12 Songs

EDITORS’ NOTES

Hot Rize kept up their career momentum with 1981’s Radio Boogie, maintaining the deft balance between traditional bluegrass sounds and forward-looking attitudes found on their debut release. This is a well-chosen mix of contemporary originals and traditional tunes laced with down-home wisdom and bittersweet nostalgia. Lightning-fast picking by mandolinist Tim O’Brien and banjo player Pete Wernick ignites tracks like “No Brakes” and “I Long for the Hills,” while “The Man in the Middle” and “The Sweetest Song I Sing” are enriched by the group’s sterling vocal harmonies. The title track veers into rockabilly, showing off yet another side of Hot Rize’s collective prowess.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Hot Rize kept up their career momentum with 1981’s Radio Boogie, maintaining the deft balance between traditional bluegrass sounds and forward-looking attitudes found on their debut release. This is a well-chosen mix of contemporary originals and traditional tunes laced with down-home wisdom and bittersweet nostalgia. Lightning-fast picking by mandolinist Tim O’Brien and banjo player Pete Wernick ignites tracks like “No Brakes” and “I Long for the Hills,” while “The Man in the Middle” and “The Sweetest Song I Sing” are enriched by the group’s sterling vocal harmonies. The title track veers into rockabilly, showing off yet another side of Hot Rize’s collective prowess.

TITLE TIME
2:44
2:24
2:12
3:19
2:58
2:27
2:13
2:17
2:40
3:31
2:22
2:51

About Hot Rize

The eclectic Colorado progressive bluegrass band Hot Rize also plays traditional bluegrass, jazz, and rock. They came together in 1976 and were named after the secret ingredient of Martha White Self-Rising Flour, the product Flatt & Scruggs had promoted early in their careers. The bandmembers were Tim O'Brien on lead and harmony vocals, mandolin, and fiddle; Pete Wernick on banjo and harmony vocals; and Charles Sawtelle on bass guitar, guitar, harmonies, and lead vocals. Mike Scap departed in 1976 and was replaced by bass player, guitarist, and vocalist Nick Forster, who also became the group's MC. Hot Rize recorded their self-titled debut album, a blend of traditional and new material, in 1979. Their second album, Radio Boogie, came out in 1981. A year later, their alter ego Red Knuckles & the Trailblazers, a parody of hardcore '50s country music, recorded their own album, Red Knuckles & the Trailblazers. In 1984 Hot Rize released a concert album largely comprising traditional hits, and in 1985 they released Traditional Ties. In 1991 another Red Knuckles album, Shades of the Past, followed. After Take It Home came out in 1992, O'Brien and Wernick went on to successful solo careers, while Forster went on to executive-produce the syndicated radio variety show Etown. Sawtelle passed away in March 1999 after a two-year fight with leukemia. Hot Rize regrouped in 2002, adding Bryan Sutton on guitar, and began doing shows again, sometimes playing Western swing music under the Red Knuckles & the Trailblazers moniker. When I'm Free, a new album from Hot Rize, was issued by Ten in Hands Records in 2014. ~ Johnny Loftus & Steve Leggett

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