Asleep at the wheel

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"I think what we've been successful at doing is making all this stuff available to everybody, and not just isolating a certain group," Smith notes. "The quick pay-off is, you fit into a scene, and pretty much everyone in the scene supports you. When we go out and play in different parts of the country for people who don't know even know what Western swing is, they assume we're playing bluegrass."

Fremerman feels that "there are so many different people who like what we do, or could like what we do if they just heard it. Sort of like that Borders Books demographic, those disposable-income, 20s to 50s people."

To achieve that goal, Hot Club has kept busy on tour, traveling eight out of this year's 12 months. "As soon as we had a presentable act -- which was as soon as we got a bass player -- we started going on the road," Fremerman says. "We really have been touring since then."

"We're trying to make it a huge audience," explains Smith. "When we were signed by HighTone, they asked us where we wanted the CD to be stocked in the record stores. Did we want it in country? We said rock, because that's where the young people go, the people who really buy records. I don't think we want it to be obvious that we are one thing or another thing. We want it to just be the music, just be, 'Here's a bunch of people who play what they really like, and play it full-tilt for you, whether it's at an old folks home, at a festival, at a nightclub or a wedding or a party.'"

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Rob Patterson

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