Steep Canyon Rangers To Play 'Radio' Songs At WCU


Last updated 10/12/2015 at 10:33am

The Steep Canyon Rangers will be coming to WCU Monday, Oct. 19, to present a membership drive concert for the university's Friends of the Arts organization. Left to right are Charles Humphrey, Mike Guggino, Mike Ashworth, Woody Platt, Nicky Sanders and Graham Sharp. (Courtesy photo)

Western North Carolina's own Steep Canyon Rangers will be performing songs from their new top-selling album "Radio" when they come to Western Carolina University Monday, Oct. 19, to present a membership drive concert for WCU's Friends of the Arts.

The show will begin at 7:30 p.m. at the John W. Bardo Fine and Performing Arts Center.

The progressive bluegrass group's most recent collection was recorded in Asheville and released Aug. 28. "Radio" debuted at No. 1 on Billboard's chart of the nation's top-selling bluegrass albums, and was still in the top position in early October. Also, the title track from the album hit No. 1 on Bluegrass Today's list of bluegrass songs getting the most airplay across the nation.

With 12 all-original bluegrass/Americana compositions, the new album "travels the dial from top to bottom," said the group's banjo player, Graham Sharp. "The album tunes into the rock channel for a little while, then the blues, then country, pop and, of course, bluegrass."

Based in Asheville and Brevard, the Rangers recently have been touring nationwide in support of the new album.

In addition to Sharp, band members are Woody Platt, guitar; Charles Humphrey, bass; Mike Guggino, mandolin; Nicky Sanders, fiddle; and Mike Ashworth, percussion.

The Rangers started as a group of friends playing music for fun at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, but after a dozen years together their performance credits include many national TV and radio programs. Two years ago, their album "Nobody Knows You" won the Grammy Award in the Best Bluegrass Album category.

The Rangers' first album collaboration with banjo-picking actor/comedian Steve Martin, 2011's "Rare Bird Alert," won them Entertainers of the Year recognition from the International Bluegrass Music Association and a nomination for a Grammy Award.

For the concert at WCU, new and renewing members of the WCU Friends of the Arts at the minimum $75 level and above will receive two or more free tickets to the concert, depending on the level of membership. To become a member and receive free tickets, contact the Friends of the Arts at (828) 227-7028 or visit

Non-membership tickets also are available for $35 at the Bardo Arts Center box office.

The Friends of the Arts organization supports scholarships for students in WCU's College of Fine and Performing Arts and arts programming that serves the region through the university.


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