Steep Canyon Rangers at FloydFest

FloydFesters were treated to a fantastic set of bluegrass with a side helping of Gospel from the Steep Canyon Rangers this morning.

I spoke with guitarist Woody Platt after the performance. Just coming off a couple weeks touring out West, he told me…

“We’ve been out on the road for a little while now. We flew in yesterday from Oregon, and Floyd is close enough for us to make it home for dinner, so that feels great!

We started this tour at Red Rocks with Arlo Guthrie and Emmy Lou Harris, so to end up here, surrounded by friends and family, it’s pretty perfect!”

It’s been a whirlwind couple of years for the band, touring regularly with Steve Martin in support of their collaboration project, Rare Bird Alert.

“It’s kind of caught us all off guard, but it’s been special.

You know, we were doing well, things were going great, but when Steve came along that gave us a new energy and a new audience. He’s gotten really serious (about it) so we put out the record with him, and then we have our new record.

There’s a lot going on. We have a lot to juggle with our band and our material, and then Steve’s band and that material. It’s been a challenge, but it’s really been great!”

He explained that folks will come just to see Steve, and then realize they’re experiencing bluegrass for the first time. I asked him what he thought about being in that unique position.

“In a way, I feel like we always have been sort of ambassadors, because we’ve enjoyed going to these more eclectic festivals, some where we were the only bluegrass band on the bill.

We have always taken the music to nontraditional venues, like rock and roll bars. But now, with Steve, we have a chance to get on television and on stage in front of larger audiences. So we are now, and feel like we’ve always have kind of been or at least we’ve wanted to be, ambassadors of bluegrass.”

The guys will be home for a few days, and then back out on the road with Steve. They’re bound to be at a venue near you soon. Don’t miss it!

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About the Author

Diane Farineau

Diane Farineau, her husband, photographer, Milo and their friend, photographer, Chester Simpson, hatched a brilliant plan last year to write a book about music festivals. Somewhere along the way The Festival Project, as it has now become, turned into a website and a blog and an amazing journey into the world of today's bluegrass and Americana artists and festival scene. When not listening to or writing about music, Diane has a day job as a hospital administrator, is a mom of two musical teenagers, and writes about life's never ending stream of ironies.