Steve Martin and The Steep Canyon Rangers return with new album, ‘The Long-Awaited Album’

Grammy Award-winning comedian and musician Steve Martin and The Steep Canyon Rangers return with new album, ‘The Long-Awaited Album’

 
Steve Martin and The Steep Canyon Rangers will release “The Long-Awaited Album” on Rounder Records/Decca Records on 22nd September. “The Long-Awaited Album,” Martin’s newest collaboration with the Grammy-winning North Carolina-based  band the Steep Canyon Rangers, is full of stories that mix humour and melancholy, whimsy and realism, rich characters and concrete details. And lots of banjos. 

That instrument – so dexterously, even acrobatically picked and strummed – is just as crucial to relating these new tales as the lyrics themselves, each chord and riff revealing new depths to Martin’s narrators and to his musical talent. Produced by Peter Asher, the new album is a collection of 14 stunning new songs including the boisterous and humorous new track “Caroline,” the deeply romantic tune “All Night Long,” and the fantastical song “Santa Fe,” which showcases the lively dynamic between Martin and the Rangers.

Steve Martin’s musical career is an extension of the storytelling impulse that drove his work as a comedian, an actor, a screenwriter, a playwright, an essayist, and a novelist. The Grammy® Award winning musician found his love for the banjo at the age of 17 and originally used the instrument as part of his stand-up comedy routine. But in 2010, Martin released his first album, The Crow: New Songs for the 5-Strong Banjo, and since then, Martin has played many prestigious stages including Carnegie Hall, The Hollywood Bowl, Stagecoach, Bonnaroo, New Orleans’ Jazzfest and The Newport Folk Festival, Royal Festival Hall in London, and the Capitol Building in Washington D.C. Martin released his second full-length bluegrass album Rare Bird Alert in 2011. The album featured 13 Martin-penned tracks as well as special guest vocal appearances by Paul McCartney and The Dixie Chicks. Additionally, Martin co-wrote two of the CD’s songs with the Steep Canyon Rangers. That year, Martin also won the International Bluegrass Music Association’s Entertainer of the Year Award.  

Martin also collaborated with Edie Brickell on the critically acclaimed album Love Has Come For You, which combines Martin’s five-string banjo work with Brickell’s vivid vocals. Martin and Brickell took home the Grammy® Award for “Best American Roots Song” for the album’s title track. Martin and Brickell’s second collaboration “So Familiar” earned widespread critical acclaim and also inspired the Broadway musical Bright Star, which was nominated for five Tony Awards.

The Steep Canyon Rangers and Steve Martin will host their album release celebration on Saturday, set 30 2017 at The IBMA World of Bluegrass –  in the state where it all began for them.
 

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Bluegrass Ramble Schedule Announced

IBMA logo
2017 Bluegrass Ramble at WOB - official logo

Schedule Announced:

Bluegrass Ramble Official Showcases September 26-28

At 2017’s World of Bluegrass in Raleigh, NC, we’ll feature these 30 Official Showcase artists. They were selected from more than 160 submissions representing the vitality of bluegrass from its traditional roots to its furthest offshoots all around the world. Learn more about the Bluegrass Ramble acts.
Want to experience the Bluegrass Ramble? An IBMA Business Conference badge (buy now—first-time attendee discount offered) or Bluegrass Ramble wristband (buy now) will get you into all venues. Admission into a single club will be sold at the door for $10.[WOB Business Conference registrants do not need to purchase Bluegrass Ramble tickets.]

BANDS and VENUES

Architect Bar & Social House: (108 East Hargett Street)
Tuesday, September 26:
7:00        Caroline Gallagher
8:00        Travers Chandler and Avery County
9:00        Mile Twelve
Wednesday, September 27:
7:00        Cathy Fink & Marcy Marxer
8:00        Sam Gleaves
9:00        Jonathan Byrd
Tuesday, September 26:
7:00        The Savage Hearts
8:00        Deer Creek Boys
9:00        FY5
Wednesday, September 27:
7:00        Richie and Rosie
8:00        The Po’ Ramblin’ Boys
9:00        The Small Glories
Lincoln Theatre: (126 East Cabarrus Street)
Tuesday, September 26:
7:00        NewTown
8:00        Forlorn Strangers
9:00        The Lonely Heartstring Band
Wednesday, September 27:
7:00        Hank, Pattie & The Current
8:00        The Railsplitters
9:00        Fireside Collective
Pour House Music Hall: (224 South Blount Street)
Tuesday, September 26:
7:00        Cup O’ Joe
8:00        Molsky’s Mountain Drifters
9:00        Sheriff Scott and the Deputies
Wednesday, September 27:
7:00        The Slocan Ramblers
8:00        Quiles & Cloud
9:00        Mr Sun
Raleigh Convention Center Masters Workshop Stage (500 South Salisbury)
Tuesday, September 26:
7:00        Fireside Collective
7:35        The Po’ Ramblin’ Boys
8:10        Jeff Brown & Still Lonesome
8:45        Salt and Light the Moore Family Band
9:20        The Railsplitters
Wednesday, September 27:
7:00        High Fidelity
7:35        The Price Sisters
8:10        Forlorn Strangers
8:45        Travers Chandler and Avery County
9:20        NewTown
Raleigh Convention CenterRoom 304 (500 South Salisbury)
Tuesday, September 26:
7:00        Quiles & Cloud
7:35        Richie and Rosie
8:10        Sam Gleaves
8:45        The Slocan Ramblers
9:20        Mr Sun
Wednesday, September 27:
7:00        Deer Creek Boys
7:35        Caroline Gallagher
8:10        Mile Twelve
8:45        FY5
9:20        Molsky’s Mountain Drifters
Vintage Church: (118 South Person Street)
Tuesday, September 26
7:00        The Price Sisters
8:00        Cane Mill Road
9:00        High Fidelity
Wednesday, September 27
7:00        Jeff Brown & Still Lonesome
8:00        Flats and Sharps
9:00        Salt and Light the Moore Family Band
 
I C Y M I
Wide Open main Stage art listing first round of featured artists
Wide Open Main Stage:
BUZZ-
WORTHY
Wide Open Main Stage
You won’t find this lineup anywhere else! Bluegrass greats, emerging stars, one-of-a-kind jams. You’ll hear eighteen incredible acts in two days. One- and two-day tickets with good seats still available. You have to experience this
!
And every ticket purchase benefits the Bluegrass Trust Fund.

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Michael Daves – Orchids and Violence

Orchids and Violence is the first solo full-length by Michael Daves. (The Grammy-nominated Sleep with One Eye Open was a collaboration with Chris Thile.) Mixed by Vance Powell,
it’s a double album whose discs contain the exact same songs — the
first is acoustic, the second electric. The material comprises
traditional bluegrass and country standards — and Mother Love Bone‘s “Stargazer.” The first disc was cut live to tape in a 19th century church. Daves flatpicks and strums like a madman, surrounded by a smoking cast: bassist Mike Bub, fiddler Brittany Haas, mandolinist Sarah Jarosz, and banjoist Noam Pikelny. The electric second disc was recorded in Daves‘ home studio. He played guitars, pianos, and drums — electric bass was played by Jessi Carter. The way Daves
renders all these tunes underscores his rep as a “renegade
traditionalist.” Contrast both versions of the old fiddle tune “June
Apple.” The acoustic version is deft and quick paced, played with enough
ensemble energy to make it crackle. The electric take sounds like Richard Thompson playing with Robert Quine. On disc one Bill Monroe‘s
“Darling Corey” walks a tightrope between rural country boogie,
rockabilly, and swinging bluegrass. On the second half it sounds like the Hollies‘ “Long Cool Woman in a Black Dress” played by Ali Farka Touré and Toumani Diabaté (thanks in no small part to Tony Trischka‘s
psychedelic cello banjo). While the acoustic version of “The Dirt That
You Throw” is a midtempo mountain waltz with gospel and blues overtones,
on disc two it comes through as an elegiac dirge filtered through
psychedelic country. The first version of the aforementioned “Stargazer”
is a sprightly, quick-moving bluegrass tune with extended vocal
harmonies — and sounds like it originated with the Stanley Brothers. Its electric companion is rife with Neil Young and Crazy Horse-esque sustain and distortion. The initial version of “A Good Year for the Roses” (associated forever with George Jones)
is rendered raw, stripped-down, and bereft of anything but grief. The
second, more bewildered that bereft, could have been arranged by Paul Westerberg and Gary Louris. Ralph Stanley‘s
classic “Pretty Polly” reveals its deep Delta blues roots without
straying from the mountain tradition on disc one; its mirror image is
twisted and bent through the ghost of Dock Boggs and Junior Kimbrough. “The 28th of January” is rendered on disc one as a picker’s hornpipe tune (with Trischka on cello banjo). Its electric read is a strutting instrumental boogie filtered through Marc Bolan‘s shadow. Daves
considers bluegrass a music whose heritage was fostered by a tension
between various musical traditions — blues, gospel, country, folk,
swing jazz — and the desire of its creators for innovation on these
forms. Taking Orchids and Violence as a whole illustrates that in spades. In the 21st century, these songs as covered by Daves not only retain their meaning but cut deeper into the American grain.

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