Steep Canyon Rangers bluegrass band returns to Owensboro

February 28, 2019 | 3:09 am

Updated February 28, 2019 | 10:00 am

Steep Canyon | Photo submitted

Those who know and love bluegrass music, have likely heard of the Steep Canyon Rangers, a Grammy-winning bluegrass band that’s formed a years-long collaboration with comedian and bluegrass musician Steve Martin. The Steep Canyon Rangers will be returning to the local area to play a show at the beginning of March.

The Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame & Museum will be hosting the Steep Canyon Rangers for their upcoming performance on Saturday, March 9 at 7 p.m. Lead guitarist and vocalist Woody Platt spoke with the Owensboro Times about returning to the city known for its bourbon and bluegrass, and how he feels about playing in the new Bluegrass Museum.

“We’re really excited about it,” Platt said. “We played at ROMP a few years ago with Steve Martin, and we love Owensboro. The first several IBMAs (International Bluegrass Music Association awards ceremony) we went to were held at the Executive Inn and another location in downtown Owensboro.”

Platt said the Steep Canyon Rangers sent a few items to the Bluegrass Museum for an exhibit the museum wanted to create in honor of the band. Platt said he’s excited to see his band’s exhibit on display for the first time.

It’s been an uphill journey for the Steep Canyon Rangers as they’ve spent the last 10 years gaining popularity in the music industry and earning numerous accolades from critics and musicians.

The Steep Canyon Rangers won the 2006 “Emerging Artist of the Year” award at the IBMAs and won “Best Bluegrass Album” at the 2013 Grammy Awards for their Nobody Knows You album.

The band was asked by Steve Martin to accompany him on a “World Bluegrass Tour,” traveling to places such as Carnegie Hall in New York, the Royal Festival Hall in London and the Wang Center in Boston. They also performed with Martin as a headliner at the 2010 Bonnaroo Music Festival.

Steve Martin and the Steep Canyon Rangers performed at ROMP in 2011. The festival sold at least 13,693 tickets and likely topped out at over 15,000 in attendance. Their collaborative performance is arguably what preempted ROMP’s continued success in years since.

“I felt like that was a good thing for ROMP and for us. The partnership with [Steve] has been incredible,” Platt said. “We’ve learned a lot by collaborating with him. He loves the music. He loves the banjo, everything about it. He’s very focused on bluegrass.”

The Steep Canyon Rangers formed their band in 2000 while they were students at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. Since then, the group has had nine solo albums released, plus two collaborative albums with Martin. Their song, “Radio,” was nominated for “Song of the Year” by the IBMA in 2016.

“The music business is interesting,” Platt said. “No matter how much success you have, you always want more. We formed this band in college and then, all of a sudden, you’ve won a Grammy and you’re all over the Billboard Charts. But you still want to keep pushing yourself to get better and to get your music out there.”

Platt said their Owensboro show will feature a little of the old mixed with a little of the new. Their newest album, Out in the Open, was released in 2018, and Platt said, a year later, the music from that album still feels very fresh for the band.

“Our record came out in 2018, but we collaborated with Steve after that, so it still feels really new to us,” Platt said. “This show will feature that record and a collection of our other music. It’s an honor for us to play at the Bluegrass Hall of Fame–we’re just looking forward to it.”

Tickets can be purchased online here.

See their performance on Jimmy Fallon here.

February 28, 2019 | 3:09 am

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