The Steep Canyon Rangers are a spirited bluegrass group that delves into folk, country and pop music, adding undeniable songwriting skills to go along with their instrumental prowess. While known to many for frequent collaborations with legendary comedian/banjo player Steve Martin, the North Carolina sextet’s music stands on its own.
The band’s roots begin as students at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where founding members Woody Platt, Graham Sharp and Charles R. Humphrey III first met. After graduating, their informal jam sessions gradually turned into paying gigs, the band adding mandolin player Mike Guggino and fiddler Nicky Sanders while building a regional following and writing songs in earnest. Eschewing straight traditional bluegrass, the Rangers brought in outside influences from the start, mixing in elements of country, folk and pop to shape their original sound. A constant diet of touring and recording brought the band to the main stages of folk and bluegrass festivals around the country. Their fifth record, Lovin’ Pretty Women, brought the band critical acclaim, winning ‘Best Album’ from the International Bluegrass Music Association, and their most recent album, 2013’s Nobody Knows You, won the Grammy for ‘Best Bluegrass Album.’ Their fruitful association with Steve Martin began in 2009 when the comedian and (sometime) banjo player asked the Rangers to be his backing band on his tour following the release of his album The Crow. Two years later, the band got back together with Martin to record the Grammy-nominated Rare Bird Alert.
‘The band members are all very talented, and their material is consistently just a few shades different from anything else that’s going on in bluegrass.’- Bluegrass Today
‘One of the most expressive bluegrass bands you’ll find’ ‘ CMT Edge