The Boston Globe describes Hot Rize as one of the most influential and beloved bluegrass bands of the past thirty years. Hot Rize has appeared on national radio and TV shows, and has toured most of the United States, as well as Japan,Europe and Australia. First formed in 1978, the group consisted of Tim O'Brien on mandolin, fiddle and lead vocals, Nick Forster on electric bass and harmony vocals, Charles Sawtelle, on guitar and Pete Wernick on banjo. They reached the pinnacle of critical acclaim throughout the 1980s and retired as a full time act in 1990. They regrouped occasionally for reunion tours. When Sawtelle died in 1999 the surviving members brought guitarist Bryan Sutton on board. In 2014, the band released their first album in 20 years and have been on the road ever since in support of the record.
Red Knuckles and the Trailblazers are an “alter ego” Western Swing band. The musicians are the same, but the costumes they wear and the the music they play is different. The legend has it that, Red Knuckles and his band The Trailblazers were discovered by Hot Rize at the Eat Cafe in Wyoming, Montana Members of the Red Knuckles Band include Red Knuckles himself, guitarist Wendell Mercantile, steel-guitar player Waldo Otto and bassist Swade. The group plays 40’s and 50’s country music that you might expect from people who have mostly listened to the same jukebox for most of their lives.