We are an experienced four-piece country band out of Austin looking for corporate events, private parties, weddings etc. We will provide professional entertainment that will contribute to everyone having a great time! Just a sampling of our reviews are listed below.
Our repertoire includes standards and originals in Bluegrass, Classic Country (Hank Williams, Merle Haggard, Willie Nelson etc), Old Rock & Roll (Chuck Berry, Ricky Nelson, Johnny Rivers etc), Gypsy Jazz and Western Swing.
We're a very active band, with major shows in 2017 including 31st Annual Grapefest, Grapevine Sunset Concert Series, Rodeo Austin, Luckenbach, Spicewood Arts Society Arts RoundUp, private parties, corporate events and many others.
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. Max placed 3rd in the 2017 Texas Flatpicking Guitar Championship.
Eddie Collins is a long-time Austin musician, having performed with many of the area's top acoustic groups. He has nine solo CDs, including many original tunes. Eddie plays banjo, guitar, mandolin, and sings lead & harmony.
Mike Montgomery started classical violin training at age 10. He was also immersed in Old Time & Bluegrass music. While he continued to study violin at college, his love of science led him to a PhD in Astronomy from UT Austin. Since graduating, Mike has been working as a professional astronomer. Mike has played with Whit Smith's Hot Jazz Caravan, and artists such as Alan Munde, Billy Bright, and Eddie Collins, and now Hot Pickin Bluegrass. 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.
"Hot Pickin 57s did a fantastic job entertaining our event attendees, everyone had a fabulous time! They were extremely professional to work with - arriving early to set up, clearly communicated their set up needs and were amazingly accommodating to our event needs. I highly recommend them!
- Amy S. (Sourcecon)
"Great music, easy to work with. We hired them for a corporate cocktail party and they killed it. I will definitely hire them again."
- Ben G (Momentum)
"Last night, Max Zimmet's Hot Pickin 57s absolutely MADE my husband's 50th birthday party. We had about 45 adults in a fun, intimate setting upstairs at South Austin Brewery. The band played for two hours, engaged the crowd in a friendly comfortable way and set a perfect, Austin-style ambiance for the event. These guys were incredibly talented musicians and so charming an easy to work with. They were flexible and friendly throughout the planning, set up and evening of the party. I got many compliments on the music all night. My son said, "This feels like the kind of band you want to have at a ranch wedding. Fun and Texan approved!"
"Yes, we absolutely loved it. You guys are awesome. I also streamed you all playing live on Facebook with the question "Should we have them play at our wedding?" and received a resounding YES! from friends and family. We are very excited. We will go ahead and book now."
- KT (Following our show at Banger's)
We contracted Hot Pickin 57s for a 10 Year Vow Renewal celebration with family and friends.
From the start, they were great at communicating with our planner, helping work through potential complications, location and placement for the best time for all and just being super up front about everything. They even said yes to some curveballs (can you play for the ceremony too?) and saved the day for us.
On the day, they showed up early for set up, did a fantastic job both with music selections, and engaging the group, and announcements. I can't recommend them enough!
- Cassandra C.
They were the perfect group for our pop-up shop's launch party! Very easy to work with from out of state. Set up was a breeze and for two hours they were the perfect soundtrack for our party. From our San Francisco crew to the local crowd, everyone loved the music!
- Jessie D.