Hot Pickin 57s One Sheet

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Hot Pickin 57s Short Bio

Hot Pickin 57s is a 4-piece acoustic band out of Austin playing standards and originals in bluegrass, classic country (Hank Williams, Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard, etc), Rockabilly (Chuck Berry, Ricky Nelson, Johnny Rivers, etc.), Western Swing and some Gypsy Jazz.

The band got together 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.

The seeds for the band were planted in 1997. Max was 10 years old. He heard Bill Monroe on Austin City Limits, loved it, and his family started going to hear bluegrass at Artz Rib house in Austin, Texas. Max would tape Eddie Collins’s band, and listen to it for hours, and soon was taking lessons from Eddie. He started playing out a bit and got to do some shows with Eddie and other area pickers. Max returned to Austin after earning a degree at the Berklee College of Music in Boston (with majors in guitar and mandolin performance) and began several projects, including Hot Pickin 57s, One Eye Open, and a duo with Eddie. 

Eddie Collins is a long-time Austin musician, having performed with many of the area’s top acoustic groups. He has nine solo CDs, which include many original tunes that can be heard on over twenty-five commercially released recordings. Eddie plays banjo, guitar, mandolin, and sings lead & harmony.
 
Mike Montgomery started classical violin training at age 10. He grew up also immersed in Old Timey and Bluegrass music. While he continued to study violin at college, his love of science led him to a PhD in Astronomy from the University of Texas at Austin. Since graduating, Mike has been working as a professional astronomer, and his research has taken him to Vienna, Cambridge in the UK, and finally back to Austin. Since his return, he has played with Whit Smith's Hot Jazz Caravan, and artists such as Alan Munde, Billy Bright, and Eddie Collins, and now Hot Pickin 57s. Mike also sings harmony vocals.
 
Vance Hazen rounds out the band on upright bass and lead & harmony vocals. Born in Montana and raised in Ohio, he has branched out, touring across the US, Europe and Japan, playing electric and upright bass with a wide assortment of bands. 

Eddie Collins

Eddie collins grapefest

Vocals / Banjo / Guitar / Mandolin

Eddie Collins is a long-time staple of the Austin music scene, having performed with many of the area’s top acoustic groups. He has nine solo CDs, which include many original tunes that can be heard on over twenty-five commercially released recordings. 
 
Eddie is one of the foremost instructors in acoustic music  for mandolin, flatpick guitar and 5-string banjo. He has authored more than 30 books and DVD courses. He writes features for numerous music publications, and conducts instructional workshops throughout the U.S., has served as the president of the Central Texas Bluegrass Association, and has been a disc jockey for local bluegrass radio programs.

Mike Montgomery

Mike montgomery 5544

Fiddle / Vocals

Michael Montgomery 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.

Vance Hazen

Vance grapefest copy 1

Upright Bass / Vocals

Libra
Born in Montana, raised in Ohio
Eagle Scout
Plays electric and upright bass in a bunch of bands
Based out of Austin since ‘97
Toured all over U.S., Europe and Japan with a bunch of bands
Hope to drive through Central America to surf at some point
Collects vintage bicycles, coin op, and music re-producers
Believes in live and let live
Attending ACC for fun, will see where it goes

Max Zimmet

Max rodeo austin

Guitar / Mandolin

Max Zimmet is a graduate of Berklee College of Music with majors in guitar and mandolin performance. He started at 8 on classical guitar, but got hooked on Bluegrass a couple years later after seeing Bill Monroe on Austin City Limits. He's been playing in venues in Central Texas and beyond since his early teens.
 
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 Texas.

Max has played on stage with Chris Thile, Shawn Watkins, Darrell Scott, Sierra Hull, Josh Williams, and Beppe Gambetta, among others.

Photos of Band Members

L-R: John Hood, Eddie Collins, Max Zimmet (Symphony Square, 1999)

L-R: John Hood, Eddie Collins, Max Zimmet (Symphony Square, 1999)