Steep Canyon Rangers

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Steep Canyon Rangers
Steep Canyon Rangers by David McClister
Steep Canyon Rangers 2013, photography by David McClister
Background information
Origin Brevard, North Carolina
Genres Bluegrass
Labels Rounder Records
Members Woody Platt
Graham Sharp
Mike Guggino
Charles R. Humphrey III
Nicky Sanders
Mike Ashworth
Past members Lizzie Hamilton

The Steep Canyon Rangers are an American bluegrass band from Brevard, North Carolina.[1][2]

In 2013, their album Nobody Knows You won a Grammy for Best Bluegrass Album. The previous year, their 2012 collaboration with Steve Martin, Rare Bird Alert, was nominated for the same award.

The International Bluegrass Music Association awarded Martin and Steep Canyon Rangers Entertainer of the Year in 2011.

In 2008, the band received a nomination from International Bluegrass Music Association for "Album and Gospel Performance of the Year".[3]

The band were featured performers on the June 27, 2009, broadcast of A Prairie Home Companion, with the addition of Steve Martin on the banjo.

It was announced on June 13, 2011, that the Steep Canyon Rangers signed with Rounder Records, with SCR’s lead singer Woody Platt saying the Rangers “are honored to join Rounder Records and be a part of such a rich musical history."[4]

Read full Tell The Ones I Love bio online at

The Steep Canyon Rangers feature:

  • Woody Platt — guitar, lead vocals
  • Graham Sharp — banjo, lead/harmony vocals
  • Mike Guggino — mandolin, harmony vocals
  • Charles R. Humphrey III — bass
  • Nicky Sanders — fiddle
  • Mike Ashworth — cajon drums

With Steve Martin[edit]

Steve Martin played banjo along with the Steep Canyon Rangers on the June 27, 2009, broadcast of A Prairie Home Companion, and continued playing with the band on selected dates as part of U.S. tours with the Rangers in the fall of 2009, and spring of 2010. Martin played with the band at the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass festival in San Francisco, Carnegie Hall in New York,[5] and Benaroya Hall in Seattle.[6] Martin also travelled with the band to the UK, to perform on the critically acclaimed music show, Later with Jools Holland. Martin appeared with the Steep Canyon Rangers at the 2010 Bonnaroo Music Festival, on Austin City Limits on November 6, 2010, and at the July 4, 2011 A Capitol Fourth celebration on the West Lawn of the US Capitol Building.[7] The group and Martin together recorded the 2011 album, Rare Bird Alert, on which Paul McCartney and the Dixie Chicks also appear.

On September 29, 2011, Martin and the Rangers jointly won the Entertainers of the Year award at the International Bluegrass Music Association Awards.[8]

Martin and the Rangers played at the 5th annual DelFest in May 2012 as a headlining act.[9]


Steve Martin playing with the Steep Canyon Rangers in Seattle.


Title Album details Peak chart
US Grass US
Old Dreams and New Dreams
  • Release date: August 14, 2001
  • Label: Steep Canyon Music
Mr. Taylor's New Home
  • Release date: July 16, 2002
  • Label: Bonfire Records
The Steep Canyon Rangers
One Dime at a Time
  • Release date: September 13, 2005
  • Label: Rebel Records
Lovin' Pretty Women
  • Release date: August 14, 2007
  • Label: Rebel Records
Deep in the Shade
  • Release date: October 6, 2009
  • Label: Rebel Records
Rare Bird Alert
(with Steve Martin)
1 43
Nobody Knows You
  • Release date: March 27, 2012
  • Label: Rounder Records
Tell The Ones I Love
  • Release date: September 10, 2013
  • Label: Rounder Records
Steve Martin and the Steep Canyon
Rangers featuring Edie Brickell LIVE
  • Release date: March 11, 2014
  • Label: Rounder Records
"—" denotes releases that did not chart


  • "Pretty Little One" (Steve Martin and Steep Canyon Rangers featuring Edie Brickell)[10]
  • "Test Of Time" (Duet with Steep Canyon Rangers and Edie Brickell)

Music videos[edit]

Year Video Director
2011 "Jubilation Day" (with Steve Martin)[11] Ryan Reichenfeld
2012 "Long Shot"
2013 "Tell the Ones I Love"[12] Bill Filipiak

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Work Result
2014 International Bluegrass Music Association Instrumental Performance of the Year Graveyard Fields
(Songwriter: Mike Guggino)
2012 Grammy Award Grammy Award for Best Bluegrass Album Nobody Knows You Won
2012 International Bluegrass Music Association Best Graphic Design Nobody Knows You Won
2011 International Bluegrass Music Association Entertainers of the Year, with Steve Martin N/A Won
2011 Grammy Award Grammy Award for Best Bluegrass Album Rare Bird Alert Nominated
2010 International Bluegrass Music Association Instrumental Performance of the Year Mourning Dove
(Songwriter: Nicky Sanders)
2008 International Bluegrass Music Association Album of the Year Lovin' Pretty Women Nominated
2008 International Bluegrass Music Association Gospel Performance of the Year Be Still Moses
(Songwriter: Graham Sharp)
2006 International Bluegrass Music Association Emerging Artist of the Year N/A Won

"Steve Canyon Rangers"[edit]

The phonemic similarity of "Steep" to "Steve" and the association of Steve Martin with the band (and perhaps the three-decades-defunct 20th-century commando-style comic strip Steve Canyon) sometimes support impressions of a "Steve Canyon Rangers" band.[13][14][15][16]


  1. ^ "Steep Canyon Rangers benefit concert". The Telegraph. 2009-02-01. Retrieved May 10, 2009. 
  2. ^ Staton, John (2009-03-10). "The Music Column: Steep Canyon Rangers play venues from bars to churches". The Star-News. Retrieved May 10, 2009. 
  3. ^ Resch, Jamie (2009-03-12). "Longtime heroes stay fresh by touring and remaining true to traditional bluegrass". The Post and Courier. Retrieved May 10, 2009. 
  4. ^ "The Steep Canyon Rangers Sign to Rounder Records". Rounder Records. 2011-06-13. Retrieved June 14, 2011. 
  5. ^ Madison, Tjames., August 4, 2009. "Steve Martin and his banjo map fall tour." Retrieved on October 4, 2009,
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^ "Steve Martin wins top trophy at Bluegrass awards". BBC News. 29 Sep 2011. 
  9. ^ DelFest website retrieved 6-6-2012
  10. ^ "Future Releases on Triple A (AAA) Radio Stations". All Access Music Group. Archived from the original on 2014-03-06. 
  11. ^ "CMT : Videos : Steve Martin : Jubilation Day". Country Music Television. Retrieved June 7, 2011. 
  12. ^ "CMT : Videos : Steep Canyon Rangers : Tell the Ones I Love". Country Music Television. Retrieved September 22, 2013. 
  13. ^ Susan Dosier, "Steve Canyon Rangers(they play with Steve Martin) playing at VisitNC media event! Wow", [Twitter post]
  14. ^ "Steve Martin & Steve Canyon Rangers Band Signed 11x14 Live Concert Music Photo" e-Bay offer
  15. ^ "Steve Martin and the Steve Canyon Rangers", Waterblogged, Friday, March 18, 2011
  16. ^ "Steve Martin Finds His Muse In 'An Object Of Beauty'", Talk of the Nation (The presumably scripted introduction has "Steep", while the transcript of the interview attributes "Steve" to Martin.)

External links[edit]