30th Annual Charles Sawtelle Memorial Mountain Jam with Hot Rize
Jul 22, 2018
KGNU celebrates the 30th Annual Charles Sawtelle Memorial Mountain Jam with headliners Hot Rize on Sunday, July 22, from 11:30 AM - 4:30 PM, in the side yard of the Gold Hill Inn. Red Knuckles and the Trailblazers will make an appearance, and The Lyons Bluegrass Collective will open the show.
A KGNU tradition, “The Charles” is named for Hot Rize guitarist Charles Sawtelle, who helped start the event in 1989 and was a great supporter of KGNU Community Radio. After his passing in 1999, the station renamed the event in his memory. This is a family-friendly event for music fans who enjoy clear mountain air, dazzling acoustic music and great food in a spectacular outdoor setting.
“With KGNU and Hot Rize celebrating 40th anniversaries, inviting Hot Rize to headline our annual bluegrass stomp just seemed like the thing to do,” said Meredith Carson, popular KGNU DJ and event orchestrator.
KGNU’s annual mini-festival of al fresco bluegrass music is fondly referred to by repeat visitors as “The Charles.” The Charles has become a favorite annual gathering not only for the top-notch bluegrass music but also for the smoky Texas barbecue and trimmings, side dishes, home-baked pies and bars, refreshments for adults and teetotalers alike, and the camaraderie typical of KGNU community events.
Hot Rize formed in Boulder, Colorado in 1978, the same year fledgling progressive radio station KGNU first hit the airwaves. Hot Rize features in-demand Nashville songwriter and artist Tim O’Brien on mandolin and fiddle; guitarist Bryan Sutton, who gained fame as the lead guitarist in Ricky Scaggs’ band Kentucky Thunder; Nick Forster, host of the syndicated radio variety show eTown, plays bass; and popular recording artist and music instructor Pete Wernick, aka “Dr. Banjo,” puts his contemporary stamp on the band’s sound. Hot Rize’s original guitarist was Charles Sawtelle, the namesake of KGNU’s Mountain Jam since his passing in 1999.
Among several bands credited with ushering in the “Newgrass” genre starting in the late-1970s, until their breakup in 1990, Hot Rize toured the world and hit the top of the bluegrass charts repeatedly with their hot licks, blended vocal harmonies, and top-drawer songwriting. Hot Rize disbanded in 1990 but reunited recently to play and record, and are touring and playing special events to celebrate their 40th year of making music.
Red Knuckles and the Trailblazers, hailing from Wyoming, Montana, are often found in Hot Rize’s slipstream. “This is a band of older fellas that travel with us, exponents of old electric music,” Forster explained. In full western-music regalia, Red and the Trailblazers specialize in the dulcet tones of their heroes, honky-tonkers Hank Williams and Bob Wills, with wacky-yet-flawless performances of tunes that showcase Red on guitar, Wendell Mercantile on fringed guitar, Waldo Otto on “electric table” (pedal steel guitar), and their mysterious, formidable bassist, Swayde. Back in the days when Hot Rize were touring in a retrofitted Greyhound bus, it was rumored that Red and the Trailblazers slept standing in a closet, embodying the old adage, “It is better to look good and sound good than to sleep good.”
The Lyons Bluegrass Collective is a supergroup featuring guitarist and long-time emcee KC Groves (Uncle Earl), banjo and dobro player Erik Yates (Hot Buttered Rum), fiddler and old-time banjo player Natalie Padilla (MasonTown), Dylan McCarthy on mandolin, and bassist Sarah Cole (both from Follow the Fox). They switch off on instruments and all of them sing. Groves and Yates had known each other for 20 years, crossing paths continuously at festivals all over the country. About a year ago they decided to recruit other talented Lyons locals. They all live within walking distance of each other, Groves says, “which makes for convenient rehearsing.”
Tickets are $30 for KGNU members, $35 for non-members and are available online at kgnu.org and brownpapertickets.org or by calling KGNU at 303-449-4885 weekdays between 9:00 AM and 5:00 PM. All ticket prices will be $5 higher on the day of the show. Children 12 and under are free. Food and beverages are available for purchase; they are not included in the price of admission. No pets or coolers, please. We recommend low-backed lawn- chairs.
This event benefits KGNU, an independent volunteer-powered, listener-supported community radio station, heard locally at 88.5 FM in Boulder and Denver, 1390 AM in Denver, 93.7 FM in the Nederland and Ward area, 98.7 FM in Fort Collins, and online at kgnu.org.
What: 30th Annual Charles Sawtelle Memorial Mountain Jam with Hot Rize, Red Knuckles and Trailblazers and The Lyons Bluegrass Collective
When: Sunday, July 22- Doors at 11:00 AM. Event will wrap up by 4:30 PM
Where: Gold Hill Inn, 401 Main St, Boulder, CO 80302
Cost: Tickets are $30 for KGNU members, $35 to the general public, and will be $40 at the door.
Tickets available at KGNUTheCharles.brownpapertickets.com or kgnu.org.
Questions? Email firstname.lastname@example.org