The Steep Canyon Rangers are a North Carolina bluegrass quintet known for smooth vocals, intricate harmonies, tight instrumentals and clever songwriting. The band consists of Woody Platt, guitar and lead vocals; Charles R. Humphrey III, upright bass and harmonies; Nicky Sanders, fiddle and harmonies; Mike Guggino, mandolin and harmonies; and Graham Sharp, banjo and harmonies. The Steep Canyon Rangers also frequently collaborate with Steve Martin, who joins in on banjo and vocals. In 2011 the Steep Canyon Rangers released their first full-length collaboration with Martin, the album Rare Bird Alert, which debuted at No. 1.
The Rangers are known for energetic instrumentals and songwriting that accompanies all facets of bluegrass, from honky tonk infused songs about drinking and women to reflective gospel-tinged songs like “Be Still Moses.” Their hits include “Lovin' Pretty Women,” “Hide Behind a Rock,” “King Tut,” and “Jubilation Day.” Deep in the Shade stayed in the Top 10 for 18 weeks.
The Steep Canyon Rangers tour frequently, playing venues from honky tonk bars to churches. The Rangers, often joined by Steve Martin, have headlined large music festivals like MerleFest and Bonnaroo. The band has been featured on the radio show “A Prairie Home Companion” with Garrison Keillor and made TV appearances on “The Late Show with David Letterman,” “Austin City Limits,” and “The Colbert Report.” The Steep Canyon Rangers have been nominated for multiple International Bluegrass Music Association awards. In 2011, they won the IBMA award for Entertainer of the Year jointly with Steve Martin.