About the Band

Hot Pickin 57s is Austin’s favorite band playing Bluegrass, Classic Country and Americana music. We're out of Austin, but playing all over Texas. Whether you're planning a corporate eventwedding, festival, house concert, private party, gala, or booking a club, we'd love to help make your event a success.

• Ranked Austin’s #1 Bluegrass band by Reverbnation

• Ranked United States #1 Bluegrass band by Reverbation (March 21, 2019) 

• Moontower Entertainment artist (Austin)

• EVAmore artist (Nashville)

The band formed in January 2016, and had a terrific year with shows at Luckenbach, 30th Annual Grapefest,  a 290 Texas House Concert sponsored by the Texas Heritage Music Foundation, and Oskar Blues among many others, with continued success ever since. Hot Pickin released their debut self-titled CD in October 2017.  In January 2019 we welcomed Shawn Spiars, a great vocalist and banjo player, and thank Eddie Collins for three great years as he steps down from the band.

You were one of our best bands ever, and everyone will be talking about that performance!
— Laura M // Texas Heritage Foundation House Concert, Johnson City TX

Eddie Collins, musician

Shawn Spiars

Vocals / Banjo

Shawn Spiars has been playing the 5-string banjo and performing for audiences for over 30 years. Since earning an Associate-of-Arts degree in Bluegrass Music from South Plain College in 1982, he has performed with numerous bands throughout Central Texas including Hard to Make a Living, Sabine River Bend Bluegrass, Blue Country Grass, Randy Collier & Grassland, and now Hot Pickin 57s. His driving banjo style borrows elements from banjo legends Earl Scruggs, Don Reno, and Alan Munde.

Vance Hazen, musician

Max Zimmet

guitar / mandolin

Max graduated from Berklee College of Music in guitar & mandolin performance. He got hooked on bluegrass after seeing Bill Monroe on Austin City Limits.

Max plays in Hot PIckin 57s, One Eye Open and the Eddie Collins & Max Zimmet duo. He also teaches guitar and mandolin in a private studio in Austin TX. Max placed 3rd in the Texas Guitar championships in 2017 and 2018.

Max has played on stage with Sierra Hull, Mark Cosgrove (David Bromberg band), Beppe Gambetta, Howard Kalish (Texas Swing Music Hall of Fame), Jon Kemppainen (Squirrel Nut Zippers), among others.

Mike Montgomery, musician

Michael Montgomery

Fiddle / Vocals

Michael started classical violin training at age 10, but grew up also immersed in recordings of Old Timey and Bluegrass music, and began fiddling almost immediately.

While he continued to study violin at college, his other love, science, led him to a PhD in Astronomy from the University of Texas at Austin. Since graduating in 1998, Mike has been working as a professional astronomer, and his research has led him to jobs in Vienna, Cambridge, UK, and finally back to Austin. Since his return in 2004, he has played with Whit Smith's Hot Jazz Caravan, local artists such as Alan Munde, Billy Bright, and Eddie Collins, and now Hot Pickin 57s.

Max Zimmer, musician

Vance Hazen

Upright Bass/ vocals


Born in Montana, raised in Ohio

Eagle Scout

Toured all over U.S., Europe and Japan. Has played with Bastard Sons of Johnny Cash for 10+ years, Bob Appel, Rosie and the Ramblers, Amanda Cevallos, Devin Jake, Wink Keziah, Dave Insley, and now Hot Pickin 57s

Collects vintage bicycles, coin op, and music re-producers

Believes in live and let live

Highly recommend this group! They were so professional- communicated promptly prior to event, arrived early to set-up and make sure things were perfect. Talent was fantastic- everyone loved the music.
Thank you Hot Pickin 57s- would def book again!
— Jennifer K // Private Event, Fredericksburg TX