Steep Canyon Rangers
Steep Canyon Rangers are Asheville, North Carolina’s GRAMMY winners, perennial Billboard chart-toppers, and frequent collaborators of the renowned banjoist (and occasional comedian) Steve Martin.
Steep Canyon Rangers re-signed with Yep Roc Records in 2019. “It feels like coming home,” says Sharp of the partnership. “The Yep Roc family was among the first to welcome Steep Canyon Rangers when we were just pups. As we’ve grown, so have they. We’re incredibly excited for the future and all the music it holds.”
In 2020 Steep Canyon Rangers have release two albums, both on Yep Roc Records. The North Carolina Songbook which is is a recording of their live performance of all North Carolina Songwriters performed in 2019 at Merlefest in Wilkesboro, NC. They also released Be Still Moses. Perhaps their most singular musical partnership to date – teaming with Philadelphia soul legends Boyz II Men and their hometown Asheville Symphony to completely overhaul the Rangers’ original “Be Still Moses,” which was first recorded on their 2007 breakout album Lovin’ Pretty Women. The album includes re-imagined versions of Steep Canyon’s previously released original songs performed with an orchestra.
The Rangers are made up of Woody Platt on guitar and vocals, Graham Sharp on banjo and vocals, Mike Guggino on mandolin/mandola and vocals, Nicky Sanders on fiddle and vocals, Mike Ashworth on drums and vocals, and Barrett Smith on bass and vocals.
Steep Canyon Rangers have been on a journey that is uniquely their own. The band started in college at UNC-Chapel Hill, then dove head first into bluegrass in its most traditional form, and over the years have risen to the top of the bluegrass genre headlining top festivals such as Merlefest and Grey Fox Bluegrass. Only to then be discovered by Steve Martin, famous actor and banjo player. Martin has taken the Rangers on a nearly decade long tour introducing them to hundreds of thousands of new fans and giving them prime time TV exposure. This has helped SCR become the most recognizable modern name in bluegrass music. The band has continued to tour extensively on their own, without Martin, and have expanded their genre into country and Americana with the addition of a drummer, alongside an incredibly versatile bassist – to accompany the original core band. The Rangers are big players in the bluegrass/country and Americana scene today. They are often compared to predecessors The Band, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, and the modern Zac Brown Band.