Hot Rize reunion tour 2010

Hot Rize hits the road again this fall for their first US tour in more than 10 years. They have a string of dates scheduled later this year with original members Pete Wernick on banjo, Tim O’Brien on mandolin/fiddle and Nick Forster on bass, along with Bryan Sutton taking the place of the late Charles Sawtelle on guitar.

The reunion tour begins with two dates in Denmark at the Tonder Music Festival, followed by shows along the west and east coast of the US. They are also going to do some new recording this year, though we’ve not been able to get many details on that, other than that they will have a reworked version of Jimmy Webb’s Wichita Lineman, a huge hit for Glen Campbell in 1968.

Hot Rize was a major draw in the 1980s, with 7 critically-acclaimed albums to their credit before disbanding in 1990 to pursue solo efforts. Wernick now believes that the time is right for them to reappear:

“The world is ready for a revisit from Hot Rize. In the rare times we’ve reunited for one-off performances, we’ve seen a level of enthusiasm that’s been hard to ignore.”

Forster explained a bit about how they got their start – and what keeps them interested in the Hot Rize legacy.

“A first, the four of us set out to play a summer’s worth of gigs – that was all we had committed to. But we kept going, playing everywhere we could. We grew up together and created music we’re really proud of – over 100 recorded songs, mostly original or new arrangements of traditional music. Now – 32 years later – we’ve all evolved as musicians, but we still have the Hot Rize sound; something only the four of us can make, something Bryan is now a part of.”

The list of 2010 Reunion tour dates so far includes:

Aug 27-28 Tonder, Denmark Tonder Music Festival
Oct 28 Berkeley, CA The Freight
Oct 29 Seattle, WA Benaroya Hall
Oct 30 Portland, OR Aladdin Theater
Oct 31 Boulder, CO Boulder Theater
Nov 3 Lexington, MA National Heritage Museum
Nov 4 New York, NY BB King Blues Club
Nov 5 Charlotte, NC McGlohon Theatre
Nov 6 Alexandria, VA The Birchmere
Nov 7 Wheeling, WV TBA

Here’s a video of the reunited Rizers doing one of their signature songs, Radio Boogie, at Bonnaroo 2010.

If you missed the buzz the first time around, do yourself a favor and catch one of these reunion shows. In addition to their obvious musical ability, this bunch offers a charming and often hilarious stage show that will stick with you for a long time.

Welcome back, guys!

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About the Author

John Lawless

John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.