Photos/Review: Hot Rize and Friends Pickin’ Up the Pieces Flood Benefit – Macky Auditoirum 11/07/2013


Photos by Elliot Siff/

Macky Auditorium was a crowded house on Thursday for the Pickin’ Up the Pieces Flood Relief Show put together by the legendary Boulder bluegrass band Hot Rize.  The event raised over $50,000 to benefit the local community affected by the floods.  Performances began with Mollie O’Brien and Rich Moore with a stellar band featuring a Lyons-based backing group of Eric Thorin, Caleb Roberts and Sally Van Meter.  Lyons resident Danny Shafer played a beautiful and lonesome tune following the set which then led into “The Soggy Bottom Boys” playing some classic bluegrass.  The band featured a jamgrass super group featuring Jeff Austin (YMSB), Billy Nershi (SCI), Chris Pandolfi and Andy Hall of The Infamous Stringdusters and Eric Thorin on bass.

Along with the shows ticket sales raising money for relief, mental relief was a big part of the evening as Pete “Dr. Banjo” Wernick explained to the audience.  This is why $5 “Uplift” tickets were offered to folks affected by the recent floods.  The balcony section was full of these attendees.  There was also artwork for sale and 10 Hot Rize History Packs, each featuring unique pieces of Hot Rize Memorabilia and relics within.  Another great rare auction item that got some high bids was the signed (even by Charles Sawtelle) promo photo from the ’80s of Hot Rize where the “frolut” (afro/mullet) was introduced to the world.

After the intermission Hot Rize took the stage and played a great set of both old and new tunes to a crowd of fans. Following a classic set by Red Knuckles and the Trailblazer’s country western music and comedy a bit of a superjam clusterpluck ensued to top off a very special evening in Boulder Colorado which showcased our thriving bluegrass community.

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