Steep Canyon Rangers to present membership concert for WCU’s Friends of the Arts

Grammy Award-winning bluegrass supergroup Steep Canyon Rangers will perform at a membership concert for the Western Carolina University Friends of the Arts at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 19, on campus.

Steep Canyon Rangers

Steep Canyon Rangers

Playing at the John W. Bardo Fine and Performing Arts Center, the Steep Canyon Rangers will present songs from their nine albums, including their newest, “Radio,” recorded in Asheville and to be released Friday, Aug. 28.

The Rangers started as a group of friends playing music together for fun at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, but after more than a dozen years together, their performance credits have grown to include television shows “Austin City Limits,” “The Late Show with David Letterman,” the “Today” show and “Bluegrass Underground”; radio shows “A Prairie Home Companion,” “The Grand Ole Opry” and “Mountain Stage”; and celebrity events like the Neil Young Bridge School Benefit.

Their first album collaboration with banjo-picking actor/comedian Steve Martin in 2011, “Rare Bird Alert,” won them the Entertainers of the Year recognition from the International Bluegrass Music Association and the album was nominated for a Grammy award in 2012. In 2013, the group’s album “Nobody Knows You” won the Grammy in the Best Bluegrass Album category. They were nominated by the IBMA again in 2014 for the Instrumental Performance of the Year award for the song “Graveyard Fields.”

Performers Graham Sharp (banjo), Woody Platt (guitar), Charles Humphrey (bass), Mike Guggino (mandolin), Nicky Sanders (fiddle) and Mike Ashworth (drums) write and compose the band’s original progressive bluegrass works.

Members of Friends of the Arts can receive free tickets to the concert. The number of free tickets available to a member corresponds to the level of participation in the organization, from one ticket at the student level up to six at the highest level. Remaining tickets will go on sale for $35 at the box office of the Bardo Arts Center at 9 a.m. Friday, Oct. 16.

The concert is sponsored by Dale’s Pale Ale, SevenBar Aviation, Harris Regional Hospital and Swain Community Hospital and celebrates the fifth anniversary of the Friends of the Arts.

For more information about the Steep Canyon Rangers, the concert or the organization, contact Friends of the Arts at 828-227-7028 or visit