The Pagosa Hot Strings is a bluegrass band comprised of three young men from Pagosa Springs, CO. Brothers Jared Payne (15) on guitar and Josiah Payne (17) on mandolin and their cousin Carson Park (14) on fiddle, began playing together as a band in October 1995. They started by playing at weekly orientation meetings for guests at Fairfield Pagosa, a local timeshare resort. Juanalee and Dan Park (Carson's parents) introduced the boys to the music they both loved. There was always music being played at home , and they attended numerous festivals throughout the summer.
Carson, the band's fiddle player, began to learn the fiddle at age six. He is almost completely self-taught. His playing is very intuitive and his developing style promises to be very entertaining. Carson sings a good deal of lead vocals and harmony.
Jared is Carson's cousin, who began playing guitar at age nine. Now at 15, his skills are much more mature. He is developing his own inventive playing style with considerable influence from the stylings of Pat Flynn and David Grier.
Josiah, 17, is Jared's brother and Carson's cousin. He started playing the mandolin at age 11. He truly feels the music as he. He has a free flowing style that was developed through many hours of "wood shedding" in his room. Influential players include Sam Bush, David Grisman and Chris Thile.
The Hot Strings began playing gigs in April of 1996 and their first real performance was at the Durango Meltdown in Durango, CO. Since then, the band has made appearances at Rockygrass, Four Corners Folk Festival, the main stage at Telluride, CO, and here in Winfield.
Individually they have won various awards from fiddle contests to the Western Slope Mandolin Championship. Each of the three boys has a unique and individual approach to their instruments. All are primarily self taught with some fundamental early coaching from Dan and Juanalee Park. Dan is currently playing bass with the group and has arranged and written much of the original material performed by the band.
At Telluride in 1999, the Hot Strings won the band contest there. These young musicians hold the future of bluegrass music. Their second CD, "Window of Opportunity", was released earlier this year.