For the past two decades, the music lovers of Austin, Texas have had a secret little treasure in their backyard, a hot Western swing band known as Hot Club of Cowtown. Specializing in sounds both modern and classic, they’ve made a name for themselves with their excellent recordings and even better live shows. Their new album, Wild Kingdom, comes out on September 27th via Gold Strike Records, and can be preordered by clicking here.
We are pleased to share with you the delightfully glum number, “Easy Money,” and here’s what songwriter Whit Smith had to say about it:
Originally I wrote the song with three part harmony singing in a jazz vocal style a bit like the Four Freshmen might have done. I hadn’t had an opportunity to show the tune to the drummer or pianist before the recording session and so when the time came to record it I just stood up in the middle of the studio and sang and played it live for them with the idea that we were recording a scratch vocal and learning the music.
Guest drummer Damien Llanes and I have been friends for years and he knew I liked Willie Nelson’s early style and without discussing it he just began playing that cool groove. Jake Erwin started walking the bass and Joe Kerr in his easy, subtle style, just started playing it like he had played it a thousand times. I fell right in with these conspirators and sang it through once with everyone taking a solo and we brought the tune in for a smooth landing. We went in the control room and listened back and it was so natural and intimate sounding that we decided to use it as the master take!
It was not planned that way but I feel we captured everyone in the moment and the vibe made the song extra special.
Looking forward to catching up with you guys again. The private party at Thackerville…was that WinStar; we could have made that but did not get the invitation!
Bill and Emma Kay Byrd (OKC)