Steep Canyon Rangers Return To Telluride Bluegrass

Years ago, a few friends got together at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill and formed a band called the Steep Canyon Rangers. They weren’t music majors; nor did they have grand ambitions. But what started out as a college hobby has now morphed into something far grander, something lead singer Woody Platt describes as a “college hobby gone wild.”

Indeed the group, which Today’s Country describes “as pushing the boundaries of bluegrass,” is part of the warm up to the main event, First Grass, a free concert in Mountain Village, Wednesday, June 19, 4 – 8 p.m., then they are everywhere you want to be on opening day at Telluride Bluegrass, appearing twice on the Main Stage on Thursday, June 20: 4:30 – 5:45 p.m. and for the closer, with Steve Martin and Edie Brickell, 10 – 11:30 p.m.

Steep Creek Rangers  has earned its fair share of accolades. Last year, they were nominated for a Grammy for their collaborative record with Steve Martin, Rare Bird Alert. The album debuted at #1 on Billboard’s Bluegrass Chart and at #43 on the Billboard Top 200. In 2010, the latest solo record from Steep Canyon Rangers, Deep In The Shade remained in the Bluegrass Top 10 on Billboard for 18 weeks. steep canyon

This year has brought Steep Canyon Rangers to even greater heights. Their album, Nobody Knows You, was nominated again for a Grammy for Best Bluegrass. They’ve also headlined festivals such as MerleFest and Bonnaroo alongside Steve Martin and continue to perform alone as a quintet on stages such as Telluride, RockyGrass, and “A Prairie Home Companion” with Garrison Keillor. Recently, the group appeared on television with Martin on shows such as “Late Night With David Letterman,” “The Colbert Report” and “Austin City Limits.”

But while the Steep Canyon Rangers continue to get bigger, they remain true to their roots: a group of college friends. Whenever these guys have downtime on the tour, they make time to fly fish together. Woody Platt, who was a fly fishing guide for ten years before he got too busy making music, says that the group loves exploring rivers while touring.

“If I have a day off and I’m near a trout stream,” Platt confesses, “I’m in the water.”

Click here to learn more about how the group formed, what it’s like to work with Steve Martin, and what they’re looking forward to in Telluride.


Check out the Steep Canyon Rangers’ sound.

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