So Long of a Journey: Live at the Bouder Theater

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Scott Cooper
A live show by Hot Rize was always something to get excited about, especially the part of the show where the traditional bluegrass quartet morphed into their humorous alter egos, Red Knuckles & the Trailblazers. This disc, recorded live in 1996, is also something to get excited about, even though Red and his boys never show up. Instead, Hot Rize stayed in their suits and baked a tasty set of bluegrass biscuits. Tim O'Brien, Nick Forster, Charles Sawtelle, and Pete Wernick were all perfectly competent players, but their songs set them apart from their peers. In addition to great covers such as longtime favorites "High on a Mountain" and "Radio Boogie," the foursome ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Scott Cooper
A live show by Hot Rize was always something to get excited about, especially the part of the show where the traditional bluegrass quartet morphed into their humorous alter egos, Red Knuckles & the Trailblazers. This disc, recorded live in 1996, is also something to get excited about, even though Red and his boys never show up. Instead, Hot Rize stayed in their suits and baked a tasty set of bluegrass biscuits. Tim O'Brien, Nick Forster, Charles Sawtelle, and Pete Wernick were all perfectly competent players, but their songs set them apart from their peers. In addition to great covers such as longtime favorites "High on a Mountain" and "Radio Boogie," the foursome displayed their strength as writers. Wernick's "Just Like You" is one of the set's highlights, with strong vocal harmonies, though Wernick's banjo often sounds as if it's going through some type of effect pedal. Forster's "Shadows in My Room" is another strong performance, particularly from O'Brien's lead vocal. The band performs one tune by guitarist Sawtelle, an instrumental called "The Butcher's Dog," where his picking is more straight-ahead and less idiosyncratic than his soloing on other songs. The band also performs three songs by frontman O'Brien, whose banter between songs shows how casual Hot Rize was, especially in front of their hometown crowd in Boulder, CO. So casual, in fact, that they asked for and honored a request from the audience, a quick run-though of "Foggy Mountain Breakdown." Also so casual that at the end of the show O'Brien remarks, "Oh, you're still here? We just came back to get our stuff."
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 3/5/2002
  • Label: Sugarhill
  • UPC: 015891394329
  • Catalog Number: 3943

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Hot Rize Primary Artist
Pete Wernick Banjo, Vocals
Nick Forster Bass, Vocals
Tim O'Brien Fiddle, Mandolin, Vocals
Charles Sawtelle Guitar, Vocals
Technical Credits
Big Joe Turner Composer
Hot Rize Arranger
Pete Wernick Producer, Liner Notes
Nick Forster Producer, Liner Notes
David Glasser Mastering
Mike Grace Engineer
Frank Haywood Composer
Mickey Houlihan Engineer
Tim O'Brien Arranger, Producer, Liner Notes
Traditional Composer
Reed Composer
Ralph Mayo Composer
William Matthews Art Direction
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted March 26, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    State Of The Art Bluegrass

    The quartet known as Hot Rize was a versatile group that played both bluegrass and (as Red Knuckles and the Trailblazers) Western swing. On this set they concentrate on bluegrass. They play both traditional and more modern styles in the same vein as the Seldom Scene. The fact there are only four instruments ensures a crisp, open sound. Those interested in the Rize should makes this their first choice. Hint to Sugar Hill: a studio best-of would be nice. Tim O'Brien has gone on to expand his music in several other acoustic styles. Check out Red on Blonde or The Crossing.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    20 bluegrass cuts, an excellent value, 2 thumbs up

    Just listening to this new release of some great "old" material from Sugar Hill brings back many fond memories of a fantastic band that knew how to both pick and entertain. It is a Hot Rize album called "So Long of a Journey: Live at the Boulder Theater" and was recorded on March 6-7, 1996. Nick Forster hadn't told the other band members that he had asked some friends to record these shows. So the result is some totally uninhibited hot picking and singing from this band of almost brothers. Then, Charles Sawtelle and Nick started talking about how to mix the tapes. The tapes were lost for a number of years. Now, we are rewarded with some live Hot Rize during their 1996 reunion tour. If you weren't aware, Hot Rize won IBMA's "Entertainer of the Year" Award in 1990, and guitarist Charles Sawtelle died of cancer in 1999. This live album has 20 bluegrass cuts, making it an excellent value for its price. The band's alter-egos (Red Knuckles and the Trailblazers) don't make an appearance on it. "So Long of a Journey" gets my two thumbs up. (Joe Ross, staff writer, Bluegrass Now)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    At last at last!

    I was totally blown away when I read in the Denver Post that this album was about to be released. Having seen Hot Rize many times in concert, I hoped for the best, and got it. This music is toe-tapping harmonizing rockin' bluegrass with an updated, clear and professional sound, packed with Hot Rize faves. Put on the head phones and you'll float high on a mountain top!

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews