Hot Club of Cowtown
Performed by Austin-based hot jazz and Western swing trio the Hot Club of Cowtown, this PSA features original lyrics and music by the trio’s co-lead vocalist and fiddler, Elana James. The Hot Club of Cowtown has recorded and toured extensively for over 20 years. As a Texas Western Swing Hall of Fame inductee with a host of industry awards, the trio is one of the foremost proponents of traditional Western swing and American roots music.
Filmed at historic Texas dance hall Devil’s Backbone Tavern in Fischer, award-winning filmmaker Erik McCowan shot, directed, and co-led the production of the PSA. Erik is known for his documentary films that celebrate key institutions of Texas history such as Ruby’s Town and Dance Hall Days. Sharing outreach and production efforts, Texas Folklife program coordinator Peter Breithaupt also mixed and mastered the audio recorded live at Devil’s Backbone.
With this PSA, Elana and the band draw on their keen knowledge of Western swing, country, and American roots music to craft a community-oriented message that encourages viewers and listeners to express their patriotism and love of Texas through vaccination. “I see it as a patriotic song - a patriotic issue, not a political issue,” Elana shared, “It’s about supporting your community and country.”
We extend our gratitude to Robyn Ludwick, co-owner of Devil’s Backbone, for her insight and support of the project. We also send a very special thank you to Calvin Weed for allowing us to share his honest and steadfast personal vaccination story.
Support for this project is provided by the Texas Commission on the Arts "Arts Respond Project" grant program. Learn more at arts.texas.gov.