Steep Canyon Rangers & Asheville Symphony “Be Still Moses” (Yep Roc Records, 2020)

‘Be Still Moses’ is a bit of a curate’s egg, partly bad, partly good, although, to be fair, none of it is really bad, just slightly over-egged. The album finds the Rangers teaming up with the symphony orchestra from their hometown, Asheville, North Carolina, performing a selection of songs culled from past albums and rearranged to accommodate the orchestra. It stems from a desire by the orchestra’s executive director to integrate the symphony orchestra with local musicians, a worthy cause to be sure and one which probably enriches the local scene but does it work on disc – are bluegrass and orchestras the new prog rock? Continue reading “Steep Canyon Rangers & Asheville Symphony “Be Still Moses” (Yep Roc Records, 2020)”

Steep Canyon Rangers “North Carolina Songbook” (Yep Roc Records, 2019)

Live albums can often feel a pointless affair: a selection of songs you already know usually played to a lesser standard than the studio version, a crowd you weren’t part of, cheering in the background, and no way to witness the performance visually. With major label acts, the live album is often put out there as a money grab, or as a way for the artist to tick another one off the number of required albums in a recording contract. So it is a relief to see that the Steep Canyon Rangers have offered us something different in ‘North Carolina Songbook’. Continue reading “Steep Canyon Rangers “North Carolina Songbook” (Yep Roc Records, 2019)”

Steve Martin & The Steep Canyon Rangers “The Long Awaited Album” (Rounder Records, 2017)

The Long Awaited Album is Steve Martin’s sixth and a half album of banjo music, his initial foray being the B-side of The Steve Martin Brothers way back in 1981, with the first full album being 2009’s all-star collaboration The Crow. This was followed up with
Rare Bird Alert, an album which also featured The Steep Canyon Rangers as his backing band – they’d been supporting him out on tour as well. Continue reading “Steve Martin & The Steep Canyon Rangers “The Long Awaited Album” (Rounder Records, 2017)”