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So Long of a Journey: Live at the Boulder Theater [Live]

Hot RizeAudio CD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)


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Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 5, 2002)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Live
  • Label: Sugarhill
  • ASIN: B000060OXG
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #76,421 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Blue Night
2. Keep Your Lamp Trimmed And Burning
3. Empty Pocket Blues
4. Introductions
5. Radio Boogie
6. Just Like You
7. Climbing Up A Mountain
8. Walkin' The Dog
9. Frank's Blues
10. A Voice On The Wind
11. Shadows In My Room
12. Nellie Kane
13. The Butcher's Dog
14. Working On A Building
15. Walk The Way The Wind Blows
16. Foggy Mt. Breakdown
17. High On A Mountain
18. Colleen Malone
19. Life's Too Short
20. Won't You Come And Sing For Me

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

Through the 1980s, Hot Rize's virtuosic brand of bluegrass combined eclectic progressivism with bedrock traditionalism, earning a following that extended well beyond the young quartet's home base of Boulder, Colorado. Though vocalist-mandolinist Tim O'Brien subsequently moved further beyond bluegrass convention as a solo artist, focusing more on his original material, the band's reunion concerts in the '90s remained popular affairs. This recording of a 1996 homecoming performance at the Boulder Theater finds the foursome in spirited form, with a generous selection of 20 cuts. From the spiritual call-and-response of "Keep Your Lamp Trimmed and Burning" and "Working on a Building" to Pete Wernick's banjo breakdown on "Empty Pocket Blues" to the Irish romp through "Colleen Malone," a signature tune for the group, the interplay has the feel of friends who plainly enjoy each other's musical company. The belated release also serves as a memorial to guitarist Charles Sawtelle, whose thoughtful, bluesy progressions give the music a unique dimension, and who died of leukemia in 1999. --Don McLeese

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars God Bless Charles Sawtelle July 19, 2004
Format:Audio CD
After their amicable breakup in 1990, Hot Rize staged various reuinion concerts over the next several years, including this marvelous 1996 effort secretly caught for prosperity by bassist Nick Forster. Hot Rize appealed to almost every facet of the bluegrass world by, as mandolinist/fiddler/lead singer Tim O'Brien put it, "Making the old sound new." Most of the group's non-original material (O'Brien is a prolific song writer, with Forster and banjoist Pete Wernick also key contributers) came from the classic bluegrass artists/old timey song book (represented here by Bill Monroe's "Blue Night", The Delmore's "Life's Too Short", and Hazel Dicken's "Won't You Come and Sing For Me"), but the band's trademark instrumental synchopation gave their music a fresh, modern sound. O'Brien and Wernick are wonderful players, but the true intrumental "voice" of the band was the late, great guitarist Charles Sawtelle (a/k/a "The Bluegrass Mystery"), whose unmatched tone and clever phrasing pervades and haunts this session.
Hot Rize was one of the hardest working and most popular bluegrass bands of the '80's - and the most remarkable aspect of this concert is how tight and fresh they sound despite their layoff. One senses the compatibility and friendship of the boys in the band throughout. This one is definitely worth a listen - it'll stay on your player for a long time.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
By J. Ross
Format:Audio CD
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. The scuttlebutt is also that Hot Rize will be doing some reunion shows soon, although it is not clear yet who will be replacing Charles on guitar.
--by Joe Ross, moderator/reviewer for "Nwbluegrass"
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hot Rize at the Top of Their Game June 3, 2002
Format:Audio CD
While the always innovative Hot Rize continued to perform reunion shows throughout the Nineties, their last studio album was 1992's Take It Home. That's what makes this 1996 live recording of a couple of Boulder Theater shows such a treat. Hot Rize is performing before an enthusiastic home crowd and the band is hitting on all cylinders.
Although Red Knuckles doesn't make an appearance, the band performs songs from all five of their studio albums on this hour-long CD. What a joyful tribute to one of my favorite bluegrass bands. As bassist Nick Forster says in his liner notes, "This is what we sounded like on a good night." If you're new to Hot Rize, this is a great place to start. If you own their other albums, you'll want this one too. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Still One of the Most Professional Bands.... March 10, 2002
Format:Audio CD
It's about time. All of us who have bought DATs and MD recorders to capture our heroes LIVE have finally got an opportunity to fill a void in our collections. This performance captures Hot Rize at its absolute best, and gives us a chance to relive an outstanding show with what is arguably one of the most professional and tight bands ever to perform in the genre. These guys are professionals, and they have been missed. Listen to Tim and Nick's harmonies - can you tell them apart? Listen to the arrangements. Outside of Del, traditionally based bluegrass has never had such a professional workup. This performance captures the best of what is missing - these guys working in bluegrass!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great live album! May 15, 2002
Format:Audio CD
A nice posthumous concert album from one of the big bluegrass supergroups of the 1980s. This album features Hot Rize at their best, professionally plowing their way through a powerful repertoire of original tunes and well-chosen oldies. This set was recorded during a 1996 reunion gig, and band gets a little looser and a little more playful than on some of their studio albums, as all concerned, including the late guitarist Charles Sawtelle, play the good stuff, all sweet and fine. Recommended!
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