Steep Canyon Rangers Returns to Asheville in 2018

Photo by David Simchock

The Steep Canyon Rangers come to the ExploreAsheville.com Arena at the U.S. Cellular Center in Asheville on Saturday, Jan. 27 at 8 p.m. with members of the Asheville Symphony and River Whyless. Tickets cost $30-$40 and can be purchased at the USCC Box Office, online at Ticketmaster.com, and by phone at 800-745-3000.

GRAMMY® Award-winning Steep Canyon Rangers, originally from Brevard, effortlessly walk the line between festival favorite and sophisticated string orchestra. They’re as danceable as the most progressive, party-oriented string band, and equally comfortable translating their songs for accompaniment by a full symphony.

It’s that mix of serious chops and good-natured fun that earned the Steep Canyon Rangers the GRAMMY® Award for Best Bluegrass Album in 2013 (for “Nobody Knows You”), and that drew celebrated comedian/banjoist Steve Martin to them when he needed a backing band. The Rangers are world-class musicians who are just as at home taking the stage at Carnegie Hall as they are knee-deep in a mountain brook, fly rod in hand.

Steep Canyon Rangers were inducted into the North Carolina Music Hall of Fame last month in Kannapolis. It has been more than 15 years and nine studio albums since the Steep Canyon Rangers formed in Chapel Hill. The band received rave reviews for their last album (the Jerry Douglas-produced “Radio”), with No Depression commenting that it is “one of those albums that’s packed with hits.”

Now, in 2017, the band is working on their highly anticipated 10th studio album. “It’s really gratifying to play music with people you can trust, who hear something and pull what’s best out of it into something truly special,” says banjoist Graham Sharp. “As a songwriter, my favorite part of the whole thing is watching the band bring these ideas to life.”

When they aren’t in the studio, the Steep Canyon Rangers maintain a rigorous touring schedule with shows all over the U.S. (both with Steve Martin as well as headlining dates). They also appeared on “A Prairie Home Companion” with Steve Martin last December.

“We’re just getting started,” guitarist/lead vocalist Woody Platt exudes. “It’s almost daunting, to think about how much more there is that we want to accomplish as the Steep Canyon Rangers. Each time I get off stage, I ask myself, ‘Was that fun? Did that feed your soul?’ That’s how we go about it, and more times than not, the answer is a rounding ‘Yes.’ We’re totally committed.”

Visit www.steepcanyon.com.

Steep Canyon Rangers band members:

  • Woody Platt – Guitar, Lead Vocals
  • Mike Guggino – Mandolin, Vocals
  • Charles Humphrey – Bass, Vocals
  • Graham Sharp – Banjo, Vocals
  • Nicky Sanders – Fiddle, Vocals
  • Michael Ashworth – Percussion
About Shelby Harrell

Shelby Harrell is the news editor of the Biltmore Beacon, editor of The Guide arts and entertainment publication and is a staff writer for Mountaineer Publishing. Originally from Asheville, she has worked in journalism for more than six years and currently lives in Clyde, NC.