The Saturday night concert at War Memorial Auditorium brought Rangers’ Graham Sharp (banjo) back to his hometown along with fellow North Carolinian bandmates Woody Platt (vocals, guitar), Mike Guggino (mandolin), Nicky Sander (fiddle), and Charles Humphrey (upright bass).
Having won this year’s Grammy Award for Best Bluegrass Album (Nobody Knows You), the Steep Canyon Rangers do just fine on their own as I was witness to their set at the recent Merlefest weekend. But I have to admit, Steve Martin’s hilarious, side-splitting comedic talent is still very much intact as is his banjo playing. He is definitely in his element! Edie Brickell was a marvelous surprise!! Her song “What I Am” never appealed to me, and though married to Paul Simon, I thought she was no longer a presence in the music world. She has a great voice!! Take it a step further, and read about the pairing up of Martin (music)/Brickell (lyrics) for the album, “Love Has Come for You”. Now, add the Rangers’ talents, and you have one of the best must-see concert tours going on right now!! (It didn’t hurt we had sweet seats up close and personal.)
One final note – SCR has yet another album coming out this summer. It was recorded this past February at the home studio of non other than the late Levon Helm in upstate NY! (on another occasion, Helm had invited them up to the studio to record at his place before he died.) How great is that?