Steep Canyon Rangers – Tickets – Cat’s Cradle – Carrboro, NC – November 15th, 2013

Steep Canyon Rangers

Steep Canyon Rangers

Mipso, Big Fat Gap - Bluegrass Jam (after show)

Fri, November 15, 2013

Doors: 8:00 pm / Show: 9:00 pm

Cat's Cradle

Carrboro, NC

$15.00 - $17.00

Sold Out

This event is all ages

Big Fat Gap will host a Bluegrass jam in the Cat's Cradle back room immediately following the show!

Steep Canyon Rangers
Steep Canyon Rangers
When the time came for the Steep Canyon Rangers to record the follow-up to 2012’s Nobody Knows You, they headed north to Woodstock, NY, to Levon Helm’s famed studio with Grammy-winning producer Larry Campbell and engineer Justin Guip. This was a departure from their previous albums, where they chose co-producers from within the bluegrass community. Instead of having Campbell co-produce, the band gave him full control.

Over the months before they started to record Tell The Ones I Love, they sent him several dozen new songs to consider. And while the Steep Canyon Rangers were certainly open to recording songs by other composers, or to dip into traditional material, Campbell ultimately had them record all original tunes, based both on the strength of the songs, and the band’s arrangements. This seems fitting for a band whose stellar reputation is based on performing original material, and who had just won the Best Bluegrass Album Grammy Award for Nobody Knows You. There’s a backstory here, too: last year, the band played Levon’s Midnight Ramble, and impressed Helm enough that he invited them to come back and record at the barn. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen before his untimely passing, but they still felt his joyful, creative spark and subtle influence while working in his studio.

The band wanted Tell The Ones I Love to reflect the spirit of their concerts—an original, freewheeling, high energy approach to bluegrass that rests mainly on the songwriting of Graham Sharp and Charles Humphrey. They recorded the album almost entirely live, using few overdubs. “We wanted it to be different from our last album,” explained banjo player Graham Sharp, “and create something more raw and immediate.” Guitarist Woody Platt added that they headed into recording with “more confidence and momentum” from both their Grammy win and their unrelenting touring schedule.

Campbell, a highly sought after musician and producer (Bob Dylan, Levon Helm), was often down on the floor with the band so he could feel what was being performed. His strategy to have the music sound organic – “where you can hear the environment of the barn” – fit well with the band’s performances. Sharp praised Campbell for being “exactly what we needed in a producer. Larry took us through arrangements from a little different perspective.”

Tell The Ones I Love actually is the first bluegrass album Campbell produced, although as a big bluegrass fan, he has heard, in his estimation, “20 million bluegrass bands.” When he saw the Steep Canyon Rangers play at the Ramble, Campbell was attracted to how they respected bluegrass without being constrained by its conventions. Getting into the studio with the band only enhanced Campbell’s appreciation of their collective and individual talents. He admired that they “held on to the essence of what makes bluegrass viable, and subtly reinvented it to make their thing unique.”

One way that the band stretched bluegrass boundaries was with their use of drums and percussion on Tell The Ones I Love. “We didn’t want something that was just a bluegrass track with drums laid on it like an afterthought,” said Sharp. “We wanted something that was really integrated.” They enlisted Jeff Sipe (Leftover Salmon, Susan Tedeschi, Aquarium Rescue Unit), whom Sharp described as “one of the best drummers around.” His propulsive playing helps to drive the title track as well as injecting some funky rhythms into “Camellia.”

Tell The Ones I Love showcases the Steep Canyon Rangers’ myriad talents— nimble instrumental agility, tight harmony vocals, and inventive songwriting. The 12-song set ranges from full-band workouts like the title track to the haunting, tight “Hunger.” On “Las Vegas,” the band displays jazzy touches while Mike Guggino’s instrumental “Graveyard Fields” is a bluegrass tour de force. Tell The Ones I Love, in fact, affords each Ranger opportunities to shine, whether it’s Graham Sharp’s expressive banjo intro on Charles Humphrey/Philip Barker’s plaintive “Bluer Words Were Never Spoken,” Nicky Sanders’ soaring fiddle on “Boomtown” or Humphrey’s walking bass that anchors his “Mendocino County Blue.” “It’s a record that doesn’t stay on the same plane,” Platt, who contributes dynamic lead vocals on nine of the songs, explained. “It has interesting contours, like our shows.”

These days, it’s hard to talk about the Steep Canyon Rangers without mentioning Steve Martin. After meeting at a party and clicking immediately, Martin invited the band to tour and record with him. 2011’s collaboration Rare Bird Alert was nominated for a Grammy, and later that year, they won IBMA’s Entertainer of the Year Award. They average about 50 dates a year together, touring as Steve Martin and the Steep Canyon Rangers, and most recently with the addition of special guest Edie Brickell. What has emerged is a real collaboration of seven consummate musicians—creating music that they are passionate about, and blending it with humor to form a sophisticated show. They are proud that it has exposed legions of new fans to the bluegrass genre. These collaborations have stretched the Steep Canyon Rangers musically, and definitely broadened their horizons and experiences, which include recent appearances on Austin City Limits, the Late Show with David Letterman, and the Today Show, and performances at Carnegie Hall, the Grand Ole Opry, MerleFest, Neil Young’s Bridge School Benefit, as well as their own Mountain Song festival and Mountain Song at Sea cruise.

The release of Tell the Ones I Love finds the Steep Canyon Rangers in a unique situation, and one they don’t take lightly: “It took a lot of work for us to nose our way into the bluegrass world and become a de facto representative,” Sharp acknowledges, “and we think it’s a real responsibility.” With this new record, “we can be a bridge between the bluegrass crowd and a wider audience that may not be die-hard bluegrass fans.” Yet.

Steep Canyon Rangers:

Mike Guggino—mandolin, vocals
Charles R. Humphrey III —bass, vocals
Woody Platt—guitar, lead vocals
Nicky Sanders—fiddle, vocals
Graham Sharp—banjo, lead and harmony vocals
Mipso
Mipso
Rooted in the music of North Carolina's mountains and Piedmont, Chapel Hill-based Mipso gives these traditional influences a distinctly modern twist. With an old-school combination of fiddle, mandolin, bass, guitar, and four voices in close harmony, Mipso's Jacob, Wood, Joseph, and Libby mix bluegrass ingredients with a healthy dose of 21st century energy. Over the past two years Mipso has released an EP and a full-length album titled "Long, Long Gone" and performed to enthusiastic crowds across North Carolina, from Asheville to Greenville and many places in between. This year alone they've performed sold out concerts at Carrboro's historic Cat's Cradle three times, solidifying their place as the most promising young band to come out of Chapel Hill in a long, long time. The group will graduate from the University of North Carolina in May of 2013 with plans to take Mipso on the road far beyond their home state.
Big Fat Gap - Bluegrass Jam (after show)
Big Fat Gap - Bluegrass Jam (after show)
Big Fat Gap will host a Bluegrass jam in the Cat's Cradle back room immediately following the show!

Big Fat Gap is a back porch bluegrass band that has no plans to take Nashville by storm. Some of them even have day jobs. They just like to pick, they like each other, and it shows in their performances, which are known to be excellent for those who enjoy sweet three-part harmonies, smoking solos, and captivating stage dynamics. They are: Miles Andrews on lead vocals and bass, Jon Hill on mandolin and vocals, Chris Roszell on banjo, Bobby Britt and John Garris on fiddles, and Jamie Griggs on guitar.

Over the past few years, Big Fat Gap has welcomed the increasing support of many fans, musicians, friends, and family in North Carolina, Colorado, and all along the East Coast. They have enjoyed many guest musical appearances by friends including mandolin legend Tony Williamson; musical virtuoso Rex McGee; Chatham County Line and Kickin' Grass from Raleigh; and the Steep Canyon Rangers. Big Fat Gap has appeared in festivals such as Finger Lakes GrassRoots Festival in New York, Roosterwalk and Elysian Fields in Virginia, and is a fixture at Shakori Hills Grassroots Festival. You can also find Big Fat Gap performing at venues throughout North Carolina: in Chapel Hill and Carrboro at the Cat's Cradle, the Cave, the Speakeasy @ Tyler's Taproom, the Carolina Inn's Fridays on the Front Porch; at the Bynum's General Store; in Raleigh at the Pour House; the Town Pump in Black Mountain; and every Tuesday night at the Armadillo Grill in Carrboro.

They got their name from one of the few remaining stands of old growth virgin forest in western North Carolina, located in the Big Fat Gap in Graham County near the Tennessee border.
Venue Information:
Cat's Cradle
300 East Main St.
Carrboro, NC, 27510
http://catscradle.com/