The Steep Canyon Rangers

The Steep Canyon Rangers

The Steep Canyon Rangers

The Steep Canyon Rangers

Rebel Records

Bluegrass is one of the toughest genres to break into. Musicianship needs to be immaculate, harmonies perfect and to be a true bluegrass band you need to be true to your roots. On their self-titled sophomore album, The Steep Canyon Rangers have not only created a perfect bluegrass album, but they’ve managed to stay true to the sound that has recently become extremely popular, thanks largely to O’ Brother Where Art Thou?.

The Steep Canyon Rangers opens with the rollicking “Living in the Pane,” which is chock full of banjo-picking and finger-dancing on the mandolin. The rest of the album combines up-tempo ditties (“454,” “Kicked Out of Town,” “Lucky Streak”), songs about drinking and women (“Are You Happy Now,” “The Last Thing My World Needs,” “Goodbye Bottle of Whiskey,” “I’ll Drink No More Wine”) and a track about driving like NASCAR legend Dale Earnhardt (“Feelin’ Just a Little Like Dale”).

After listening to this album for the umpteenth time, it becomes harder and harder to believe that these guys have only been together for five years. For a band full of middle-aged men to break into a seemingly impenetrable genre like bluegrass so soon in their musical careers is quite impressive. It is groups like The Steep Canyon Rangers that will keep the tradition going on for generations to come.

The Steep Canyon Rangers: www.steepcanyon.com

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