Hot Rize Celebrates Forty Years

Read about the 40th anniversary live new release from Hot Rize

Hot Rize, Raleigh NC

Hot Rize Announces 40th Anniversary Album
Recorded Live at Boulder Theatre
Releases First Single “Colleen Malone” featuring Jerry Douglas

Hot Rize, one of the most respected, longest-running and influential bands in bluegrass music, has announced the release of their aptly named new record Hot Rize 40th Anniversary Bash.

The new release was recorded live at Boulder Theatre, over the course of three sold-out shows in January this year.

Hot Rize (Nick Forster on bass, Pete Wernick on banjo, Tim O’Brien on mandolin and fiddle, and Bryan Sutton on guitar) were joined by longtime musical friends Jerry Douglas, Stuart Duncan and Sam Bush, treating Boulder to three nights of unforgettable music.

“We wanted to have a party,” says Forster.  “We wanted to have a full-out bash!”

And now, on August 3, celebrating the anniversary of the band’s 40th year together, fans worldwide will be able to experience the party, with band selecting nineteen of the best of those performances for the new record.  A video for one of the tracks “Colleen Malone” with dobro maestro Jerry Douglas is now available:

Wernick commenting that he “ …learned this touching and lyrical song from the writer himself, Pete Goble, on his bus one day at a festival in the 1980s. The band liked it right away and our version became Song of the Year in 1991.  It already seems to have become a standard at bluegrass jam sessions.”

Over the course of  more than an hour of music on 40th Bash, Hot Rize’s broad appreciation for soulfulness and their conscientious balance between traditional and experimental bluegrass– a band hallmark since its inception– are on shining display.  That warm and glistening, award-winning sound unlocked in every song by the lead vocals of O’Brien, complemented step for step in tight harmony from Forster with Wernick and Sutton joining in.  Their stringed instrumental prowess featuring flat-pick guitar kingpin, Sutton, is no less impressive.

Tracing a line from the band’s 1978 self-titled debut to their most recent release, When I’m Free, this collection of classics, fan favorites, and latest hits touches down on every significant entry on the Hot Rize timeline.  From their signature nod to Bill Monroe with “Blue Night” and their ‘80s acclaimed “Just Like You,” through “Colleen Malone” from their IBMA Entertainer of the Year run in 1990, up to several tracks from their latest record, including “Western Skies.”

This release celebrates the many miles traveled together as a band and the many milestones achieved– for four decades and counting, on stages across the globe– from the grange hall to the Grand Ole Opry– performances turning into statements of legacy and purpose.  For the band, the original goal was to play their music all over, have people like it, and make a living.  And then, at some point, the journey circles back home.

“I love the fact that this is not a nostalgia trip,” Forster says.  “It’s a collaborative enterprise still engaged in ways that resonate for us as artists and for our audience.”

“Those are absolutely our top-three favorite instrumentalists as well as our good friends,” says Wernick. “For them to come to Colorado and join us for the music and celebration was as much as you could hope for.”

Bush contributes on “Out on the Ocean,” while Douglas, owning the distinction of being the sole sideman ever on a Hot Rize studio recording, sets “Things in Life” alight.  On “Angelina Baker” there is Duncan whose masterful fiddle adds mightily.

For the recording and production of the 40th Bash, the group utilized the experienced crew of Forster’s long-running syndicated eTown radio show (one of our favourite podcasts here at Listening Through The Lens).

It’s on the Boulder stage for three nights in January 2018, to a sold-out crowd, that these four musicians and these forty years re-unite joyfully; to not only honor each’s contributions, and of course those two decades with their guitarist, the late Charles Sawtelle, but also to further this amazing journey.  With respect for the past, gratitude for the present, and ambition for the future, Wernick, the band’s founder, fittingly sums it up. “It’s a really deep feeling of fulfillment when the thing you love smiles back at you.”

Releasing via Ten in Hand Records and distributed through The Orchard, Hot Rize 40th Anniversary Bash will be available on CD and vinyl (double LP).  The band will play Ryman Auditorium on July 12th as their Nashville CD release show, as part of the Bluegrass Nights at the Ryman series.

For more information on the band, visit HERE.

On tour:

July 12 – Ryman Auditorium – Nashville, TN
July 20 – Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival – Oak Hill, NY
July 29 – Rockygrass – Lyons, CO
Aug. 31 – Delaware Valley Bluegrass Festival – New Castle, DE
Sept. 1 – Thomas Point Beach Bluegrass Festival – Brunswick, ME
Sept. 2 – Rhythm and Roots Festival – Charlestown, RI
Nov. 2 – The Sheldon Concert Hall and Art Galleries – St. Louis, MO
Nov. 9 – Peoples Bank Theatre – Marietta, OH

Read about the 40th anniversary live new release from Hot Rize

Read about the 40th anniversary live new release from Hot Rize

Read about the 40th anniversary live new release from Hot Rize

Read about the 40th anniversary live new release from Hot Rize


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Author: Rob Dickens

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