Steep Canyon Rangers bring two people together in Roanoke

We’ve always said that bluegrass brings people together, and this past weekend, The Steep Canyon Rangers got the chance to make that happen in a very real way.

During their set on Friday night in Roanoke, VA, Jacob Harbour – bass player with Rich In Tradition – convinced the Steeps to let him come on stage and propose to Caroline Yates, his girlfriend of several years. No pressure, right Caroline?

Of course, she said yes, and the two love birds are planning a wedding now.

Jacob lives in Danbury, NC while Caroline has been in Roanoke attending nursing school. Last Friday was her final day of classes, and Harbour had come up to celebrate with her at the concert. Little did she know what he had in store!

He shared a few word about the multiple ways the Steeps have intersected with his life.

“This past Friday night, the Steep Canyon Rangers were gracious enough to let me come on stage with them and propose to my girlfriend of five years! It makes for an awesome story as MerleFest 2012 is where I first heard them live, and it completely steered me in a different direction musically, and the band has influenced me greatly over the years. Also at MerleFest that very same year I started to talking to who is now my fiancé! It was so cool to be able to propose with the Steep Canyon Rangers and reminisce about how it all started!”

Here are a few more photos from Caroline and Jacob’s big moment.

Eagle-eyed Rangers fans will notice that founding member Charles Humphrey III is not in his usual spot playing bass. Earlier on Friday, he had announced on Facebook that he was stepping away to dedicate his time to the Songs From The Road Band which he created as a side project with friends 11 years ago.

“With a band whose name was derived from the label off of a beer I was drinking in a Chapel Hill apartment in the late 90’s, I’ve toured the far corners of the World. With that said, I’m excited to let y’all know I’m moving on to pursue other musical and non musical passions aside from Steep Canyon Rangers. I wish the boys the best as we part ways and can proudly say, it’s been one hell of a ride!”

When with caught up with Rangers banjo player Graham Sharp last night, he said that they all wish Charles well.

“We’ve played more good music and had more fun together with Charles than anyone could hope for in a single lifetime. We’re moving in separate directions and we trust all our friends and fans will support Charles in all his endeavors. It’s been a great ride together!”

No word yet on a permanent replacement.

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About the Author

John Lawless

John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.