Lewis Clark Bluegrass Organization

Bluegrass of Yesterday and Today

Preserving and promoting public awareness of bluegrass music in our area through concerts, festivals, jam sessions and other events.

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VBF Video Theatre 003: Hotwire's "Runnin' Back to Idaho"

Tonight on Valley Bluegrass Festival Video Theatre, we're excited to introduce you to the electrically-charged grass group known as Hotwire.


The Hotwire bluegrass band performing at the Council Mountain Music Festival at Council, Idaho -- August 2011. Left to right: Dave Hunt, Dale Fisk, Helen Smith, Dennis Maggard, special guest Pat Massie.


Hotwire features an ear-grabbing mix of old-style bluegrass, newgrass, country, folk and acoustic genres that are hard to pin down—delivered with a hard driving energy that they call “high-voltage bluegrass.” Their sound features solid two, three and four part harmonies and hot instrumental solos on guitar, mandolin, banjo and fiddle.

The band is composed of four veteran performers. (The 3 guys each have over 30 years of professional and semi-professional performing experience):

Dave Hunt is a two-time Utah State flat-picking champion on both guitar and mandolin. He has placed 2nd on fiddle. Dave’s uncanny ability to duplicate complex Doc Watson licks on guitar is a showstopper. His pleasant tenor voice occasionally takes the lead, and provides the foundation for Hotwire’s harmonies.    Dave played in the mid 1990s with Ron Spears and The Bluegrass Conspiracy. They placed 3rd at the International Bluegrass Challenge in Owensboro, Kentucky, center of the International Bluegrass Hall of Fame.

Hotwire’s lead singer, Dale Fisk, toured the western U.S. with a country-rock band in the 1970s. He plays guitar and mandolin. He has placed 3rd In Idaho’s Old Time Fiddler’s flat-picking competition on mandolin. His clear voice has the versatility to range from a high lonesome sound reminiscent of Vince Gill all the way down to more resonant tones of singers like Johnny Cash.

Dennis Maggard plays banjo, guitar, mandolin and bass. He has taken first place in Idaho’s Old Time Fiddler’s state flat-picking competition on guitar. Dennis’s deep bass voice gives Hotwire’s occasional four-part harmonies its rich tone.

For the past eight years Helen Smith has played bluegrass bass in the states of Idaho, Washington and Montana. She provides that rhythmic glue that binds a bluegrass band together.  She also plays guitar and provides the high harmonies that give Hotwire its clear, resonant vocal blend.


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