Annie and the Hot Club ARE:
Annie Sellick (voc)
Richard Smith (guitar)
Pat Bergeson (guitar/harmonica)
Aaron Till (violin)
Charlie Chadwick (bass)
Tom Giampietro (drums)
and very special guests:
Tom Sturdevant (voc, songwriter)
Jeff Taylor (accordion)
Hi new friend! Annie and the Hot Club is made of me, jazz vocalist Annie Sellick, and The Hot Club of Nashville, which is lead by Richard Smith. We began playing together because we love to swing standards, and close jamming relationships lead to appearing together in European festivals. The first one was the Tommy Emmanuel Guitar Festival in Reitburg, Germany. When we kept getting invited back, we decided to become more official as a "band".
Another thing that lead to the development of Annie and the Hot Club was my desire to play at the famous Bluebird Cafe in my hometown, Nashville. The Bluebird is a songwriters venue, and people from all over go there to hear country and americana. As a jazz artist, my compromise was getting to work finding Nashville-written jazz and swing, and making sure the tourists got their violin solos. Between my life in jazz and the Hot Club's ridiculous guitarists and violinist, I had a combo that would fit us AND the Bluebird Cafe.
Until this point, I had only done jazz gigs in straight-ahead jazz clubs, and only sung standards. We still love to jam out on standards like "Honeysuckle Rose" and "'Deed I Do", "Avalon" and "Georgia" but we have come to LOVE doing originals.
The third element that makes us US is the original music we have picked up in Nashville and applied to our accoustic jazz and swing style. When we landed on Tom Sturdevant, an unknown 64-year-old songwriter with a lifelong passion for writing and over 200 songs, we couldn't let him go. Well, I couldn't. The last 20 songs I've learned have all been his, and although he sings them while accompanying himself on piano, I've taken them and arranged them for Annie and the Hot Club (He joins us at the Bluebird and usually gets up and does a few solo himself).
All of this, the festivals in Europe, the commeraderie we share in Nashville, the success of the shows at the Bluebird, and the cosmic fit that Tom Sturdevant's songs were for the band lead to an album. This album, I guess, is what FINALLY makes us a real band. Ask me, and I'll tell you that our album is the best one in the whole world.
Annie Sellick (me-vocalist) grew up in Nashville and hated country music. By the way, I thought pursuing ANY kind of music, or performing art as a career would lead to a roller-coaster life and living in my parents basement at 30. But when I sat in with a jazz band in a dive bar in college and was offered a gig, I changed my mind. It has been my lucky life ever since. I got more serious by attending classes at the Nashville Jazz Workshop, and started out building a following from local coffee houses. Since, I have played jazz clubs in many US cities, (including Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Atlanta) and Japan, and even got to do the Montreal Jazz Festival for thousands of people. The coolest was working and recording with some of my heroes, including Joey Defrancesco, Jeff Hamilton, and Tommy Emmanuel. I did a Christmas Party gig just me and Bela Fleck together once! and toured briefly with Mark O'Connor's Hot Swing. Four albums are on my label, Chalice Music Inc. And these are some of the highlights of my life. I won't tell you about all the crap.
Richard Smith (guitarist, leader of the Hot Club of Nashville) - has a charming brittish accent Richard Smith has been knocking peoples socks off with his guitar playing since he was a young boy in England. Learning to play the guitar initially by listening to the recordings of Chet Atkins and Jerry Reed, Richard is now an amazingly versatile musician, playing everything from Bach, Chopin and Mozart (you should hear his solo thing!), to the gypsy Jazz of Django Reinhardt, bebop, the piano rags of Scott Joplin, traditional bluegrass guitar, country tele chicken pickin', blues, Sousa marches blah, blah blah. Lately, he is well-known as the band leader for the group "The Hot Club of Nashville" featuring Stuart Duncan on fiddle and a rotating cast of Nashville musicians including John Jorgenson, Pat Bergeson, Bryan Sutton, Aaron Till and many others. Richard is on the road much of the time playing festivals and performing arts centers in the USA and Europe as a soloist and regularly with his cellist wife, Julie Adams. Did you see the cover artist of "Fingerstyle Guitar" magazine in June? That was Richard. Oh he also released a live DVD out on Mel Bay records that doesn't suck.
Tom Sturdevant - my cosmic buddy, and angel from God Tom has lived more lives than a cat. He grew up on a farm in Vermont. He speaks a little vietnamese and a lot of spanish because he went to South Vietnam as a volunteer with the IVS and went to Costa Rica with the Peace Corps. He's written a musical and for a decade was a film-maker. The last film he made was called "The Guitar of Chet Atkins" and was shot in Chet's basement. That was the year he moved to Nashville. When he first came, he lived in a tent for two months and then came November and he said, "this sucks" and got a real place. For the last 10 years he's been in the game business - what? - yes, he CREATES GAMES such as card game LETRAS and founded "Grand Isle Games" which has had distribution through big companies like Blockbuster. After a while, he realized he HAD-TO-WRITE-SONGS disease, and friends in the musical community were encouraging him, jumping up and down and waving their arms for emphasis. "One day I found a message on my machine from Annie Sellick saying she loved my songs and wanted to sing them. I felt like I'd won the lottery...even