Hot Club of Cowtown, Brave Combo coming to Tulsa

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After meeting a friend for a chat and a beer at Lola's after work today, I decided to take advantage of the clear, warm (but not hot) evening and went for a walk through the Brady District.

Heading up Main Street I passed The Marquee (located between the Tulsa Violin Shop and the White Rabbit Deli, in the former location of Mooch and Burn) and the House that Bob Built, the legendary Cain's Ballroom. Reading the posters, I noticed that two wonderfully fun and talented musical acts, both with unique sounds, will be in town over the next week.

Friday night at 9, The Marquee will host Brave Combo, the New Wave polka band from Denton, Texas. Here's how they describe themselves:

Succeeding in its first mission, Brave Combo is America's premier contemporary polka band, and a Grammy winning one at that. In the same breath, to name some but hardly all of the colors found on Brave Combo's musical palette, one can describe them as a groundbreaking world music act, a hot jazz quintet, a rollicking rock'n'roll bar band, a Tex-Mex conjunto, a sizzling blues band, a saucy cocktail combo, a deadly serious novelty act, a Latin orchestra, and one of America's dance bands par excellence. It's all in a night's music for Brave Combo, often in a synergistic fashion that includes everything from klezmer surf rock to rocking cha cha to what The Washington Post calls "mosh pit polka," as well as to the hokey pokey and the chicken dance. And zyedeco, acid rock, Muzak, bubblegum, cumbia, classical, and the twist, to still not exhaust the list. This plethoric multitude of musical styles and flavors is frequently mixed, matched, and melded, into delicious, new concoctions by an imaginative team of musical gourmet master chefs.

Doors open at 8, all ages are welcome, admission is $10.

Now the show I'm really, really excited about: Hot Club of Cowtown will play Cain's second stage next Thursday night at 8.

Hot Club of Cowtown is Whit Smith on guitar, Elana James on fiddle, and Jake Erwin on bass. This trio brings together the sound of Django Reinhardt's Quintette du Hot Club de France and Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys at their swingingest -- as they sounded on the mid -40s Tiffany Transcriptions.

(Of course, you don't have to cover too much distance to bring those two sounds together. Curly Lewis, fiddler for the Johnnie Lee Wills band, has said that all the western swing fiddlers tried to sound like Stephane Grappelli, Hot Club de France's legendary jazz violinist.)

Hot Club of Cowtown is just brilliant. Here they are, from just a couple of weeks ago, performing "Chinatown":

Tickets are $14 in advance (Starship, Reasors, and, of course, Ida Red), $16 at the door. All ages admitted. Doors open at 7. Cain's is a (hooray!) smoke-free venue.

MORE: Here's a Brave Combo video -- a polka version of The Doors' "People Are Strange":

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Nathan Pickard said:

Glad to see you posting about the Hot Club of Cowtown. Kristin and I just went to the concert last night. I had no idea they were so good. Whit Smith is my neighbor here in Brady Heights and quite a few of us from Brady Heights were there. I had never heard him play. He did an amazing job. I was looking for you but didn't see you there.

I was disappointed that we weren't able to make it. I really wanted my fiddle-playing boy to get to hear Elana James. I'm glad Brady Heights turned out to support their neighbor. Since Whit's in town, hopefully we'll get to see Hot Club more often.

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on August 14, 2008 11:52 PM.

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