Hot Pickin 57s is Austin’s favorite band playing Bluegrass, Classic Country and Americana music. We’re a 4-piece band with acoustic guitar, fiddle, banjo, mandolin and upright bass, along with lead and harmony vocals. We can also play as a trio or 5-piece.
The band formed in January 2016, and had a terrific year with shows at Luckenbach, 30th Annual Grapefest, a 290 Texas House Concert sponsored by the Texas Heritage Music Foundation, among many others, with continued success ever since. In January 2019 we welcomed Shawn Spiars, a great vocalist and banjo player, and thanked Eddie Collins for three great years as he stepped down from the band. Hot Pickin 57s released their debut self-titled CD in October 2017, and an EP entitled “Hot Picks” in October 2019, which is being played on folk and bluegrass radio stations across the US and Canada.
The seeds for the band were planted in 1997. Max was 10 years old. He heard Bill Monroe on Austin City Limits, loved it, and his family started going to hear bluegrass at Artz Rib house in Austin, Texas. After taking some lessons Max started playing out a bit and got to do some shows with other area pickers. Max, an award winning flat picking guitarist, returned to Austin after graduating from Berklee College of Music and began several projects, including Hot Pickin 57s.
Shawn Spiars has been playing the 5-string banjo and performing for over 30 years since earning an Associate-of-Arts degree in Bluegrass Music from South Plains College. His driving banjo style borrows elements from banjo legends Earl Scruggs, Don Reno, and Alan Munde.
Michael Montgomery started classical violin training at age 10, but grew up also immersed in recordings of Old Timey and Bluegrass music, and began fiddling almost immediately. Mike has played with Whit Smith’s Hot Jazz Caravan, Alan Munde, Billy Bright, and others.
Vance Hazen was born in Montana, raised in Ohio. He has toured all over U.S., Europe and Japan. Vance has played with the Bastard Sons of Johnny Cash for 10+ years, Bob Appel, Rosie and the Ramblers, Amanda Cevallos, Devin Jake, Wink Keziah, Dave Insley, and others.