This week, Grammy Award winning North Carolina modern bluegrass supergroup The Steep Canyon Rangers recorded live at Ozark Folk Center State Park in Mountain View, Arkansas. Also, interviews with the band’s leader and mandolin Jedi Mike Guggino.
“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.
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.” - https://www.steepcanyon.com/about
In this week’s “From the Vault” segment, musician, educator, and country music legacy Mark Jones offers a 1978 archival recording of Ozark originals Frank Ellis, Cathy Barton, and Taylor McBain performing the classic tune “Grey Eagle” from the Ozark Folk Center State Park archives.