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“The Schaefer Center Presents” Welcomes the Steep Canyon Rangers to Boone, NC for a Free Livestreamed Concert

Steep Canyon Rangers


The series’ penultimate event features Asheville’s acclaimed Grammy-winning bluegrass band live on stage at the Schaefer Center, March 11 at 8 p.m.


The Schaefer Center Presents (SCP) virtual performing arts series, presented by Appalachian State University’s Office of Arts and Cultural Programs, proudly welcomes to the stage of the Schaefer Center for the Performing Arts the Grammy-winning bluegrass septet Steep Canyon Rangers, Thursday, March 11 at 8 p.m. Steep Canyon Rangers are Asheville, NC’s Grammy winners, perennial Billboard chart-toppers, and frequent collaborators of the renowned banjoist (and occasional comedian) Steve Martin. The concert will be performed without a live audience, but livestreamed for free to the general public as the penultimate event in the spring virtual series. The event is free, but registration is required.

SCR released three albums in 2020, all on Yep Roc Records. North Carolina Songbook is a recording of their live 2019 performance at Merlefest in Wilkesboro, NC, in which they performed a selection of songs by North Carolina songwriters (Ola Belle Reed, Doc Watson, James Taylor, Ben E. King, and others). Be Still Moses — perhaps their most singular musical partnership to date – has the band teaming with Philadelphia soul legends Boyz II Men and their hometown Asheville Symphony to completely overhaul the Rangers’ original “Be Still Moses,” which was first recorded on their 2007 breakout album Lovin’ Pretty Women. The album includes re-imagined versions of Steep Canyon’s previously released original songs performed with an orchestra. Their most recent release of all original music, Arm in Arm, came out in October. “Every song on Arm in Arm captures the North Carolina group’s innovative spirit, weaving in jazz, gospel, folk, and even rock phrases, creating an intimate and intricate sound that challenges, cajoles, and comforts.” (No Depression).

The Rangers are made up of Woody Platt on guitar and vocals, Graham Sharp on banjo and vocals, Mike Guggino on mandolin/mandola and vocals, Nicky Sanders on fiddle and vocals, Mike Ashworth on drums and vocals, and Barrett Smith on bass and vocals.

Steep Canyon Rangers have been on a journey that is uniquely their own. The band started in college at UNC-Chapel Hill, then dove head first into bluegrass in its most traditional form, and over the years has risen to the top of the bluegrass genre headlining top festivals such as Merlefest and Grey Fox Bluegrass. They were then discovered by Steve Martin, famous actor and banjo player. Martin has taken the Rangers on a nearly decade-long tour introducing them to hundreds of thousands of new fans and giving them prime time TV exposure. This has helped SCR become the most recognizable modern name in bluegrass music. Steep Canyon Rangers have continued to tour extensively on their own, without Martin, and expanded their genre into country and Americana with the addition of a drummer — alongside an incredibly versatile bassist – to accompany the original core band. The Rangers are big players in the bluegrass/country and Americana scene today. They are often compared to predecessors The Band, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, and the modern Zac Brown Band.

For more information about Steep Canyon Rangers, visit their official website.

The Steep Canyon Rangers performing at the City Green Live Festival in Sandy Springs, Georgia in May 2019. Photo by Simchock.


The Schaefer Center Presents… SPRING 2021 Virtual Season

Events are FREE; advance registration is required at theschaefercenter.org. All registrants will receive a link to access the event both the day before and one hour prior to the performance.



March 25 at 8 p.m.: Best of the Appalachian Dance Ensemble
This digital compilation, a best-of showcase of student performances in App State’s Dept. of Theatre & Dance, features popular works from faculty choreographers.

Thank you to our SPC sponsors:

The Horton Hotel, Creekside Electronics, Boone Tourism Development Authority, Our State Magazine, Spectrum Reach, High Country Radio, WDAV 89.9 FM, WFDD 88.5FM and WASU 90.5FM.

**The 2020-21 Schaefer Center Presents season is funded in part by a grant from the North Carolina Arts Council, a division of the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources. www.NCArts.org 


About “The Schaefer Center Presents”

“The Schaefer Center Presents” is a series offering campus and community audiences a diverse array of music, dance and theatre programming designed to enrich the cultural landscape of the Appalachian State University campus and surrounding area. By creating memorable performance experiences and related educational and outreach activities, the series promotes the power and excitement of the live performance experience; provides a “window on the world” through the artistry of nationally and internationally renowned artists; and showcases some of the finest artists of our nation and our region. Musical events range from symphony orchestra and chamber music performances to jazz, folk, traditional, international, and popular artists. Theatre productions run the gamut from serious drama to musical comedy. Dance performances offer an equally wide array of styles, from ballet to modern dance to international companies representing cultural traditions from around the world. For more information, visit http://theschaefercenter.org.