Lovin' Original Bluegrass

Lovin' Pretty Women (Rebel)
Steep Canyon Rangers

By Bob Mitchell

The Steep Canyon Rangers, an impressive band and winner of the International Bluegrass Music Association's Emerging Artist award, demonstrate artistic vision, songwriting skills and the intense desire to create their own sound. The CD is jam-packed with appealing original material. They not only honor the sound and soul of traditional bluegrass, but also nudge the music forward in a respectfully new and exciting way.

Expressive lead vocals, super tight harmonies and sparkling musical support showcase a band at the top of its game, especially on "A Ramblin' Man is a Ramblin' Man;" a groovy "Don't Ease Me In;" the marvelous gospel track "Be Still Moses;" the lonesome feeling "Cumberland Moon;" the bouncy instrumental "Kuykendall," and the insightful "Desperate and Blue."

The Rangers are Graham Sharp (banjo, lead and harmony vocals), Woody Platt (guitar and lead vocals), Charles R. Humphrey III (bass and harmony vocals), Mike Guggino (mandolin and harmony vocals) and Nicky Sanders (fiddle and harmony vocals). There is a lot to enjoy in a wide array of full-bodied arrangements. On a five-point scale of excellence this release merits a five.

For more information go to www.steepcanyon.com.