Steep Canyon Rangers: Natural Disaster

By Jim Weaver:

“Acoustic music is not dead. Here is a video of the Steep Canyon Rangers, who in the words of Jonathan Byrd, a good flat-picking singer-songwriter in his own right, who co-wrote this song – these guys “Worked so hard for their [recent] Grammy”

Performed at the Orange Peel in Asheville, NC.

” Nobody Knows You is the Steep Canyon Rangers’ first record for Rounder, though it’s their second if you count their co-billed, 2012 Grammy-nominated Rare Bird Alert with recording and touring partner Steve Martin. Unquestionably, the Steep Canyon Rangers have come a long way from their promising beginnings as a band of college friends at UNC-Chapel Hill in 2000 to becoming the International Bluegrass Music Association’s Emerging Artist in 2006 to Entertainers of the Year with Steve Martin at IBMA in 2011. At this point, this band has played before more people, over the past two years, than any other bluegrass band – from major festivals like Bonnaroo, New Orleans Jazz Fest, and Merle Fest, to the White House for the 4th of July celebration this past year!
No wonder not only the bluegrass world but all fans of great acoustic music, with or without banjo, are starting to pick up on the Steep Canyon Rangers. Not only has the band been taking the performance world by storm but with the new record, they have delivered their strongest set of original songs to date, exciting, powerful, intelligent wordplay, with only one cover, Tim Hardin’s “Reputation.”
Many fans have observed that this is a band that has it all: a great live show, songwriting that is not imitative, and the instrumental virtuosity that is pretty much essential if you are going to be taken seriously in the bluegrass community. While there are a couple of special instrumental guests on the new album, the band itself is both the core and the overall substance of Nobody Knows You. Woody Platt has never sounded better, a solid and evocative guitar-player, with Mike Guggino on mandolin, Graham Sharp on banjo, and Charles Humphrey III on bass, all setting the tone on each of their instruments, with taste and adding something all their own. Nicky Sanders is one of the finest fiddle-players in bluegrass today, about whom we’ll all be hearing more in years to come. “ More Music Here

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