or playing hide-the-melody,” Smith said. “We’re definitely an engaging band. We play some fiddle hoedowns or go into playing a Russian folk tune or a jazz standard. It all makes sense to us and 99 percent of the time the audience agrees and it all fits.”

Hot Club of Cowtown 8 p.m. March 28 and 29 Club MAC at McAninch Arts Center at College of DuPage, 425 Fawell Blvd., Glen Ellyn $36 (630) 942-4000; AtTheMac.org

0 Comments

Do you have the scariest house on the block? Or the cutest kid in costume? Share your Halloween photos with us! Click here to submit them.


Modal