May
23
Sat
UpRizing feat. Hot Rizew/ Leo Kottke, Town Mountain, Mipso and more TBA!!Outdoor Stage
Gate:3:00 pm / Show: 4:00 pm
Buy Tickets
$30 in Advance, $35 Day of Show
$60 Hopster VIP
Treat yourself to: Bluegrass/Americana

Food Vendor: DOGS, Tin Can Pizzeria, Root Down, App Smoke
Buy Tickets
DETAILS

EVENT SCHEDULE 

3:00pm – Doors open

3:00pm – Basic Bluegrass Jammin’ w/ Pete “Dr. Banjo” Wernick! Bring your Instrument! (Indoor Stage)

4:00pm – Mipso

4:30pm – 1st VIP Brewery Tour & Tasting (Meet at Indoor Stage in Taproom)

5:00pm – 2nd VIP Brewery Tour & Tasting (Meet at Indoor Stage in Taproom)

5:30pm – Town Mountain

6:00pm – 3rd and FINAL VIP Brewery Tour & Tasting (Meet at Indoor Stage in Taproom)

7:15pm – Leo Kottke

9:00pm – Hot Rize

11:05pm – Jon Stickley Trio (Late Night Indoor Stage)

A new event is dawning in WNC, and it involves some of the deepest heritage that contemporary bluegrass has to offer. Hot Rize has long been a member of the bluegrass community, dating back to their first shows in 1978.  UpRizing is a focus on the many branches of the Hot Rize tree, with banjo/instrument workshops throughout the day with Pete “Dr. Banjo” Wernick, feature artists accompanying the instrumental talents that brought Tim O-Brien and Bryan Sutton to the limelight, as well as a live recording for Nick Forester’s E-Town. Coming along for the ride will be a slew of some of contemporary bluegrass and acoustic music brightest stars, including Leo Kottke, local heroes Town Mountain, and NC natives Mipso.

HOT RIZE 

It didn’t take long after Tim O’Brien, Pete Wernick, Nick Forster, and Charles Sawtelle first appeared onstage together in 1978 for the bluegrass music world to realize that the Colorado band, Hot Rize, was something special.  And by the time they bowed off the stage as a full-time act in 1990, they’d not only climbed to the top of that world as the International Bluegrass Music Association’s very first Entertainers of the Year, but their stature was recognized across the board, with a nomination for a then-new bluegrass Grammy, a four-star album review in Rolling Stone, tours across four continents, and a legion of up-and-coming, broad-minded young musicians ranging from String Cheese Incident to mando monster Chris Thile learning their songs and singing their praises.

The reasons for the acclaim were, and remain, obvious.  Steeped in bluegrass tradition through long hours on the road spent listening to the genre’s giants—their very name was a knowing nod to Flatt & Scruggs’ long-time flour mill sponsor—Hot Rize’s music was and is equally informed by a taste for the music of Leadbelly and Freddie King, swing, old-time Appalachia and more in ways that mirror the broad sweep of Bill Monroe’s influences.  And while their respect for tradition was easy to hear (and, thanks to their suits and vintage neckties, easy to see), the fresh elements they brought, whether in Sawtelle’s guitar eccentricities or Wernick’s deployment of an effects pedal on his banjo, were enough to earn them the suspicion of some audience members—and the devotion of many more.

So when Hot Rize retired, it was natural for members to go on to distinguished careers of their own.  For bassist and multi-instrumentalist Forster, that meant building a blend of environmental concern and musical curation into the popular and influential show, eTown; for lead singer, mandolinist and fiddler O’Brien, recognition as an award-winning Americana and bluegrass master of singing and songwriting; for Sawtelle, a thriving career as guitarist, engineer and producer for a host of artists; and for Wernick, acclaim as a presenter of bluegrass and banjo camps, genre-bending bandleader, and 15-year president of the IBMA.

Even so, Hot Rize turned out to be the band that refused to disappear.  Rare reunion shows, like the 1996 one captured for the acclaimed So Long Of A Journey CD (2002), kept the flame burning, and when Sawtelle passed away in 1999, the surviving members brought brilliant guitarist Bryan Sutton on board—himself an already-acknowledged master—and carried on with occasional appearances, bringing their classic songs and captivating stage show to new generations.  It’s no surprise, then, that 24 years after their last studio album, the foursome brings an even deeper strength to bear on their new record, When I’m Free (Ten In Hand/Thirty Tigers), out September 30.  And neither is it a surprise that, as it was in the beginning, the quartet felt compelled to bring something new to the table.

“We’re too close as friends and longtime collaborators to let Hot Rize just lay fallow. We’ve watched bluegrass evolve in the past 25 years, and while we’ve all been a part of that evolution as individuals, now it’s time to bring a new Hot Rize statement to the world,” explains O’Brien. “Reunion shows are fun, but we got to where we wanted to dig into new material.”

Pete Wernick agrees: “In the years since we brought Bryan in, we would all talk about wanting to be a living, breathing, 21st century Hot Rize, which would mean developing a satchel of new material, then going around and playing it.”

“Western Skies,” a song written by Forster and O’Brien, epitomizes the band’s Boulder origins and Colorado’s rich history of progressive bluegrass; fittingly, it’s the song that gives the album its title. “There’s something about a wide-open Western landscape – the light, the quiet, the majesty of distant mountains – allows us to leave our troubles behind and be our truest selves, unencumbered by the pressures of life,” says Forster.Though half the group lives in Colorado and half in Nashville, they made collaboration a priority, working on new songs, helping one another flesh out lyrics and shape the material into songs that are representative of Hot Rize’s identity. Once they began co-writing, everything else fell into place. “That work was, in many ways, the glue we needed to cement us back together,” says O’Brien.

Pete Wernick’s barn-burner “Sky Rider” proves why bluegrass music’s preeminent instructor is called “Dr. Banjo,” as he trades lightning-quick solos with O’Brien and Sutton.

The track listing is punctuated by a sharp pair of covers: “I Never Met a One Like You,” a Mark Knopfler original that he suggested Hot Rize record, and Los Lobos’ “Burn It Down,” a stripped-down rock song featuring Forster’s lead vocal. Two cuts reflecting the group’s love for traditional American music round out the album, the haunting “A Cowboy’s Life” and “Glory in the Meeting House,” an old-time tune with switched instruments – O’Brien on fiddle, Sutton on clawhammer banjo, and Forster on mandolin.

With writing and rehearsals placing Hot Rize firmly back in their groove, recording When I’m Free took just five days at the solar-powered Studio at eTown Hall in Boulder. The musicians eschewed booths and headphones in favor of sitting in a circle and recording live off the floor – “the first time I’ve recorded like that since 1971,” muses Wernick. This organic approach resulted in an album that crackles with the energy of a Hot Rize live show, even if the band’s Western Swing alter-ego sidekicks, Red Knuckles & The Trailblazers, aren’t present.

Following the release of When I’m Free, Hot Rize will tour nationwide this fall and into 2015, sure to please not only longtime fans of the band, but countless new fans who’ve discovered bluegrass and Americana music in more recent times.  Says Sutton, “Nobody’s been a bigger Hot Rize fan than me, and that’s a perspective I’ve tried to maintain as a member of the band.  I’m excited about this new record, and I can’t wait to introduce new fans to the Hot Rize experience.”

ARTIST WEBSITE

LEO KOTKKE

Born in Athens, Georgia, Kottke moved with his parents so frequently that he was raised in twelve different states.  As a youth living in Muskogee, Oklahoma, he was influenced by folk and delta blues music, notably that of Mississippi John Hurt. Kottke learned to play trombone and violin before trying the guitar and developing his own unconventional picking style.

A mishap with a firecracker permanently damaged the hearing in his left ear, a condition that would be exacerbated by exposure to loud noise during firing practice while serving in the United States Navy Reserve, when his other ear was also damaged.

After being discharged from the Naval Reserve because of his partial loss of hearing, Kottke attended St. Cloud State University in Minnesota but left before completing his studies, choosing instead to hitchhike around the country, busking for a living, before finally settling in the Twin Cities. He arrived at the Scholar Coffeehouse in the Cedar-Riverside, Minneapolis area in the autumn of 1966 and soon was a regular performer. There, he recorded his debut album, 12-String Blues, which was released on the independent Oblivion record label in 1969. He recorded 6- and 12-string guitar (also known as the “Armadillo album” after the animal pictured on its cover) for John Fahey’s Takoma Records later the same year. It remains one of the works most associated with Kottke and has been re-released many times on various record labels. Fahey’s agent Denny Bruce signed Kottke to Capitol Records and in 1971, Capitol released Kottke’s first major label record, Mudlark.

Kottke released an album annually from 1989 to 1991, following My Father’s Face with That’s What, and finally Great Big Boy, which featured a guest appearance by Lyle Lovette. Two years later, he returned with Peculiaroso, produced by Rickie Lee Jones. The solo album One Guitar, No Vocals followed in 1999. In 2002, Kottke and Mike Gordon (the bassist from the band Phish, which was on an extended hiatus) collaborated on Clone, an album featuring instrumental work and vocals from both musicians. A second album from the pair, Sixty Six Steps, followed in 2005. The duo has toured in support of both albums.

In between these two duet albums, he released a solo album, Try and Stop Me (2004). He received an honorary Doctorate in Music Performance from the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee on May 18, 2008, where he gave the commencement address. 


TOWN MOUNTAIN 

The sound of the award-winning group Town Mountain can best be described as traditional bluegrass, albeit with a rough-hewn side to it that is not too slick or glossy. They are a band of the here-and-now, yet they have a groove that is based on the bluesy and swinging sounds explored by the first generationof bluegrass pioneers of the last century. With the success of their latest album, Leave The Bottle, the word is out with some of their best reviews yet.

 “Thank god that Town Mountain are around to blow a hole in all the genre-juggling games of which music writers like myself are so fond,” said Devon Leger, of Ed Helms’ The Bluegrass Situation. “They play bluegrass. Period. They play it hard, they play it fast, and they play it like their fingers are bleeding and their picks are breaking.”

 “Phil Barker’s ‘Lawdog’ sounds like an unearthed classic, and the group’s tight harmonies alone make this record a treat for any bluegrass fan,” said Juli Thanki of Engine 145, the 2011 IBMA Print Media Person of the Year award winner.

 David Morris of Bluegrass Today adds more praise, “The songs are new and mostly written by band members, but they sound like they could have come from the exciting early days of bluegrass…..The band sounds the part – tight picking and comfortable harmonies that aren’t overdubbed to soulless perfection. And the songs sound the part, too – murder ballads, endless highways, a nod to bluegrass’ Celtic roots and even a tip of the hat to a moonshiner.”

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MIPSO

Americana’s jailbreak from sleepy town squares and the scratchier bands of the AM dial has been a welcome development in American music. And the renegade traditionalists of Mipso — Jacob Sharp on mandolin, Joseph Terrell on guitar, Libby Rodenbough on fiddle, and Wood Robinson on double bass — are doing their part to take three-part harmony and Appalachian influences into new territory. The three North Carolina songwriters have wandered off the path blazed by Earl Scruggs and Doc Watson to find a new clearing for their southern string band sound.

In the process, they’ve kicked up a fuss. IndyWeek heralded the band’s role in the reemergence of southern roots music in North Carolina, crediting Mipso with “expanding the vocabulary of common touchstones” for bluegrass. WUNC hosted live previews of the band’s second album, Long, Long Gone. And all over the southeast, Mipso has been busy playing raucously fun live shows that veer from up-tempo original melodies to madcap acoustic covers of Michael Jackson. The group puts all the energy of a college club show into a form of music that predates clubs. And most colleges.

For their October 2013 release, Dark Holler Pop, the group enlisted local hero Andrew Marlin of Mandolin Orange as producer and proceeded to assemble a team of other North Carolina mainstays in the studio: members of Chatham County Line, Town Mountain, and Megafaun add a dash of virtuosity to a rich and well-crafted release. Mipso will join other North Carolina luminaries on stage to support the album, such as four-time Grammy winner David Holt, as well as the recently Grammy-honored Steep Canyon Rangers. While making waves across their home state, it’s clear Mipso will be keeping good company.

The idea for Mipso arose out of freshman year daydreaming at UNC Chapel Hill. After the usual band-making delays, Mipso quickly went from idle picking to a campus staple. By junior year, UNC’s Chancellor was a regular guest on keyboard. By graduation, Mipso sold out Carrboro’s legendary Cat’s Cradle — four times.

Now, after a whirlwind tour through Japan’s bustling bluegrass scene and a host of sold-out shows across North Carolina, Jacob, Joseph, Libby, and Wood are making the happy adjustment from local favorites to global emissaries for a decidedly new sound. As for the name of their particular sound, well, they call it Dark Holler Pop.

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