(This story was updated on Nov. 2 to correct the event date.)
If you go
What: Pickin’ Up the Pieces: Hot Rize Flood Benefit
When: 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 7
Where: Macky Auditorium, 285 UCB, University Ave., Boulder, 303-492-8423
More info: hotrize.com
It’s the bluegrass-iest of flood benefit concerts: Pickin’ Up the Pieces.
Boulder bluegrass veterans Hot Rize will put on a rare Boulder show on Thursday, Nov. 7, to raise money for victims of September’s flood. The band will be at Macky Auditorium, with support from Jeff Austin (Yonder Mountain String Band), Billy Nershi (String Cheese Incident), Sally Van Meter, Mollie O’Brien and Rich Moore, Chris Pandolfi, Andy Hall, Eric Thorin and Justin Hoffenberg. The money they raise will go to the Community Foundation in Boulder, which will allocate that money to flood relief.
“One of the things that I think is just part of the bluegrass community DNA is when there are events like this — tragedy, natural disasters — we have such a well-developed sense of community,” said Hot Rize bassist and singer Nick Forster. “It’s such a natural reaction to try to imagine how music can raise funds or pull everybody together in a celebratory mode. For better or for worse, Hot Rize are the uncles of this stuff in Boulder County.”
In that community spirit, special $5 “uplift tickets” are available, only in advance, for those who were displaced for their homes or experienced significant damage.
“Being affected or displaced or losing your instruments or record collection is one thing. The other thing is that with winter coming, and the combination with the change of seasons and the sense of loss, can really create some blues. People can really get down,” Forster said. “We very consciously put together a category of tickets called the ‘uplift’ tickets. We want to be part of something that’s celebratory.”
The bluegrass all-star lineup is something to celebrate in itself, but the Hot Rize appearance alone should be a big draw. Tim O’Brien and Bryan Sutton, Forster’s bandmates, are coming in from Nashville for the rare Hot Rize Boulder performance. Forster said they only play here maybe once a year, which means they can justify a big venue like Macky Auditorium and raise more funds through higher ticket sales.
This show will also be the first time ever that Hot Rize and Red Knuckles & The Trailblazers will play the same show. We won’t spoil the band’s secret, but Forster said, “In the old days, The Trailblazers would sit in with us. No one’s ever seen Hot Rize and The Trailblazers at the same place, at the same time. It’s like Clark Kent and Superman.”
Like all of the other flood relief benefit concerts, Pickin’ Up the Pieces is all about neighbors helping neighbors and the healing power of music. This one has the unique quality of being deeply rooted in the Front Range’s musical history, with some of the biggest names in bluegrass coming together. Lyons, after all, is home to Planet Bluegrass, and they both need a lot of help.
“Lyons has a big part of bluegrass DNA. There’s a lot of musicians and bluegrass bands out there. Similarly, there’s a lot of musicians in Jamestown,” Forster said. “I think that this kind of music can come together to bring this community together. This is a really important gathering of the clan, and we’re really excited about the opportunity, and we’re excited to raise some money and lift some spirits.”
Details for receiving uplift tickets are at hotrize.com. There are a lot of them, but the number is still limited, so do it sooner rather than later. And celebrate.