Those cold, winter winds should not bother you a bit when you dance the night away to bluegrass favorites, the Steep Canyon Rangers. The Rangers will take to the stage of The Orange Peel January 20–22 for a run of shows in downtown Asheville that has become an annual favorite for bluegrass fans across Western North Carolina. The first two nights of shows, the Rangers are thrilled to be joined by special guest and international bluegrass sensation, Del McCoury.
“Del has been our hero in bluegrass for a long time,” says Graham Sharp, banjo player and songwriter for Steep Canyon Rangers. “He’s an example of somebody who’s really worked their way through the music, and found his own place in the music, and then—to be willing to so openly share that with everybody—he’s even more of a hero.”
Looking forward to a hometown show, the Rangers were beyond busy in 2016. They released their ninth studio album, Radio, which was produced by Jerry Douglas and released on Rounder Records. Just last month they joined Steve Martin, Yo-Yo Ma and Edgar Meyer for a performance on A Prairie Home Companion in New York City. They found time to set up a new merchandise site and design new t-shirts while also starting the Local Rangers Fan Club, which provides their loyal listeners with all sorts of fun perks.
As they prepare for their first shows of 2017, Sharp says, “We’re working on a list of songs right now. It’ll be a lot of traditional stuff with Del. It’s going to be really, really amazing. He’s got such a huge catalog of songs. We’re going to pick the gems out of that and go for it.”
With three nights of shows at The Orange Peel, the Rangers feel they can accommodate more fans while maintaining a more intimate setting. They also know their fans: Some like to sit and listen, while others like to boogie down. Sunday’s show will be seated, but Friday and Saturday night, when they are joined by McCoury, you’ll want to bring your dancing shoes.
The Orange Peel is located at 101 Biltmore Avenue in downtown Asheville. Tickets are available through the Orange Peel box office at 828.398.1837 or online at theorangepeel.net. At press time, the third night of the performances, January 22, had sold out. More information on opportunities to get involved with the Rangers can be found at steepcanyon.com.