YOU may have seen the Hot Club Of Cowtown on Later With Jools Holland last October, a performance Jools so enjoyed that he duly engaged them for his Hootenanny show on New Year's Eve.

This spring, the western swing revival trio from Austin, Texas, are playing a fortnight of headlines dates, having introduced themselves to British audiences when opening shows for The Mavericks. Date number four will be on Thursday at the National Centre for Early Music in Walmgate, York.

The Hot Club Of Cowtown are named after the Quintette du Hot Club de France formed by French jazz violinist Stephane Grappelli. The Texan brand of Hot Club comprises Elana Fremerman on violin and lead vocals; Whit Smith, guitar and lead vocals; and Jake Erwin, string bass and vocals.

"Most of what we do is improvised at the moment we play it," says Elana. "We've never played the songs the same way before, and we never really do them the same way again."

For an advance chance to hear the Hot Club's "hot string jazz for the 21st century", seek out their latest record, Continental Stomp, released on the Californian label Hightone Records.

The album, their fifth, is a concert recording from a hometown gig one warm May night last year at the venue they call their "headquarters": the Continental Club in Austin. "Our fans have wanted us to make a live record for years," says Elana, whose dusky voice casts a spell on the likes of Deed I Do and I Can't Give You Anything But Love.

These are two of the 13 durable standards reinvented by the trio on Continental Stomp, with guitarist Smith's inventive phrasing to the fore in Pennies From Heaven and Erwin shining in his thunderous slap-bass solos on Chinatown and After You've Gone.

Tickets for Thursday's 7.30pm concert cost £12.50 on 01904 658338.

Updated: 16:15 Thursday, April 22, 2004