Steep Canyon Rangers Announce New Bassist, Barrett Smith

“Our new bass player is Barrett Smith,” Steep Canyon Rangers member Woody Platt announced this week. “He’s from Columbia, South Carolina, but we met him in Chapel Hill in college, at the same time we all met each other there.“
By BP Staff ,

The Asheville Citizen Times broke the news today of the new bass player for the band. On Jan 27, the Steep Canyon Rangers will be joined by the members of the Asheville Symphony on select songs for a very special hometown show. Special Guests River Whyless will open the night and are not to be missed!

“Our new bass player is Barrett Smith,” Steep Canyon Rangers member Woody Platt announced this week. “He’s from Columbia, South Carolina, but we met him in Chapel Hill in college, at the same time we all met each other there.“

“I met Barrett in 1997," said band member Graham Sharp. “He’s always been one of my best friends, a musician I’ve looked up to all these years.”

About Steep Canyon Rangers:
With OUT IN THE OPEN(Ramseur Records) Steep Canyon Rangers affirm their place as one of the most versatile and idiosyncratic bands in all of contemporary American music. The GRAMMY® Award-winning, North Carolina-based sextet has spent nearly two decades bending and shaping the bluegrass aesthetic, wedding it to elements of pop, country, folk rock, and more to create something original and all their own.OUT IN THE OPEN is perhaps Steep Canyon Rangers’ bravest excursion thus far, transcending bluegrass while in many ways getting closest to the genre’s true form thanks to producer Joe Henry’s very traditional approach toward recording.

Steep Canyon Rangers have been expanding the parameters of bluegrass since coming together in 2000. Since then, the band has developed a remarkable catalogue of original music that links them to the past while at the same time, demonstrates their ambitious intent to bring string-based music into contemporary relevance.

With that goal in mind, Steep Canyon Rangers have in recent years begun collaborating with some of Americana’s most distinctive producers, working with top studio hands like Larry Campbell (2013’s TELL THE ONES I LOVE) and Jerry Douglas (2015’s RADIO) to take newfangled routes in crafting their ever-evolving approach. OUT IN THE OPEN sees the band teaming up with Joe Henry, an accomplished singer-songwriter as well as a 3x GRAMMY® Award-winning producer (Solomon Burke, Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, Carolina Chocolate Drops) with a particular affinity for American roots music.

In July 2017, Steep Canyon Rangers arrived at Fidelitorium Recordings in Kernersville, NC, an intimate studio facility built, owned, and operated by legendary producer Mitch Easter (R.E.M., Let’s Active). Having not previously discussed Henry’s plans, the band was surprised to discover that their producer – with the invaluable help of engineer/mixer Jason Richmond – intended to record in classic fashion, with all six members singing and playing in a room with no overdubs. Though Steep Canyon Rangers had some trepidation, they promptly rose to the challenge.

In addition to the highly anticipated release of OUT IN THE OPEN, 2018 will see the Steep Canyon Rangers uniting with their local Asheville Symphony to record an album that will once again push their increasingly distinctive music into unexpected terrain.

OUT IN THE OPEN is an undeniable milestone on Steep Canyon Rangers’ ongoing creative journey, its spirited, eclectic approach recasting the myriad sounds of string-based American music in their own unique image. As they fast approach their second decade, Steep Canyon Rangers are still moving forward, as ever searching for new horizons and musical vistas.

For more visit: Steep Canyons