Steep Canyon Rangers
With OUT IN THE OPEN, Steep Canyon Rangers affirm their place as one of the most versatile bands in contemporary American music. The GRAMMY® Award-winning sextet has spent nearly two decades bending and shaping the bluegrass aesthetic, wedding it to elements of pop, country, and folk rock to create something original. OUT IN THE OPEN is the Rangers bravest excursion thus far, transcending bluegrass while also getting closest to the genre’s true form thanks to 3x GRAMMY® Award-winning producer Joe Henry’s traditional approach toward recording.
Since Steep Canyon Rangers came together in 2000, they have developed a remarkable catalogue of original music that links them to the past while also demonstrating their ambitious intent to bring string-based music into contemporary relevance.
In July 2017, Steep Canyon Rangers arrived at Fidelitorium Recordings, an intimate studio facility built, owned, and operated by legendary producer Mitch Easter. The band soon discovered that their producer – along with engineer/mixer Jason Richmond – intended to record all six members singing and playing in a room with no overdubs. The organic process allowed SCR to work fast, tracking a dozen songs in just three-and-a-half days. Steep Canyon Rangers are easily among the hardest working bands in any genre, pulling double duty on their own and as collaborators with Steve Martin.
OUT IN THE OPEN is an undeniable milestone on the Rangers ongoing creative journey. As they approach their second decade, Steep Canyon Rangers are still moving forward, searching for new horizons and musical vistas.
The Steep Canyon Rangers are:
Michael Ashworth: vocals, percussion, guitar
Michael Guggino: vocals, mandolin, mandola
Woody Platt: vocals, guitar
Nicky Sanders: fiddle, vocals
Graham Sharp: vocals, banjo, guitar, harmonica
Barrett Smith: bass, vocals
As a Montreal born Grenadian-Canadian, Kaia Kater grew up between two worlds: one her family’s deep ties to folk music; the other the years she spent learning and studying Appalachian music in the USA. Her old-time banjo-picking skills, deft arrangements, and songwriting abilities have landed her in the spotlight in North America and the UK, garnering critical acclaim from outlets such as NPR, CBC Radio, Rolling Stone, BBC Music, and No Depression.
Kaia started her career early, crafting her first EP Old Soul (2013) when she was just out of high school. Since then, she’s gone on to release two more albums, Sorrow Bound (2015) and Nine Pin (2016). Her sophomore album wove between hard-hitting songs that touch on social issues like the Black Lives Matter movement (“Rising Down,” “Paradise Fell”) and won a Canadian Folk Music Award, a Stingray Rising Star Award. It also sent Kaia on an 18-month touring journey from Ireland to Iowa, including stops at The Kennedy Center, Newport Folk Festival and Cambridge Folk Festival. For her third album, Grenades (North America October 2018, Folkways/acronym Records; Worldwide January 2019), she took a decidedly different direction, choosing to lean into a wider array of sounds and styles, in order to convey a wider array of emotions and topics, most notably her paternal ancestry. Grenades has already received acclaim from Rolling Stone (smart, atmospheric Americana) and promises to bring listeners on an entirely new journey.