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Steep Canyon Rangers minus Steve

Well-traveled bluegrass band on the road without "that dead weight"

The band's harmonies soared over a weave of banjo, guitar, upright bass, and lively interplay between mandolin and fiddle. - Image by David K. Cupp
The band's harmonies soared over a weave of banjo, guitar, upright bass, and lively interplay between mandolin and fiddle.

Grammy-winning bluegrass group Steep Canyon Rangers played their first San Diego show March 9 — that is, their first without a certain actor-comedian. The Asheville, North Carolina–based band has appeared here several times backing up Steve Martin's banjo compositions. "It's real good to be here without that dead weight," guitarist and vocalist Woody Platt joked.

Video:

"Radio"

A 2015 live performance by the Steep Canyon Rangers

A 2015 live performance by the Steep Canyon Rangers

But not entirely a joke. For this Wednesday night show at the Music Box, the Steeps were showcasing their own tunes, and it's about dang time. Highlighting standouts from their latest record, they played an excellent and nourishing set — from the crossover title track “Radio,” to the twangy “Diamonds in the Dust,” melancholy ballad “Blue Velvet Rain” and country-radio-ready “Blow Me Away.”

Throughout, the band's harmonies soared over a weave of banjo, guitar, upright bass, and lively interplay between mandolin and fiddle. This visit, the exceptional musicianship included box-kit percussion, added to the band's lineup a couple years back. They even surprised the audience with a drum circle style jam to end their set. But for the most part, the hard-touring band finally brought San Diego what most of the country has already witnessed its music to be — bluegrass at its finest.

  • Concert: Steep Canyon Rangers
  • Date: March 9
  • Venue: Music Box
  • Seats: GA
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The band's harmonies soared over a weave of banjo, guitar, upright bass, and lively interplay between mandolin and fiddle. - Image by David K. Cupp
The band's harmonies soared over a weave of banjo, guitar, upright bass, and lively interplay between mandolin and fiddle.

Grammy-winning bluegrass group Steep Canyon Rangers played their first San Diego show March 9 — that is, their first without a certain actor-comedian. The Asheville, North Carolina–based band has appeared here several times backing up Steve Martin's banjo compositions. "It's real good to be here without that dead weight," guitarist and vocalist Woody Platt joked.

Video:

"Radio"

A 2015 live performance by the Steep Canyon Rangers

A 2015 live performance by the Steep Canyon Rangers

But not entirely a joke. For this Wednesday night show at the Music Box, the Steeps were showcasing their own tunes, and it's about dang time. Highlighting standouts from their latest record, they played an excellent and nourishing set — from the crossover title track “Radio,” to the twangy “Diamonds in the Dust,” melancholy ballad “Blue Velvet Rain” and country-radio-ready “Blow Me Away.”

Throughout, the band's harmonies soared over a weave of banjo, guitar, upright bass, and lively interplay between mandolin and fiddle. This visit, the exceptional musicianship included box-kit percussion, added to the band's lineup a couple years back. They even surprised the audience with a drum circle style jam to end their set. But for the most part, the hard-touring band finally brought San Diego what most of the country has already witnessed its music to be — bluegrass at its finest.

  • Concert: Steep Canyon Rangers
  • Date: March 9
  • Venue: Music Box
  • Seats: GA
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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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