Steep Canyon Rangers Announces New Live Dates; Debuts New Single

Courtesy: Yeproc Records

Steep Canyon Rangers got back in the news this week.

The band announced an extensive new slate of live dates for this coming fall and winter. The dates, noted below, feature performances alongside Steve Martin and Martin Short, and a handful of festival shows. Tickets are available here.

Steep Canyon Rangers’ tour is in support of its most recent album, Arm in Arm (2020). The album is available to stream and download here.

Steep Canyon Rangers: On Tour

August 21 – Grand Sierra Resort & Casino – Reno, NV^

August 26 – The Palace Theatre – Stamford, CT^

September 3 – Thomas Point Beach Bluegrass Festival 2021 – Brunswick, ME

September 4 – Hickory Fest 2021 – Mansfield, PA

September 5 – Shenandoah Valley Music Festival 2021 – Woodstock, VA

September 10-11 – Mountain Song Festival 2021 – Brevard, NC

September 16 – Mishawaka Amphitheatre – Bellvue, CO

September 17 – Chautauqua Auditorium – Boulder, CO*

September 18-19 – Pickin In The Pines – Flagstaff, AZ

September 24-25 – FreshGrass 2021 – North Adams, MA

October 1 – FreshGrass 2021 – Bentonville, AR

October 2 – IBMA Bluegrass Live – Raleigh, NC

October 3 – Tuck Fest 2021 – Charlotte, NC

October 15-16 – Suwannee Roots Festival 2021 – Live Oak, FL

October 20 – Temple Theater Box Office – Lufkin, TX

October 21 – Old Settler’s Music Festival – Dale, TX

October 22 – Altria Theater – Richmond, VA^

October 23 – Township Auditorium – Columbia, SC^

October 24 – Grand Ole Opry House – Nashville, TN^

November 6 – Sellersville Theater 1894 – Sellersville, PA

November 7 – Birchmere – Alexandria, VA

November 12 – Lyric Theatre – Stuart, FL

November 13 – Ruth Eckerd Hall – Clearwater, FL

November 14 – Ponte Vedra Concert Hall – Ponte Vedra, FL

November 19 – Lied Center of Kansas – Lawrence, KS

December 2-5 – Egyptian Theatre – Park City, UT

^with Steve Martin & Martin Short

*with Jon Stickley Trio

In other news, the band premiered its new single, ‘Nothing Matters (When You’re Mine)‘ Tuesday. The song features a musical arrangement that instantly lends itself to comparison to works from Reckless Kelly with its somber tones and vocal harmonies.

According to information provided about the single, its lyrical theme focuses on the all too familiar topic of a broken relationship.

More information on Steep Canyon Rangers’ new live dates, single, and album is available along with the band’s latest news at:

Websitehttp://www.steepcanyon.com

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/SteepCanyonRangers

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/SteepCanyon

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Veterans, Newcomers Among Those In Phil’s Picks 2020 Top 10 New Country/Bluegrass/Folk/Americana Albums

Courtesy: Mercury Nashville

Country music, bluegrass, folk, and Americana fans have had a lot to be happy bout in 2020.  That is because the genres, which are so closely related to one another, have seen a lot of enjoyable new albums released.  Bluegrass fans saw Steep Canyon Rangers release its new album Arm in Arm.  The country music world saw Chris Stapleton’s new album Starting Over, which is some of his best work to date in his still young career.  Steve Earle and his fellow musicians The Dukes released a new album that audiences can easily put into the Americana category while the folk world while Delta Rae’s new album The Light can just as easily be added to the folk/neo-folk category just as much as the Americana category.  All three albums are featured in this year’s Phil’s Picks 2020 Top 10 New Country/Bluegrass/Folk/Americana Albums list along with lots of others, including Chatham County Line’s new album Strange Fascination and the recently released independent band Royal Horses’ new album A Modern Man’s Way To Improve.  That album crosses the border of country, bluegrass and Americana. 

As with each year’s past lists, this year features the year’s Top 10 best new albums from the noted genres along with five additional honorable mentions for a total of 15 albums.  Without any further ado, here is PHIL’S PICKS 2020 TOP 10 NEW COUNTRY/BLUEGRASS/FOLK/AMERICANA ALBUMS.

PHIL’S PICKS 2020 TOP 10 NEW COUNTRY/BLUEGRASS/FOLK/AMERICANA ALBUMS

  1. Chris Stapleton – Starting Over
  2. The Okee Dokee Brothers – Songs For Singin
  3. Josh Turner – Country State of Mind
  4. Delta Rae – The Light
  5. Reckless Kelly – American Girls/American Jackpot
  6. Steve Earle & The Dukes – The Ghosts of West Virginia
  7. Chatham County Line – Strange Fascination
  8. Jack The Radio – Creatures
  9. Royal Horses – A Modern Man’s Way To Improve
  10. Steep Canyon Rangers – Arm in Arm
  11. Brothers Osborne – Skeletons
  12. Bruce Springsteen – Letter To You
  13. Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit – Reunions
  14. Mile Twelve – Roll The Tapes All Night Long
  15. Special Consensus – Chicago Barn Dance

Next up from Phil’s Picks is 2020’s Top 10 New Rap & Hip-Hop Albums.  Stay tuned for that. 

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.   

Steep Canyon Rangers’ Latest LP Will Appeal To Country, Bluegrass Fans As Much As Band’s Fans

Courtesy: Yep Roc Records

Country-bluegrass band Steep Canyon Rangers has been making headlines quite a bit lately.  The band announced last week, that it had received a Grammy® nomination for its 2019 live recording North Carolina Songbook.  The nomination comes on the heels of the release of its most recent studio recording, Arm in Arm, which it released Oct. 16 through Yep Roc Records.  The band’s 16th overall recording (counting its live recordings), its release came only seven months after the release of its then latest recording, Be Still Moses, and is a work that the band’s longtime fans will find just as engaging and entertaining as Be Still Moses and the rest of the band’s offerings.  That is proven through the record’s musical and lyrical content alike.  This is shown in part early on in ‘Everything You Know.’  This song will be discussed shortly.  ‘Take My Mind’ is another interesting addition to the band’s new album.  It will be discussed a little later.  Much the same can be said of ‘In The Next Life,’ which serves as part of the 11-song record’s midpoint.  When it is considered along with the other songs addressed here and the rest of the record’s entries, the album in whole becomes a work that Steep Canyon Rangers’ established fan base will enjoy just as much as country and bluegrass fans in general.

Steep Canyon Rangers’ latest album (and second this year) Arm in Arm is a positive new offering from the band that will find a far reaching appeal among audiences.  That is due to its musical and lyrical content, as proven in part early on by the song ‘Everything You Know.’  The song’s musical arrangement boasts a gentle, relaxed sense through its banjo, fiddle, and vocals.  The whole of those elements and the equally gentle brush strokes on the snare drum creates such a casual sense throughout the composition.  One could actually argue that the pairing especially of the vocals with the banjo and fiddle lends itself to a comparison to Darius Rucker’s cover of Bob Dylan’s ‘Wagon Wheel.’  On a similar note, comparisons are just as easy to works from Reckless Kelly.  That relaxed sense from the song’s musical arrangement helps to translate the lyrics and mindset exhibited in the song’s lyrical content.

The lyrical content featured in this song comes across as taking on a familiar topic – that of encouraging audiences to live life for themselves and not letting others determine who and what we are and do.  That is just this critic’s interpretation.  The inference is made in the song’s chorus, which states, “Don’t tell ‘em everything thing you know/Let the whole world wonder/When the time is right to give up the gold/Hold a little back for the folks back home.”  The song’s second verse adds even more to that seeming topic as it states, Checked out of my room, walked down to the Rio Grande/Fortune teller on the sidewalk/Laughing at the way I talk/He drew a map upon my hand/Said what’s to be and what might have been/So I pulled up these chains/Set a course for the Spanish Main/And I’ll be coming back someday, baby, but I don’t know when.”  Again, here is a statement of someone not letting his fate be determined by someone else.  It is his own decision.  The fortune teller is just a metaphor.  Considering the positive message that seems to be delivered here and its companion musical arrangement, the song in whole proves to be a work that will certainly resonate with listeners.  It is just one of the album’s most notable positives.  ‘Take My Mind’ is another notable addition to the album.

‘Take My Mind’ presents a vintage style arrangement with its vocal harmonies and banjo line.  At the same time, there is a touch of modern bluegrass added to the mix that will appeal to fans of Steep Canyon Rangers’ bluegrass contemporaries Old Crow Medicine Show.  It is an upbeat work that pairs well with the song’s lyrical content, which seems to paint a picture of someone who is dealing with a lot.

The noted inference is made right from the song’s lead verse, which finds the song’s subject stating, “Give me nothing to hold that you don’t mind breaking/My nerves are on fire, my fingers are shaking/I’ve been taking the news pretty good ‘til now/Never did any good anyhow/I’ve been racking my brain for a simple solution/A little peace to replace my shattered illusion/‘Cause I’m losing the stories that I once believed/Reality won’t let me be.”  He adds in the song’s second verse, “I could walk out in the rain, find me a rainbow/Instead I sit in my room and pull the shade on the window/But the shadow I cast never fades away/It covers up my brightest days.”  The song’s chorus, which states, “Take my mind/Send it on the next thing flying/On down the line/Take my mind,” adds even more to the argument that this is someone who is dealing with a lot.  What is so interesting here is the fact that the song’s musical arrangement does not take the route that it could have and been so much more moody and brooding.  Instead the band took a different route, and instead offered something more energetic, which completely changes the song’s mood, especially when it is considered with the song’s lyrical content.  Keeping all of this in mind, the song leaves no doubt as to what makes it another important addition to Steep Canyon Rangers’ latest album.  It is not the last of the record’s most notable works, either.  ‘In The Next Life’ is one more way in which Arm in Arm proves its success.

‘In The Next Life’ is a gentle, flowing country western style composition whose arrangement whose guitar, vocals, simple percussion and fiddle lines collectively create a sound that lends itself to comparisons to works from Reckless Kelly.  The relaxed sense established through the song’s musical arrangement pairs with the song’s seemingly thoughtful lyrical content to make for even more engagement and entertainment. 

The lyrical theme featured in ‘In The Next Life’ comes across as presenting a statement of being aware of their actions.  That is inferred throughout the song’s run, beginning with its lead verse and chorus, which state, “Once I had a lover who never held back/Once I had another who wanted all I had/It took a few years to remember them well/To leave my tears right where they fell/Maybe in the next life/Maybe I’ll get it right/Maybe in the next life/Baby, give me one more try/And I’ll wait my turn/I’ve still got karma to burn.”  The song’s second and third verses support the seemingly noted statement even more, stating, “Somewhere in a past life I must’ve been a real saint/Hey, lucky me, born with money in the bank/And to my future self, I’m sorry in advance/But I’m feeling too good now/To worry ‘bout a second chance/It’s too early to call, it’s too late to call sober/When you were out in the woods, did you hear me fall over/Falling on your quiet place, wrecking the scene/Turning all your time away into some strange dream.”  When this contemplative whole is considered with the song’s relaxed musical arrangement, the whole of the song ensures listeners will be left thinking and talking.  When it is considered along with the other songs examined here and the rest of the album’s entries, the whole of the record proves itself to be a work that will appeal easily to any longtime fan of Steep Canyon Rangers. 

Steep Canyon Rangers’ latest album Arm in Arm is a positive new offering from the bluegrass/country music act.  That is proven through the record’s musical arrangements and lyrical content alike.  Each of the three songs addressed here serve well to support the noted statement.  When they are considered alongside the rest of the album’s works, the whole makes the album a presentation that will the band’s established fan base will enjoy just as much as more casual country and bluegrass fans.  The album is available now. 

More information on Steep Canyon Rangers’ new album is available along with the band’s latest news at:

Websitehttp://www.steepcanyon.com

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/SteepCanyonRangers

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/SteepCanyon

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Steep Canyon Rangers Receive Another Grammy Nomination

Courtesy: Yep Roc Records

Steep Canyon Rangers received a special honor this week.

The band announced Tuesday, it is one of five nominees in the “Best Bluegrass Album” category for the 2021 Grammy Awards ceremony. The nomination is for the band’s live recording North Carolina Songbook. The eight-song recording was captured April 28, 2019 at the annual Merlfest in Wilkesboro, NC and released Dec. 5, 2019 through Yep Roc Records.

The performance featured in the recording featured performances of ‘Stand By Me’/’Don’t Let Your Deal Go Down’ and ‘Blue Monk’ among others. The record debuted at #1 on Billboard’s Billboard Chart.

Vocalist Woody Platt was humble as he talked about the nomination in a prepared statement.

“It is such an honor to be recognized by the Recording Academy with a Grammy nomination,” said Platt. “It is especially sweet because this record pays tribute to many of the great artists from our musically rich home state of North Carolina.”

Platt’s band mate Graham Sharp expanded on Platt’s statements.

“This album was conceived as a love letter to our home state and the overwhelmingly diverse amount of groundbreaking musicians it has produced,” said Sharp. “It was a joy to perform and we’re truly grateful to be nominated among such a cool slate of our peers.”

Steep Canyon Rangers’ nomination in the 63rd annual Grammy Awards ceremony is just the latest of the band’s honors. The band is a member of the North Carolina music Hall of Fame. The band has also recorded three albums with famed comedian/actor/musician Steve Martin.

The group’s album Nobody Knows You won the Grammy in 2013 in the “Best Bluegrass Album” category. Only a year prior, the band was nominated for its album Rare Bird Alert.

Steep Canyon Rangers released its latest album Arm in Arm this year through Yep Roc Reords.

More information on Steep Canyon Rangers’ Grammy nomination, and new album is available along with the band’s latest news at:

Websitehttp://www.steepcanyon.com

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/SteepCanyonRangers

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/SteepCanyon

The full list of the nominees for the 63rd annual Grammy Awards ceremony is available along with all of the latest Grammy news at:

Websitehttp://www.grammy.com

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/RecordingAcademy

Twitter http://twitter.com/grammys

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Steep Canyon Rangers Debuts New Single, ‘Sunny Days’

Courtesy: Yep Roc Records

Steep Canyon Rangers debuted its latest single this week.

The band debuted its new single ‘Sunny Days’ Tuesday through The Boot.  The song is the fourth single from the band’s forthcoming album Arm in Arm, which is scheduled for release Oct. 16 through Yep Roc Records.

The band premiered the album’s lead single ‘In the Next Life‘ June 15. The video for the album’s next single ‘Every River‘ followed July 21 and ‘Honey on my Tongue‘ was next in August.

The musical arrangement featured in ‘Sunny Days’ is an upbeat work that is led by the banjo work of Graham Sharp.  Michael Guggino’s mandolin playing builds on the foundation formed by Sharp’s performance.  Nicky Sanders’ fiddle playing enriches the song even more while the subtle brushes on the snare drum put the finishing touch to the upbeat whole.

Guggino talked about the arrangement and its companion lyrical content in a recent interview.

“It’s got a driving pulse at the top of it, like a rock anthem, but it changes at the line, “What I wouldn’t give to be with you in the sunshine,” said Guggino. “We knew the song had to change there, so we bring it down, and there’s a group solo with the banjo, fiddle, and mandolin all playing at once with each instrument occupying a different space. The music releases as the speaker releases that wish to be in the sunshine.”

Audiences who purchase Steep Canyon Rangers’ new album will not only support the band, but the homeless community in the band’s hometown of Asheville, NC.  Steep Canyon Rangers has partnered with Asheville, NC-based brewery Wicked Weed Brewing to use sales of its new album to help the city’s homeless population.  The company will donate $10 per album (up to 2,000 albums) sold through Yep Roc Records’ store to Haywood Street’s Downtown Welcome Table to feed the city’s homeless population.

Arm in Arm‘s track listing is noted below.

  1. One Drop of Rain
  2. Sunny Days
  3. Everything You Know
  4. Every River
  5. Honey on my Tongue
  6. In The Next Life
  7. Bullet in the Fire
  8. Take My Mind (ft. Oliver Wood and Michael Bearden)
  9. A Body Like Yours
  10. Afterglow
  11. Crystal Ship

More information on Steep Canyon Rangers’ new album and live dates is available along with the band’s latest news at:

 

Websitehttp://www.steepcanyon.com

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/SteepCanyonRangers

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/SteepCanyon

 

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

 

 

Steep Canyon Rangers Announces New Album Release Date, Debuts Video For LP’s Lead Single; Announces New Live Dates

Courtesy: Yep Roc Records

Steep Canyon Rangers has some good news for its fans.

The band announced Tuesday, it is scheduled to release its new album this fall.  Additionally, the band announced it will hold a trio of free live shows next month.

The band is scheduled to release its new album Arm in Arm Oct. 16 through Yep Roc Records.  Pre-orders are open now. In anticipation of the album’s release, the band debuted the video for the album’s lead single ‘Every River‘ Tuesday.

The video, shot entirely in black and white, finds the band performing its single in a studio setting.  The song’s musical arrangement is a modern southern/roots rock presentation that will appeal to fans of the noted genres, complete with guitar, mandolin, bass, drums and vocals.  The seeming sociopolitical commentary contained within the song’s lyrical content (which is featured with the video) will assuredly engage listeners just as much as its musical counterpart will entertain and engage them.

In other news, since the COVID-19 pandemic has halted touring plans for musical acts the world over, the band also announced Tuesday, it will host three free, live drive-in shows next month.

The concerts are scheduled to take place Aug. 27-29 in Brevard, NC; Asheville, NC and Burnsville, NC.  The performance schedule is noted below.

 

Steep Canyon Rangers Drive-In Tour

August 27 – Brevard Music Center – Brevard, NC

August 28  – The Riveter – Asheville, NC

August 29 – Old Avondale Mill Site – Burnsville, NC

 

The concerts were made possible through partnerships with and sponsorship from: Can’d Aid, Zander Insurance, Young & McQueen Grading Company, Homeplace Beer Company, Come Hear NC, Wicked Weed Brewing, Looking Glass Eye Center, Mosaic Realty, PLATT, Explore Brevard, Brevard Insurance, French Broad Stone & Supply, Smith, Terry, Johnson & Windle Construction Law, Harkness Design, Brevard Music Center, and The Riveter.

More information on Steep Canyon Rangers’ new album and live dates is available along with the band’s latest news at:

 

Website: http://www.steepcanyon.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/SteepCanyonRangers

Twitter: http://twitter.com/SteepCanyon

 

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.