Hot Rize is a bluegrass band that rose to prominence in the early 1980s. Established in 1978, the founding members were Mike Scap (guitar), Tim O'Brien on mandolin and fiddle, Pete Wernick on banjo and Charles Sawtelle on bass. Mike Scap was soon replaced by Nick Forster (electric bass), allowing Charles Sawtelle to switch to acoustic guitar. The band played together and issued 6 studio albums until they disbanded in 1990. From 1991-98 the band played several reunion dates each year. Following the death in 1999 of Charles Sawtelle, Hot Rize re-grouped in 2002, adding Bryan Sutton to play the guitar. When touring, Hot Rize often performs as a Western swing band called Red Knuckles and the Trailblazers.
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